Essentially, their goal-scoring ability proved the difference against a CIT team which hadn’t the scoring power to complement their admirable effort.
Bishopstown, who didn’t have the services of Cork hurling captain Patrick Cronin, started promisingly, with centre-forward Denis Crowley getting the first of two goals as early as the third minute. And, without ever managing to dominate, they made most of the running in the opening quarter, gaining an advantage at midfield through Daniel O’Donovan’s strong play which was supported by the consistency of team captain Alan O’Connor.
Coping well in defence, where county panellist Jamie O’Sullivan was influential at centre-back, they had the ball in the net again in another 10 minutes, the scorer this time being wing-back Conor Dorman. And it was noteworthy that Sam Oaks — who made a solid contribution throughout at corner-forward — was involved in the build-up to each of the goals.
CIT, limited by the unavailability of several key players, would have been looking to Cork star Ciaran Sheehan to inspire them in attack, but in the event the bulk of their scoring was to come from county junior player Cathal Vaughan. Sheehan had come through a tough game with Éire Óg in the intermediate championship on Saturday and while he put in a typically wholehearted display, he was unable to inspire the students to a greater challenge overall.
Nevertheless, they had the capacity to recover from the concession of the early goals to claw their way back — helped by the fact that after Dorman scored, Bishopstown were to be limited to a single point (from Oaks) over the next 13 minutes.
In the interim period, the students benefited from the sturdy play of James Walsh at midfield, along with the probing play of Philip O’Connor and Vaughan (kicking over two 45s) in attack. It saw them just a point adrift in the 22nd minute after the second of two points from O’Connor.
Meanwhile, Bishopstown missed the chance of another goal when Crowley got himself into a good position but lost his footing and while the hard-working Oaks got himself into an even better position to put the ball in the net approaching the interval, he elected to take a point. It saw them turn over with a three-point lead, 2-4 to 0-7.
Obviously determined to raise their standard, Bishopstown again made the better start and they had the added satisfaction of taking a much stronger grip on the play as a consequence of better finishing.
Substitute David Hickey was first to score and was quickly followed by Dorman’s second goal, which had been made by Crowley. And, their greater consistency saw them open up a lead of 11 points before CIT got their first score of the second half. Fittingly, it came through Ciaran Sheehan in the 47th minute, in recognition of his tireless work up and down the field.
However, in another five minutes, Bishopstown had their fourth goal, from Crowley and the only consolation the students gained from their input over the last 10 minutes was an expertly-taken penalty from Cathal Vaughan.
Scorers for Bishopstown: D. Crowley 2-1; C. Dorman 2-0; D. O’Donovan 0-4 frees; S. Oaks 0-3; B. O’Callaghan 0-2; D. Hickey 0-1.
Scores for CIT: C. Vaughan 1-5 (0-2 ‘45’s, 1-2 frees); P. O’Connor 0-2; J. Walsh and C. Sheehan 0-1 each.
BISHOPSTOWN: K. O’Halloran; N. O’Donovan, E. Byrne, I. Jones; C. Dorman, J. O’Sullivan, D. Lester; A. O’Connor (capt..), D. O’Donovan; C. O’Neill, D. Crowley, J. O’Shea, S. Oaks, P. Honohan, F. Ó Deasunaigh.
Subs: D. Hickey for O’Shea (17); B. O’Callaghan for O’Neill (43); E. Costello for O’Connor (56); J. McLoughlin for O’Donovan (58).
CIT: S. Nyhan (Courcey Rovers); P. Kilkenny (Glenbeigh Glencar), J. Collins (St. Mary’s, Cork), J. Cronin (Lisgoold); S. Finn (Glanworth), R. O’Sullivan (Argideen Rangers), D. Leahy (Arravale Rovers); J. Walsh (Knocknagoshel), P. Daly (St. Mary’s, Cork); J. O’Connor (Boherbue), C. Sheehan (Eire Og), C. Vaughan (Uibh Laoighre), J. Corkery (Aghabullogue), P. O’Connor (Cordal), P. Joy (Laune Rangers).
Subs: C. Flanagan (Clyda Rovers) for Joy (22); M. Heffernan (Ballyclough) for Collins (ht); N. O’Doherty (Grenagh) for Corkery (42); N. O’Connor (Grenagh) for Daly (50); M. Daly (Knocknagree) for O’Connor (56).
Referee: Michael Collins (Clonakilty).