Erin’s Own 4-21 Bride Rovers 2-13: Erin’s Own had little difficulty in seeing off Bride Rovers in the first round of the Cork SHC at Páirc Uí Rinn yesterday.

By far the superior team, once last year’s quarter-finalists (defeated by county champions Imokilly after a replay) got into their stride, there was no stopping them.

Inspired by a hat-trick of goals from Maurice O’Carroll and an incredible strike from Robbie O’Flynn, there was no way a relatively young Rathcormac side could work their way back.

Their hopes took a significant blow when O’Carroll and O’Flynn scored killer goals in a two-minute spell at the end of the first-half. This opened up a nine-point interval lead, which laid a strong foundation as they turned to play with the wind.

“There was nothing in it for the first 20 minutes,” said Erin’s Own manager Barry O’Neill. “We got the goals, that was the difference, especially the times we got them. When the lads got the opportunity, they took them. We encourage them to do that, as well.

“It was important when we came out in the second-half to continue to move on after that. We had a good finish to the first-half and that’s what put daylight between ourselves and Bride Rovers.”

The early stages were close. Despite Erin’s Own moving 1-3 to 0-1 ahead, Bride Rovers rallied and, after quarter of an hour, they trailed by the minimum. O’Carroll struck his first goal as early as the sixth minute after he profited from good play by Stephen Horgan, and then points from Mark Collins put them in a good position.

Bride Rovers, in spite of being a bit wayward, battled back. Barry Johnson was accurate from frees and there were nice points from Brian Roche, Cian O’Connor, William Finnegan and Michael Collins. By the 20th minute, the scores were deadlocked 1-5 to 0-8.

However, that was as good as it got for Bride Rovers. Eoghan Murphy, whose tally would rise to an excellent 12 points, sent over a free and a 65m and O’Flynn added another point, but it was the two-goal blitz in the 30th and 31st minute that set them on their way.

Kieran Murphy delivered a long ball to O’Carroll for the first. Collins was the provider for the second, which was rounded off superbly by Cork senior player O’Flynn from along the end line.

There was little goalkeeper Jerome O’Driscoll could do to stop either. O’Driscoll is a great servant to the club having played outfield, but is now wearing the number one jersey.

A string of scores immediately after the resumption meant there was no let-up from Erin’s Own. They stretched their lead, with points from O’Carroll, Eoghan Murphy and wing-back Stephen Cronin. When O’Carroll completed his hat-trick five minutes in, the scoreboard had a very one-sided look (4-11 to 0-9).

O’Carroll’s goal came from another free-flowing move involving sub Andrew Power and Collins. It was also at this juncture that Erin’s Own registered their first wide. Shay Bowen then pulled off a terrific save from Brian Roche, when a goal was badly needed by Rovers.

Roche eventually beat the custodian, Rovers’ first score from play in the second-half coming eight minutes from time. Their only scores prior to this in the second 30 minutes were three Finnegan points from placed balls.

The Erin’s Own lead was 17 points before Barry Johnson drilled home a 20-metre free with two minutes remaining. Fourteen points was the winning margin. Bride Rovers will now have to play either Na Piarsaigh or Bandon in round two, while the winners will enjoy a break before their next match.

“It is like two seasons,” said O’Neill. “We were building up to this game, and then we will have to build up to the next one, which will be later in the summer.”

Scorers for Erin’s Own:

E Murphy (0-12, 0-7 frees, 0-2 65s), M O’Carroll (3-1), M Collins (0-5), R O’Flynn (1-1), S Cronin and K Murphy (0-1 each).

Scorers for Bride Rovers:

B Johnson (1-4 frees), W Finnegan (0-5 frees), B Roche (1-1), C O’Connor, C Ryan and M Collins (0-1 each).

ERIN’S OWN:

S Bowen; C O’Connor, C Dooley, P Fitzgerald; S Cronin, J Sheehan (Capt), C O’Mahony; S Kelly, S Murphy; R O’Flynn, M O’Carroll, M Collins; S Horgan, K Murphy, E Murphy.

Subs:

I O’Mahony for C O’Mahony (8 inj), A Power for C O’Connor (half-time inj), D Twomey for C Dooley (BS 40-42).

BRIDE ROVERS:

J O’Driscoll; J Pratt, B Walsh, F Collins; B Johnson (Capt), B Murphy, S Walsh; S O’Connor, E Roche; C O’Connor, B Roche, D Dooley; W Flanagan, M Collins, C Ryan.

Referee:

David Copps (Ballyhea).


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