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Cronin grabs winner for battling Bishopstown

Persistent rain and slippery underfoot conditions suggested this Cork SHC Round 2 clash would be a tight affair and that proved to be the case as Bishopstown prevailed by just a single point in Páirc Uí Chaoimh last night.

A remarkable Thomas Murray goal, which appeared to go in untouched from a sideline cut, was the game’s crucial score, arriving five minutes before half-time to hand Bishopstown a 1-5 to 0-7 lead at the interval.

With the teams only managing to register 0-3 apiece in a scrappy second half, Bishopstown had done just enough to pull off a deserved and hard fought victory.

Glen again relied heavily on Patrick Horgan to hit scores while in contrast five Bishopstown attackers got on the score sheet, including each player in their impressive half-forward line.

While the Town had strong performers all over the pitch, including the likes of Shane O’Neill and Kevin O’Driscoll, their half-forward line of Ronan Conway, Pa Cronin and captain Thomas Murray were their three standout players.

The opening exchanges had all the intensity you would expect from a game that neither side could afford to lose having both faltered in round one.

But the quality was lacking as both sides struggled to get to grips with the trying conditions.

Conway looked in the mood from the outset and he opened the scoring with a fine strike on four minutes. The score seemed to settle Bishopstown and the lead was doubled two minutes later courtesy of a James Murphy effort.

The Glen finally found their rhythm as Graham Callanan, Dean Brosnan and Calvin Healy started winning plenty of ball around midfield and two quick scores from Horgan as well as a Healy strike saw Rovers take the lead.

Murray and John Anderson traded points before the Glen upped the ante on the quarter hour mark.

They nearly registered the game’s first goal when Conor Dorris collected a long David Cunningham pass before powering a shot at goal but Ken O’Halloran produced a tremendous reflex save.

The Glen simply couldn’t convert their dominance into scores and points from Cronin and Ger McGlacken saw Bishopstown regain the lead before Murray’s powerful sideline cut skimmed off the greasy surface to deceive Rovers goalie Declan Hourihan and give the Town a major boost before the interval.

The second half started like the first with both sides struggling to get into any pattern as players consistently fumbled the ball and both Cronin and Horgan were guilty of missing frees they would normally slot.

With fifteen minutes remaining, the second half deadlock was finally broken as Conway knocked over point to leave Bishopstown two ahead.

A simple Horgan free restored the one point deficit before the full forward slotted his seventh point of the night on fifty minutes to leave the sides deadlocked at 1-7 to 0-10.

In the bedlam of the final exchanges, Pa Cronin was the one who showed the coolest head, repeatedly coming back to sweep up in defence and also slotting the all-important score in the last minute to just about edge Bishopstown over the line.

Scorers for Bishopstown: T Murray 1-2 (1f), P Cronin and R Conway 0-2 each, J Murphy and G McGlacken 0-1 each.

Scorers for Glen Rovers: P Horgan0-8 (5f) , C Healy and J Anderson 0-1 each.

BISHOPSTOWN: K O’Halloran; D Lester; S O’Neill; C O’Driscoll; M Driscoll; I Jones; R Ryan; K O’Driscoll; B Murray; R Conway; P Cronin; T Murray; J Murphy; D Crowley; G McGlacken.

Subs: C Luttrell for Murphy (36), D Hickey for Crowley (51), J O’Sullivan for Ryan (62).

GLEN ROVERS: D Hourihan; S Kennefick; S McDonnell; G Moylan, B Moylan; P O’Brien; G Callanan; D Brosnan; C Healy; R Whitty; G Hackett; D Cunningham; C Dorris; P Horgan; J Anderson.

Subs: E Cronin for Hackett (13), P Virgo for Whitty (50), D Goggin for Anderson (58).

Referee: D Copps (Ballyhea)