The sides were level at 0-8 each with 20 minutes remaining when the city side pushed two clear before sub Ger McGlackin made an instant impact on his introduction, setting up Eoin Byrne for a goal and then firing one of his own, helping to push them seven clear.
With that cushion, the Town were not going to be denied by a Courceys side which managed just three points from play. It wasn’t necessarily a game which will live long in the memory but that was immaterial according to manager Pádraig O’Donoghue.
“The hurling mightn’t have been great,” he said, “but we got everything we could have asked for and more in terms of effort and commitment.
“We knew Courceys were a good team, they took us apart in their place in the league. We knew we had to be at it tonight, I wouldn’t say we were under pressure after losing the first round but it definitely helped to focus the minds a small bit. Ger was outstanding. He was away for a couple of weeks, missed a lot of training since the Barr’s game, but we knew if we threw him in he could do a good job.”
The first-half was disappointing, the sides level on four occasions before points from Thomas and Brian Murray gave Bishopstown a 0-6 to 0-4 interval lead. The brothers, midfield and corner-forward respectively, combined for five of the six, the other being a long-range free from goalkeeper Ken O’Halloran.
With Diarmuid Lester doing a good sweeping job as Courceys withdrew attackers deep, Bishopstown looked comfortable in defence, though Daire Lordan – scorer of eight of his side’s total of 11 – was able to punish fouls with some good frees to keep his side in it.
Points from midfielders Dan Lordan and Gavin Moloney had Courceys level within two minutes of the restart, and then Thomas Murray and Daire Lordan exchanged points to leave it tied again. But from there the two sides’ fortunes became divergent. Had O’Halloran not saved well from Niall Murphy, Courceys would have gone in front for the first time but instead Thomas Murray’s fifth and sixth points pushed Bishopstown clear again before McGlackin’s striking intervention.
For the first goal, he picked out Byrne with an excellent cross-field pass and the wing-forward’s bouncing shot deceived Courcey Rovers goalkeeper Stephen Nyhan, who got a touch with his hurley but couldn’t keep the ball out.
While Daire Lordan responded, McGlackin scored Bishopstown’s second goal, producing a deft overhead flick to send a high, dropping ball to the net. They were now 2-9 to 0-8 in front and never likely to be overhauled.
Shane O’Neill – described as “different class” by O’Donoghue – was excellent throughout the second-half and he did as much as anyone to ensure Courceys couldn’t find a route back. Michael Power might have had a third goal but Nyhan pulled off a super save to deny him, though it mattered little. A city derby fourth round with Glen Rovers is the prize.
T Murray (0-6, 3fs), G McGlackin (1-1), B Murray (0-3), E Byrne (1-0), K O’Halloran (f), P Honohan (0-1 each).
Daire Lordan (0-8, 7fs, 1 65), Dan Lordan, N Murphy, G Moloney (0-1 each).
K O’Halloran; M Driscoll, D Lester, C Luttrell; K O’Driscoll, S O’Neill, B Lane; P Honohan, T Murray; P O’Donoghue, D Huckey, E Byrne; B Murray, D Crowley, M Power.
J O’Sullivan for O’Driscoll (13, inj), G McGlackin for Hickey (40), R Ryan for Honohan (59), C O’Brien for Crowley (60).
S Nyhan; J Duggan, G Moloney, D Duggan; O Gately, V Hurley, T Lordan; G Moloney, Dan Lordan; S Moloney, J Murphy, Daire Lordan; S Hayes, N Murphy, J O’Reilly.
S Holland for O’Reilly (40), J O’Neill for J Murphy (44), S McCarthy for S Moloney (54).
B Murphy (Carrigtwohill).