Erin’s Own finish the stronger to reach final

Erin’s Own 0-16 Na Piarsaigh 0-13

Had the Caherlag side shown a bit more steadiness in front of goal, they would have won this game far more convincingly, but they hit 17 wides, to nine by their opponents, and were denied a goal by a wonderful save by Piarsaigh keeper Alan Keating.

John Gardiner at centre forward was hugely influential for Piarsaigh, who had Séan Óg Ó hAilpín at centre back, and he had his side 0-4 to 0-2 in front at the end of the first quarter, as Erin’s Own hit six wides in that period.

Erin’s Own should have goaled in the 17th minute when Kieran Murphy pulled first time after a pass from Mark Collins pass but Piarsaigh netminder Alan Keating pulled off a superb save.

The lively Erin’s Own forwards hit four points in a row to go in at the break leading 0-9 to 0-7 after being behind for the opening 27 minutes.

Erin’s Own continued to hit the wides on the changeover and added five more to the eight they shot in the first half, but after Piarsaigh had drawn level for the third time in the 35th minute, the East Cork side’s better stickwork told.

The excellent Stephen Cronin at wing back drove Erin’s Own on and they opened up a four-point lead by the 50th minute, thanks mainly to frees from Kieran Murphy.

Piarsaigh were almost totally dependent on John Gardiner for their scores and he finished the game with nine points, while all the Erin’s Own forwards got on the scoresheet.

Scorers for Erin’s Own: Kieran Murphy 0-4 (0-2 frees, 0-1 65); M. O’Carroll 0-3; Killian Murphy, M. O’Connor 0-2 each; S. Cronin, J. Sheehan, M. Collins, C. Coakley, D. O’Flynn 0-1 each.

Na Piarsaigh: J. Gardiner 0-9 (0-6 frees); P. Gould 0-2; J. Egan, K. Buckley 0-1 each.

ERIN’S OWN: S. Bowen; C. Dooley, P. Fitzgerald, S. Murphy; S. Cronin, P. Kelly, J. Sheehan; C. O’Connor, Killian Murphy; M. Collins, Kieran Murphy, M. O’Connor; C. Coakley, M. O’Carroll; A. Bowen.

Subs: D. O’Flynn for Collins (40); B. Clifford for Killian Murphy (55); C. O’Leary for A. Bowen (55).

NA PIARSAIGH: A. Keating; R. Healy, D. Mannix, A. Brady; P. O’Rourke, S. Óg Ó hAilpín, R. McGregor; J. Egan, M. Prendergast; D. Gardiner, J. Gardiner, K. Waters; P. Gould, E. McCarthy, C. Lynch.

Subs: C. O’Mahony for McCarthy (half-time); I. McDonald for Waters (half time); K. Buckley for Lynch (35); L. Martin for D. Gardiner (55).

Referee: B. Coniry (Crosshaven).

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