The ace attacker also was involved in his side’s other goal, when his long delivery was bundled over the line by full-forward Mark Ryan. The teams were level five times over the hour but strong finishes to both halves proved decisive for St Michael’s.
Na Piarsaigh led 0-6 to 0-3 after 15 minutes and had they been more efficient when the teams were locked 1-7 to 0-10 at the three quarter stage the result might have been different.
They wasted a couple of good chances, including a goal effort that found the side netting. This was in contrast to some excellent point taking early on from the Gardiner brothers, John and David, Cian O’Mahony and Shane Curtin.
Hegarty got St Michael’s off the mark, kicking three points and when he was put through by Mark Drummond five minutes from the interval, St Michael’s regained the lead by a point, 1-4 to 0-6. Alan Keating and Conor Kilcoyne then traded points to leave the half-time score 1-5 to 0-7.
It was nip and tuck on the resumption. Na Piarsaigh fell two behind but got on level terms following points from David Gardiner, Shane Curtin and a lovely effort from Gould. But Na Piarsaigh came unstuck in front of the posts and St Michael’s outfit took full advantage.
In contrast to Na Piarsaigh’s poor free-taking, Hegarty expertly swung over on 54 minutes to give his team the lead, and he quickly followed with another point from play. The game was effectively killed off when Hegarty lobbed a delivery into the square and Ryan was on hand to distract keeper Jordan O’Connor.
Na Piarsaigh went in search of goals but had to be content with a stoppage time point from Sean Óg Ó hAilpín.
Scorers for St Michael’s: E Hegarty 1-7 (0-4 frees), M Ryan 1-0, C Kilcoyne and S O’Keeffe 0-1 each.
Scorers for Na Piarsaigh: D Gardiner 0-3, S Curtin 0-2, S Óg Ó hAilpín, C O’Mahony, A Hogan, J Gardiner, A Keating (free) and P Gould 0-1 each.
ST MICHAEL’S: A Deasy; C Shaughnessy, B O’Sullivan, D Crowley; R Dineen, A O’Driscoll, J Lenihan; C Kilcoyne, P Doyle; P Cronin, S O’Keeffe, M Drummond; D Cremin, M Ryan, E Hegarty. Subs: A Nolan for P Cronin (37 inj), A Murphy for J Lenihan, M Mulconry for P Doyle (both 43), E Buckley for M Drummond (57).
NA PIARSAIGH: J O’Connor; C Hourigan, T Lawton, E Moynihan; G Fitzgerald, C Buckley, D Mannix; S Óg Ó hAilpín, S Curtin; C O’Mahony, J Gardiner, P Gould; A Hogan, D Gardiner, A Keating. Subs: K Buckley for C Buckley (inj), P O’Rourke for C Hourigan (both h-t), T Miller for K Buckley (58 inj).
Referee: D Murnane (Macroom).