Gardiner point saves Piarsaigh

Bishopstown 0-13 Na Piarsaigh 1-10

The north side club despite playing second fiddle for long periods, refused to give up when they fell six points behind with 15 minutes to go.

Bishopstown will have nightmares about not winning. They were on top for long periods but couldn’t quite get away from Na Piarsaigh who will bemoan the six wides they kicked in the second-half from scorable positions.

Despite playing against the strong wind, Bishopstown got off to the perfect start with two points in the opening three minutes, the second a splendid effort by Shane Conlisk after a superb passing movement from their own half.

With James O’Shea in sparkling form, the ’Town led 0-4 to 0-1 after seven minutes and were clearly the better side. Piarsaigh were forced to switch Derek McNamara over on O’Shea but the Bishopstown captain continued to sparkle and his team were well worth their 0-5 to 0-2 lead at the end of the first quarter, O’Shea scoring four of the points.

The aerial dominance of Gary Sheehan meant Na Piarsaigh were on top at midfield but they were obsessed with the short passing game and could made no headway in attack against a very confident Bishopstown defence in which Shane Murphy, Mark Kilgallon and Martin Hayes were completely on top.

However, Na Piarsaigh came more into the game as half-time approached, principally due to their captain Sean Óg Ó hAilpín’s control at centre-back and they finished the half with two Colin O’Sullivan points which left Bishopstown 0-7 to 0-4 in front at the interval.

With Colin O’Sullivan roaming out from full-forward to great effect, Piarsaigh continued to take the game to Bishopstown in the second-half and the introduction of Kevin Butterworth added more penetration up front.

However, some dreadful finishing cost them several scores and Bishopstown’s had their three-point half-time lead was intact at the end of the third quarter as the sides shared four points.

Earlier Na Piarsaigh created the game’s only goal chance but Butterworth had his effort superbly blocked by Mark Kilgallon.

From that let-off Bishopstown swept up field and with James O’Shea continuing to torment the Na Piarsaigh defence they hit over four points without reply to lead by double scores 0-12 to 0-6 with 10 minutes to go.

Despite their dominance, however, Bishopstown continued to live dangerously and as the north side club pressed forward they reduced the deficit to two points with a succession of points and an opportunist goal by David Gardiner which left just two points between them with two minutes to go.

In those tense closing minutes Na Piarsaigh’s persistence paid off with points by Cian O’Mahony and a great equaliser from John Gardiner to earn a second bite of the cherry.

Scorers: Na Piarsaigh: C O’Sullivan (0-3 frees), J Gardiner (0-2 frees) 0-4 each, D Gardiner 1-0, S Glasgow and C O’Mahony 0-1 each.

Bishopstown: J O’Shea 0-8 (0-2 frees), S Conlisk, J Murphy 0-2 each, M Cogan 0-1.

BISHOPSTOWN: M Galvin; M Kilgallon, S Murphy, D Murphy; M Cogan, M Hayes, N O’Donovan; B Cuthbert, J Honohan; R Honohan, B Healy, J Murphy; S O’Mahony, S Conlisk, J O’Shea. Subs, S Cavanagh for S O’Mahony, E O’Malley for D Murphy, D. Murphy for Shane Murphy.

NA PIARSAIGH: G O’Sullivan; R McGregor, D Mannix, D McNamara; G Fitzgerald, S Óg Ó hAilpín, D Murphy; L Cunningham, G Sheehan; D Gardiner, S Glasgow, C Fitzgerald; C O’Mahony, C O’Sullivan, J Gardiner. Subs. R Healy for McNamara, K Butterworth for Fitzgerald, B McMahon for Mannix, S Wall for Cunningham.

Referee: D Linehan (Nemo Rangers).

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