BRIDE ROVERS settled the stalemate between themselves and Bishopstown in emphatic fashion at Riverstown yesterday to claim a place in the fourth round of the Cork SHC.
The game may not have been as enthralling as the drawn game when the sides were deadlocked after extra time but it again highlighted the ability of the East Cork side to score goals which, this time around, proved decisive.
And if goals were again decisive, so too was the introduction of super-sub Jason Mannix, whose two points were crucial for Bride Rovers in the drawn game. This time it was his goal that impacted the outcome the most.
Introduced two minutes before half-time he immediately got involved in practically everything but it was his goal in the 39th minute that underscored his overall contribution. The game was tied at seven points apiece when Dave Burke pulled on the sliothar from the left side, sending it across the goalmouth, and Mannix, making his run through the middle arrived right on time to hammer it to the net.
In a desperately tight game, that score left the ’Town with a mountain to climb but there was worse to come in the form of a second goal. This time it was set up by a long range free by Barry Johnson which was tapped down by Mannix and finished to the net by Dan Dooley to crown an outstanding performance.
If that was not sufficient agony, Mannix again contributed the pass for full-forward Sean Ryan to tap over the point that put Bride seven clear with time ticking away.
With Bride Rovers in the ascendancy there was no way back for Bishopstown whose extravagance in the form of 12 wides contributed to their misfortune. Pa Cronin was winning a wealth of possession in the centre of the field but, yesterday, he was not as accurate in his delivery and ice-cool Denis Fitzgerald in the Bride Rovers goal had a field day saving, catching and clearing his line with pinpoint accuracy.
The second-half was all about Bride Rovers and their ability to finish the job. They also had their share of wides — nine in all — but two points from Dave Burke and two more that Dan Dooley added to his goal were excellent scores while Barry Johnson was a tower of strength in the middle of the field.
While Bride Rovers have an opportunity to further their championship ambitions against Blackrock in the fourth round, Bishopstown find themselves in a relegation play-off against either Cloyne or Ballinhassig.
Scorers for Bride Rovers: D. Dooley 1-2, B. Johnson 0-5 (0-4 frees), J. Mannix 1-0, D. Burke 0-2, S. Ryan 0-1.
Scorers for Bishopstown: P. Cronin 0-4 (0-2 frees), T. Murray 0-4 (0-1 free), R. Conway, E. McCarthy and M. Power 0-1 each.
BRIDE ROVERS: D. Fitzgerald; A. Collins, B. Walsh, S. Kearney; Brian Murphy, Barry Murphy, L. Forde; M. Kearney, B. Johnson; M. Collins, D. Burke, P. Murphy; C. O’Keeffe, S. Ryan, D. Dooley.
Subs: J. Mannix for C. O’Keeffe (28 mins) J. O’Driscoll for D. Burke (45 mins), B. O’Driscoll for M. Kearney 52 mins.
BISHOPSTOWN: K. O’Halloran; B. Lane, J. O’Sullivan, I. Jones; D. Hickey, S. O’Neill, P. Honohan; J. Murphy, P. Cronin; R. Conway, D. Crowley, M. Power; E. McCarthy, B. Murray, B. Murray, T. Murray.
Subs: P. O’Donoghue for E. McCarthy (25 mins), D. Lester for B. Murray (43 mins), B. Coffey for J. Murphy (57 mins).
Referee: D. Copps (Ballyhea).