Bishopstown turn on style in second-half to book final spot

BISHOPSTOWN’S dream of a return to senior status is just an hour away following this comprehensive victory over Inniscarra in a one-sided Evening Echo Premier IHC semi-final at Páirc Uí Chaoímh yesterday.

While the city wide won the game well, there were two periods in the game when they relaxed and let Inniscarra back into the game and against more formidable opposition, that could prove costly.

Despite playing into the breeze, the Town got the perfect start with two quick points by Ronan Conway inside the opening three minutes. Conway’s pace troubled his marker all afternoon and he had a third point after Stephen Olden opened Inniscarra’s account with a like score in the seventh minute.

Both sides were guilty of some poor finishing and they shared 10 wides between them by the end of the first quarter.

Bishopstown’s first period of relaxation was around this time and the Mid-Cork side took full advantage.

John O’Mahony and Ger Burke in their half-back line began to hurl with far more authority and Bishopstown were grateful when Ken O’Halloran came off his line to intercept a pass intended for the unmarked Nick O’Regan.

The dominance of David O’Mahony and Liam Ó Riain helped Inniscarra to control midfield and they were level after 22 minutes with a brace of points. It was nip and tuck from there to the break.

Thomas Murphy put the Town back in front with a point before the city side were awarded a penalty after Martin Hayes won possession from the air.

Despite kicking the sliotar to the net, play was called back for the penalty which goalkeeper Ken O’Halloran blazed over the bar to leave his side 0-8 to 0-6 in front at half time a lead they hardly deserved as Inniscarra finished the half with 11 wides.

Whatever was said to Bishopstown at the interval, it certainly had the desired effect because in the space of seven minutes they had their place in the final well and truly secured as they scored 1-4 without reply.

The goal came just 30 seconds after the resumption when Patrick Cronin’s long range free ended up in the net, helped by a deflection off a defender. Hurling with supreme confidence all over the field, the Town heaped on the agony for Inniscarra and should have had a second goal but Martin Hayes’s effort clipped the crossbar going over.

However just as they had done in the opening half Bishopstown took their foot off the pedal and allowed Inniscarra back into the game. Fortunately for them Mark Cogan, Bryan Nunan, and Brian Cuthbert defended superbly while the Mid-Cork side continued to chalk up the wides, adding eight more to their tally.

It took Inniscarra 16 minutes to register another score when Nick O’Regan pointed a free, and he did the same a minute later with what were his side’s only scores of the entire second half.

In contrast the superior stickwork of the Town players saw them rack up a litany of points from a variety of angles and distances, as they ran out the easiest of winners.

Inniscarra can have few complaints. They hit 19 wides over the hour and could only manage three points from play, none in the second half.

Bishopstown who looked a very accomplished side, await the winners of the Blarney/Carrigtwohill/Watergrasshill triangle before knowing their final opponents.

Scorers: Bishopstown: P. Cronin 1-3 (1-2 frees); R. Conway 0-5; T. Murray 1-2; M. Hayes 0-3; K. Coughlan, K. O’Halloran (free), J. Murphy, M. Power 0-1 each. Inniscarra: N. O’Regan 0-4 (frees); S. Olden (free), A. O’Mahony, J. Olden, D. O’Connell 0-1 each.

BISHOPSTOWN: K. O’Halloran; C. O’Driscoll, M. Cogan, B. Nunan; S. O’Neill, D. Crowley, B. Cuthbert; P. O’Donoghue, P. Cronin; r. Conway, K. Coughlan, J. Murphy; T. Murray, M. Hayes, M. Power.

Subs: D. O’Mahony for Murphy; T. O’Donoghue for P. O’Donoghue; J. O’Sullivan for Cuthbert; C. Doyle for Hayes; T. Bogue for Coughlan.

INNISCARRA: P. O’Sullivan; J. O’Callaghan, B. Linehan, K. Burke; G. Burke, J. O’Mahony, B. O’Keeffe; D. O’Mahony, L. O Riain; A. O’Mahony, S. Olden, J. Casey; N. O’Regan, J. Olden, D. O’Connell.

Subs: D. Lynch for O’Keeffe; S. Holland for Casey.

Referee: J. Sexton (Ballyhea).

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