Focused Dripsey shake off Grenagh

Dripsey 1-15 Grenagh 1-12: Just 12 months after they endured a 14-point loss to Grenagh and subsequent relegation play-off with St Catherine’s, Dripsey will be contesting the quarter-finals of the Cork IHC, against Kildorrery or Éire Óg.

Focused Dripsey shake off Grenagh

They had to come from behind in Donoughmore on Saturday but they were able to up the ante in the second half and keep their championship hopes alive.

An impressive display of accuracy from captain Diarmuid O’Riordan inspired this victory in a passionate all mid-Cork fourth-round game. Almost flawless from dead balls, his 12-point haul — six in either half — was central to the win. Dripsey also had to overturn a five-point deficit, not taking the lead until the fourth quarter.

It had looked in the early stages that Grenagh (county semi-finalists in 2014) might emerge winners as they raced into a 1-3 to 0-1 lead in the opening nine minutes. With Sean Bourke’s midfield work-rate already significant, the goal came from corner forward Seamus Cronin after an initial shot from Tom Kenny was parried by goalkeeper Aidan Buckley.

However, Dripsey cut the gap to three points as Grenagh suffered a barren spell. As well as the accurate O’Riordan, the contributions of Conor Hayes, Pat O’Riordan and Aidan Murray were crucial. By the interval, the lead was reduced to a point thanks to a brace of frees from O’Riordan — one rousing effort from distance — to leave the half-time score at 1-5 to 0-7.

Grenagh maintained their dominance after the restart. But proceedings took a dramatic turn towards the end of the third quarter when Dripsey sub Dean O’Sullivan rifled over a point. Immediately from the next play, David O’Sullivan slotted home a goal and all of a sudden they had moved 1-9 to 1-7 to the good.

Dripsey stretched that lead to four points thanks to O’Riordan and Mark O’Sullivan. With Tom Kenny supplying all but one of Grenagh’s second-half points, they still battled gallantly and with the match entering its final few minutes trailed 1-13 to 1-12.

Diarmuid O’Riordan then combined with Hayes and Michael O’Riordan to strike a vital point, and when he converted a free in the third minute of stoppage time following a foul on Stevie Murray, they had done enough.

Dripsey were reduced to 14 men near the end after David O’Sullivan was red-carded.

Scorers for Dripsey:

D O’Riordan (0-12, seven frees, one 65), David O’Sullivan (1-0), Dean O’Sullivan, M O’Sullivan and P O’Riordan (0-1 each).

Scorers for Grenagh:

T Kenny (0-8, four frees), S Cronin (1-1), U Duggan (0-2), S Bourke (0-1).

DRIPSEY:

A Buckley; B Kelleher, L Murphy, Daniel Buckley; S Murray, J Carey, A Murray; C Hayes, M O’Riordan; S Burke, D O’Riordan (Capt), P O’Riordan; David O’Sullivan, M O’Sullivan, Davy Buckley.

Subs:

Dean O’Sullivan for Davy Buckley (35), J O’Riordan for L Murphy (55).

GRENAGH:

M Kenny; P McCarthy, R Dorgan, P Sheehan; N Doherty, G Russell, K Cummins; S Bourke, T Walsh; U Duggan, T Kenny (Capt), C O’Sullivan; S Cronin, S Coleman, P McSweeney.

Subs:

E O’Donovan for R Dorgan (25 inj), G Murphy for S Coleman (40 inj).

Referee:

Dave O’Farrell Jnr (Mitchelstown).

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