The city team had pulled five points clear at the three-quarter mark and a meeting with Fr O’Neill’s looked possible, but the decision to move Daniel Goulding into the full-forward line turned the game. First he won a penalty converted superbly by Kevin Hallissey and then the county senior footballer bagged a goal of his own.
It was tough on Blackrock as they gave as good as they got, especially after losing their centre-half back Dylan Stokes to a shoulder injury five minutes in. Having exited this season’s championship, next in line is a relegation decider against Dripsey. This is a huge game for the Rockies as their senior charges are also in a precarious position awaiting a third round tie against Bride Rovers.
Éire Óg had the bulk of the play at the start but took a while to settle. Points from Ciarán Sheehan, free-taker John Dineen and Hallissey yielded a 0-6 to 0-3 advantage, but Blackrock got on top coming up to the break with Eoin Buckley, Brian Cashman (frees) and Domhnaill Cremin finding the target, ensuring a narrow 0-7 to 0-6 lead at the changeover.
Éire Óg switched around their side for the restart and when new midfielder Dineen landed a massive point they led by three, and appeared to be back on track. However, Blackrock found another gear. Sub Joe Young, Brian O’Sullivan, Cashman, Stephen Murphy, Derek Gosnell and Cremin all contributed as they hit seven points on the trot to forge ahead 0-14 to 0-9 with the final quarter to play.
Éire Óg were surprisingly on the back foot. But, crucially, they never gave in. Dineen, after missing an easy free, converted to keep the board ticking over. Next came the deciding few minutes. Goulding was fouled and Hallissey’s penalty left them just one point behind.
High in confidence, they added another green flag from Goulding. Blackrock, although rattled, levelled with two Cashman frees.
The momentum was with Éire Óg though. It was Goulding again who kicked over a point before Dineen made sure with a placed ball on the 60 minute mark.
Scorers for Éire Óg: J Dineen 0-8 (6fs), D Goulding, K Hallissey (1-0p) 1-1 each, C Sheehan 0-2 (1f).
Scorers for Blackrock: B Cashman 0-8 (0-7 frees), S Murphy and D Cremin 0-2 each, M O’Donoghue, E Buckley, D Gosnell and B O’Sullivan 0-1 each.
ÉIRE ÓG: P Ryan; S McCarthy, B Corkery, C Hutchinson; D O’Herlihy, T Dineen, L Murphy; C O’Mahony, E Cantillon Murphy; M O’Shea, C Sheehan (Capt), D Goulding; K Hallissey, J Dineen, T O’Leary.
Subs: C Murphy for E Cantillon Murphy (ht), C Hallissey for L Murphy (53).
BLACKROCK: G Ahern; J Heylin, F Ryan, A Hogan; S Murphy, D Stokes, E O’Mara; A O’Drisceoil, D Gosnell; E Buckley, B O’Sullivan, M O’Donoghue; D Cremin, B Cashman (capt), S Murphy.
Subs: A Murphy for D Stokes (5 inj), J Young for M O’Donoghue (25), D Moran for E Buckley (53), C Kilcoyne for D Gosnell (57).
Referee: J O’Connell (Lisgoold).