It was quality football all the way from a Na Piarsaigh outfit that battled through a relegation play-off last year. The management team of Stephen O’Sullivan, Sean Óg Ó hAilpín, Robert Coughlan and Darren Mannix are also the backroom staff for the club’s senior hurlers. O’Sullivan says the dual role is paying off.
“When we came on board we were only going to do the hurling. But we said we need access to players 24/7. A few people were asking us were we mad but you can see the fruits of it. If the players don’t turn up for football, they don’t play the hurling. It is as simple as that. It is a blanket rule. We don’t care who you are.
“We asked the lads to buy in to what we were trying to do. We have given football the respect it deserves. We lost the first round of the hurling, but it was probably one of our better performances. We won’t have football now for another couple of months, we can go away and get ready for the hurling.”
Na Piarsaigh went about their business from the off, scoring three points inside the first four minutes from Alan Keating, Keith Buckley and Dayne Lee. By the end of the hour, all six forwards had played their part with Padraig Gould, Cian O’Mahony and Shaun Warren on the scoresheet too. After 30 minutes, the city north-siders led 0-7 to 0-1.
The Naomh Abán point was from a Micheál Ó Cróinín free in the ninth minute. However, the former Cork player was troubled by injury and went off late in the match. As well, midfielder Séamus Ó Laoghaire was forced off injured after 10 minutes, while centre-back Micheál Ó Liatháin didn’t start because of injury. All is not lost though for the Ballyvourney men as they go through to the next round versus one of the winners from 2B.
Naomh Abán began the second-half with a Colm de hÍde point. But they didn’t score again from play. To add to their woes, defender Muiris Ó Donnchú received a black card, while Liam MacSuibhne was sent off after getting a yellow and black around the three-quarter mark.
Meanwhile, Na Piarsaigh motored on. Defensively they were rock-solid, particularly Eddie Gunning, Adam Dennehy and Alan Brady. Midfield linked up well, providing plenty of scoring opportunities for the forwards.
K Buckley, A Keating (2 frees) and C O’Mahony (0-3 each), S Warren (0-2), P Gould and D Lee (0-1 each).
M Ó Cróinín (free), S MacCárthaigh (free) and C de hÍde (0-1 each).
K Waters; E Gunning, A Dennehy, E Moynihan; C Buckley, A Brady, E Hanifin; P Rourke, S Forde; P Gould, K Buckley, D Lee; S Warren, C O’Mahony, A Keating.
J Gardiner for D Lee (33 inj), G Joyce for P Gould (50).
S Ó hUidhir; M Ó Donn chú, S Ó Mathúna, T Ó hAilíosa; R de hÍde, S Ó Riada, L MacSuibhne; C de hÍde, S Ó Laoghaire; D Ó Ceallaigh, M Ó Cróinín, N Ó Ceallaigh; S MacCárthaigh, M Ó Duinnín, D Ó Ceocháin.
É Ó Críodáin for S Ó Laoghaire (10 inj), D Ó Scanaill for M Ó Donnchú (BC 34), A Ó Loingsigh for S MacCárthaigh (47), D Ó Donnchú for M Ó Cróinín (56 inj).
James Bermingham (Bride Rovers).