The Rockies looked in big trouble early in the second period as half-time Na Piarsaigh substitution Evan Sheehan struck two goals with his first two touches of the sliotar. That propelled the Na Piarsaigh five clear, 2-11 to 0-12, but from there to the finish, Blackrock struck nine points to Na Piarsaigh’s three.
Five of those nine points were delivered by Michael O’Halloran. His fifth free levelled proceedings at 2-13 to 0-19, before converting a long-range dead-ball effort out on the North Stand sideline to return Fergal Ryan’s side in front.
An Eoin Moynihan ’65 on 57 minutes – their first score in 13 minutes – brought Na Piarsaigh back on level terms. The stalemate was brief as Michael O’Halloran popped up the winner to end Blackrock’s 17-year wait for a county final appearance.
Great atmosphere at the club for the semi final. We're on the march down to the Pairc now. Rockies Abú pic.twitter.com/9Inq86aezW— Blackrock Hurling (@RockiesCork) October 8, 2017
An entertaining first-half that saw the teams level on five occasions ended with Blackrock in front by the minimum at the break, 0-12 to 0-11. It was a deserved lead as the Rockies found their scores much easier come by. They had a decent spread too, with half-back Niall Cashman, both midfielders and four of their starting six forwards finding the target from place.
For Na Piarsaigh, Padraig Guest supplied five of their 0-11 tally, all but one of his contribution arriving from the placed ball. Keith Buckley was also lively, raising three white flags. Young Sheehan aside, too few Na Piarsaigh forwards imposed themselves upon the resumption.
Back in the final yessssss boy— Blackrock Hurling (@RockiesCork) October 8, 2017
M O’Halloran (0-8, 0-6 frees); G Regan (0-4); S O’Keeffe, A O’Callaghan (0-2 each); N Cashman, D O’Farrell, S Murphy, D Cashman, L O’Sullivan (0-1 each).
E Sheehan (2-1); P Guest (0-5, 0-4 frees); K Buckley (0-4, 0-1 free); E Moynihan (0-2, 0-2 ‘65s); S Forde, C Joyce (0-1 each).
P O’Sullivan; Adam Dennehy, E Gunning, E Moynihan; Anthony Dennehy, C Joyce, C Buckley; A Brady, K Forde; A Hogan, S Forde, P Rourke; K Buckley, D Lee, P Guest.
E Sheehan for Forde (HT); G Joyce for Hogan (38); E Hanifin for Guest (51); K Forde for Brady (56); Blackrock: G Connolly; J Cashman, D Stokes, G Norberg; A Murphy, E Smith, N Cashman; S Murphy, D O’Farrell; S O’Keeffe, A O’Callaghan, G Regan; M O’Halloran, C Cormack, J Sullivan.
L O’Sullivan for J O’Sullivan (37); D Cashman for Cormack (42); D Meaney for A Murphy (43); T Deasy for L O’Sullivan (61)
J Larkin (Douglas).