St Nick’s turn on style to shock Bishopstown

SUPERLATIVE strikes from wing-backs Liam Leahy and David Cunningham and an exhibition of free-taking from wing-forward Robert Brosnan paved the way for St Nicks’ victory over Bishopstown in the third round of the Evening Echo Cork county SFC at Páirc Uí Rinn on Saturday.

In an explosive three-minute spell, midway through the first half, the St Nick’s defenders burst upfield to score two goals of exceptional quality to spur the Blackpool side to a fourth round meeting with Carrigdhoun.

Hitting the ground running and taking maximum advantage of an indisciplined Bishopstown defence, St Nick’s opened up a four-point lead with Brosnan punishing Bishopstown with his marksmanship.

Bishopstown, outplayed all over the park, had their first score — a point from James O’Shea in the 11th minute — but then St Nick’s hammered home their early dominance with stunning goals from Leahy and Cunningham.

Shell-shocked Bishopstown, now trailing by 10 points and totally tied up by the St Nick’s defence, looked in danger of being blown away. But they were thrown a lifeline in the 29th minute when referee Michael Collins awarded them a controversial penalty, which O’Shea expertly converted.

St Nick’s, with Brosnan kicking five points, one from play, led by 2-6 to 1-2 at half time with O’Shea the only player to score for the Bishopstown side.

Bishopstown were transformed after the break, however, with substitute Brian Cuthbert making an instant impression and three points without reply from Jack Ferriter, O’Shea and Robert Holohan.

Now it was St Nick’s turn to soak up the pressure and it took a good ground save from goalkeeper Peter Cuthbert to hold O’Shea at bay. However, Brosnan’s free-taking — he scored seven points from placed balls — kept St Nick’s to the fore and they held a six-point advantage entering the final quarter.

But Bishopstown were thrown a lifeline with two points on the trot from Ferriter and Justin Honohan and a cracking goal from full-forward Denis Crowley, who fielded a 45 from O’Shea, before swivelling to his left and letting fly.

Now only the bare minimum separated them but Bishopstown did not have the conviction to go in search of victory and St Nick’s came back to dominate the closing stages. Late points from Robert Brosnan and centre-back Niall Horgan sealed their deserved triumph.

Scorers: St. Nicholas: L. Leahy 1-0; D. Cunninghan 1-0; R. Brosnan 0-8 (0-7 from frees); J. Kearney, D. Brosnan and N. Horgan 0-1 each. Bishopstown: J. O’Shea 1-3 (0-1 from penalty); D. Crowley 1-0; J. Ferriter 0-3 (0-3 from frees); R. Honohan and J. Honohan 0-1 each.

ST. NICHOLAS: P. Cuthbert; S. O’Donoghue, D. og O’Donovan, S. Kennefick; L. Leahy, N. Horgan, D. Cunningham; P. O’Brien, D. Brosnan; G. Callanan, D. Busteed, R. Brosnan; J. Kearney, N. Harte, D. Dorris.

Substitutes: E. McCarthy for O’Donoghue; R. Considine for Kearney.

BISHOPSTOWN: K. O’Halloran; S. Murphy, N. O’Donovan, J. O’Sullivan; T. Hayes, A. O’Connor, C. O’Malley; R. Honohan, D. Cullinane; J. L. O’Sullivan, A. Coomey, S. O’Mahony; J. O’Shea, D. Crowley, J. Ferriter.

Substitutes: J. Honohan for J. L. O’Sullivan; B. Cuthbert for O’Mahony; D. Murphy for Coomey.

Referee: M. Collins (Clonakilty).

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