Cronin goal gets Glen rolling

Glen Rovers 1-13 Na Piarsaigh 0-11
IS something stirring in Glen Rovers? Cloyne, now neighbours and great rivals Na Piarsaigh conquered, the spirit of the Glen looks to have re-awakened.

The joy in the dressing room after the Glen’s Evening Echo Cork SHC third round victory over Na Piarsaigh at Páirc Uí Chaoimh on Saturday was reminiscent of days of yore. And no-one was happier than team boss Tomás Mulcahy, who wasn’t short of words.

In essence, a 36th minute strike from substitute Eoghan Cronin was the catalyst for the Glen’s morale boosting win and Mulcahy was quick to praise the youngster: “Sure, Eoghan was disappointed not to start. So too was Shane Kennefick and Glendon Hackett. But, as I said to Eoghan, the same 15 won’t finish the game, you’ll get your chance. And he took it, a great strike from a narrow angle.

“I always felt the first goal would be a turning point and it lifted us.

Definitely the first-half was terrible. Blame it on nerves, whatever, but this was a big game for both teams and I’m proud of the way the players lifted it in the second-half.”

He was right about the first-half. Anyone who came to see sparks fly were sadly disappointed in a 30 minute spell that was little more than a yawn. Poor shooting – Na Piarsaigh shot 10 wides to Glen’s nine – and no real contender for a man of the match accolade made for very poor fare, the usually reliable Patrick Horgan managing just one late point from a free, missing two earlier efforts.

The Glen did make the better start. Diarmuid Dorris just failed to get a touch that would surely have been a goal, but points from David Busteed and Kieran O’Callaghan gave them an early lead. But, with Sean Óg Ó hAilpín getting a grip on the midfield exchanges and James Feehan staying tight on Horgan, Na Piarsaigh were level after the opening quarter at 0-2 apiece thanks to points from Pádraig Gould and a Colin Lynch free.

It didn’t get any better in the second quarter as two nervous sides seemed lacking in self belief. Graham Callinan missed a great chance to put the Glen back in front and Stephen J O’Sullivan made them pay with the lead point for Na Piarsaigh in the 23rd minute.

It was dreadful stuff as Horgan at last got on the scoreboard, levelling things up with a free as the half-time whistle loomed. However, Colin Lynch pounced to give Na Piarsaigh a 0-4 to 0-3 interval lead, a nice point in tight surroundings.

It just had to get better and, thankfully, it did. Horgan, now in the corner, at last showed what he could do with a smashing point. The game suddenly opened up, an injection of pace, the nerves quickly abating.

Horgan got another point from a free only for Colin Lynch and Sean Óg Ó hAilpín to reply. But, then came substitute Cronin’s 36th minute goal, after good work by Steve McDonnell, a score calculated to lift the Glen and win them the game.

With Callinan now superb, covering acres of ground, John Anderson growing in stature, David Goggin keeping John Gardiner busy up front — scoring two fine points — and Donal Cronin sitting on Ó hAilpín, the Glen began to blossom.

And, with Na Piarsaigh continuing to spurn good point chances, the battle was going the Glen’s way as they led 1-8 to 0-7 entering the final quarter.

But you get nothing easy from Na Piarsaigh who battled right back into it again. Ronan Groegor and Colin Lynch with a free made it a two point game and, had Lynch not put a ’65 wide, that lead would have been down to one.

With two minutes left on the clock there was still just those two points separating the sides — time to stand up and be counted now. And it was the Glen, showing real spirit and far more urgency, who responded best as point from John Anderson, Doris and O’Callaghan made it a very sweet win for the Blackpool camp leaving Bill Kelleher and Na Piarsaigh to bemoan a 17-wide tally.

Scorers for Glen Rovers: P. Horgan 0-6 (0-4 frees), E. Cronin 1-0, K. O’Callaghan and D. Goggin 0-2 each, D. Busteed, J. Anderson, D. Dorris 0-1 each.

Na Piarsaigh: C. Lynch 0-5 (0-4 frees), S. J. O’Sullivan 0-2, P. Gould, S. Óg Ó hAilpín, C. O’Sullivan, R. Groegor 0-1 each.

GLEN ROVERS: D. Ellis; B. Moylan, N. Horgan, G. Moylan; G. Callinan, P O’Brien, J. Anderson; S. McDonnell, D. Cronin; K. O’Callaghan, D. Goggin, D. Cunningham; D. Busteed, P. Horgan, D, Dorris.

Subs: E. Cronin for Busteed (30m), S. Kennefick for McDonnell (50m).

NA PIARSAIGH: M O’Sullivan; R. Healy, J. Feehan, D. Mannix; R. Groegor, J. Gardiner, D. Gardiner; S. Óg Ó hAilpín, S.J. O’Sullivan; T. Ó hAilpín, S. Glasgow, P, Gould; C. Lynch, G, Sheehan, T. Lynch.

Subs: C. O’Sullivan for Glasgow (ht), M. Prendergast for Sheehan (40m), S. G. O’Sullivan for T. Lynch (43m).

Referee: D. Kirwan (Éire Óg).


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