The champions of 2020, Blackrock, are back in the Co-Op Superstores Cork Premier SHC final after seeing off Erin’s Own in Páirc Uí Chaoimh today.
They laid down a serious marker with this stellar performance, no doubt mindful that when these teams met last year, victory went the way of their opponents.
They will take on the winners of the second semi-final this afternoon between Newtownshandrum and St Finbarr’s.
Erin’s Own - who went straight to the semi-final after topping their group - were competitive in the opening half, but once the Louis Mulqueen managed team gained a foothold early in the second-half, there was only going to be one winner. They moved up the gears with all three goals arriving in the second period from Tadhg Deasy, Michael O’Halloran and Robbie Cotter.
Erin’s Own, with the wind in the first-half, started with a Robbie O’Flynn point in the first minute - he was a standout player scoring 12 points. They raced into a 0-3 to 0-1 lead after just five minutes through James O’Flynn and an Eoghan Murphy free.
Blackrock went with Cotter and Alan Connolly in their inside forward line and when Connolly picked off his second point the deficit was reduced to one.
The Glounthaune side kept the scoreboard moving in the right direction and with 10 minutes gone, they were five points to four in front. Grateful too, to James O’Flynn for an interception on goal.
Blackrock were better at creating opportunities and looked dangerous every time the sliotar went down field. They took the lead momentarily, but when wing-back Dave Twomey, Robbie O’Flynn (sublime point) and Eoghan Murphy (free) split the posts, Erin’s Own moved back in front, 0-8 to 0-6.
Approaching the final 10 minutes of the half, the city team recovered well to outhit their opponents six points to three - Connolly, Deasy and Cotter efforts ensuring Blackrock went to the dressing-room with a narrow advantage, 0-12 to 0-11.
Soon after the reset, Blackrock made their first move when John Cashman intercepted the ball and his measured pass to Deasy was drilled low to the far corner of the net.
While Robbie O’Flynn kept Erin’s Own in contention, O’Halloran worked a second Blackrock goal at the three-quarter mark, 2-16 to 0-16.
Try as they might, Martin Bowen’s men couldn’t find a way through the Blackrock defence.
As the clock was counting down, Blackrock mounted another attack, this time it was Cotter who billowed the net four minutes from time.
A Connolly (0-9, 0-2 frees, 0-1 65), T Deasy (1-4), R Cotter (1-3), M O’Halloran (1-2), M O’Keeffe (0-2), D Meaney (0-1).
: R O’Flynn (0-12, 0-5 frees), E Murphy (frees) and B Ramsey (0-2 each), D Twomey, J O’Flynn, C Coakley, K Murphy and M O’Carroll (0-1 each).
: G Connolly; S Murphy, J Cashman (J-Capt), C O’Brien; Cathal Cormack, A O’Callaghan, N Cashman; D Meaney, M O’Keeffe; M O’Halloran, T Deasy, S O’Keeffe (J-Capt); R Cotter, A Connolly, K O’Keeffe.
Subs: D O’Farrell for K O’Keeffe (48), Ciarán Cormack for S O’Keeffe (54), G Norberg for A O’Callaghan (57), G O’Regan for A Connolly (58), I O’Keeffe for M O’Halloran (59).
: S Bowen; C O’Connor (J-Capt), C Dooley, J O’Carroll; D Twomey, J O’Flynn, A Moynihan; S Kelly, C Coakley; M O’Carroll, S Guilfoyle, K Murphy; Conor Lenihan, R O’Flynn (J-Capt), E Murphy.
Subs: Oran O’Regan for E Murphy (half-time), R Twomey for S Kelly (40), Cathal Lenihan for Conor Lenihan (46), B Ramsey for S Guilfoyle (49).
: Ciarán O’Regan (Ballyhea).