Shootout win sees Bandon into decider with Harlequins

Bandon will meet Cork Harlequins in a novel Peard Cup final on St Stephen’s Day as the pair overcame the challenges of Cork C of I B and UCC respectively in very different fashion.

Bandon, gunning for their first ever win in the competition, prevailed over C of I in a shoot-out at Garryduff.

Normal time ended scoreless as goalkeepers Conor Robinson and Peter Coulter kept everything out while the key moment came when Alex Deane of C of I hit the post.

Robinson kept out a Kevin O’Dea corner shot late in the game to send the clash straight to a shoot-out. C of I took the initial advantage, but Bandon pegged it back to 3-3 after the regulation series of five, and the west Cork outfit won it in the first round of sudden death.

Cork Harlequins were denied a goal by this excellent first half save from UCC goalkeeper Conor Beck in Saturday’s Peard Cup semi-final at Farmer’s Cross. Despite Beck’s heroics, Harlequins ran out 4-1 winners. Picture: Larry Cummins

They will come up against a Harlequins side looking to secure their first Peard crown since 2009 — a relative drought as they seek their 13th victory overall.

Their passage to the final owed a lot to Julian Dale, who made it five goals in two rounds of the competition and seven in total since his return from Belgium. He netted a hat-trick in the 4-1 victory over UCC with Michael Holland grabbing the other Quins goal.

The final promises to be a close-run thing, with Quins having won their previous league meeting in September 2-1. That day, Bandon had the guts of the play, but Dave Egner nicked a couple of goals to seal the victory — and with Dale on board, they have an extra fulcrum to their attack.

On the women’s side, UCC won the only game to get the go-ahead in Munster Division One, cruising to a 6-0 success over Bandon. Aebhfhinn Bourke, Lauren Ryan, Aoife Collins, Hilary Balding, Roisin O’Dea and Cork City soccer star Christina Dring were all on the mark.

Their win creates a mid-table split, with the top four sides now six points ahead of the bottom four. Cork C of I and Ashton sit on 18 points while Catholic Institute and UCC are on 15 but with games on hand, making for a potentially lively title battle in the new year.

Catholic Institute’s game with Waterford was postponed due to the weather conditions on Saturday.

As such, they have a growing schedule on the cards in the new year with three games to catch up on in Munster, as well as four EYHL Division 2 games.

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