Éire Óg 0-12 St Michael’s 0-6: Éire Óg marched on to the quarter-final of the Cork PIFC with a deserved victory over St Michael’s in difficult conditions at Páirc Uí Rinn last night.
Beaten semi-finalists last year, ousted by Carrigaline after a replay, Éire Óg had to fight hard against gritty St Michael’s but finished with a flourish and few would deny they were the better side.
Team manager Harry O’Reilly was delighted, noting that the conditions were difficult and, as such, goal chances were hard to come by. “It was very slippery out there and goal chances were at a premium. But we’re happy to have taken our points and the win.”
Éire Óg started out with intent but hit two wides in the opening minutes before St Michael’s composed themselves and struck back with a brace of points from midfielder Andrew Murphy.
Daniel Goulding did strike back for Éire Óg before Eoghan Buckley restored the St Michael’s advantage and Éire Óg supporters were frustrated to see another two bad wides in quick succession.
Kevin Hallissey did, however, spark a revival for Éire Óg who went on to tack on five points in a real purple patch. Goulding pointed from two frees, Daniel O’Connell and both John Dineen and Liam Sheehan got the other scores.
Indeed that Dineen point could instead have been a goal for Sheehan, whose blasting shot came back off the crossbar to Dineen who at least got a point to compensate for the missed goal.
At 0-7 to 0-3, Éire Óg held a deserved lead, but they conceded another point to Eoghan Buckley and led by just three at the interval.
The thunderstorms and accompanying heavy rain that punctuated first half left the surface greasy and made it difficult for both sides to control possession.
Éire Óg did have the better start with points from Dineen and Goulding (free) to open up a five-point gap, but the introduction of Paul Cronin helped the city side hit back, the substitute knocking over frees in the 11th and 13th minutes to bring the deficit back to half time levels.
And so the game entered the final quarter with everything still to play for. Éire Óg had the majority of possession but dogged St Michael’s contested everything and the game remained in the balance as the minutes rolled by.
Then it turned in favour of Éire Óg when Liam Sheehan put four between the team and St Michael’s were reduced to 14 when Eoghan Buckley was sent off after a second yellow card. Then, Aidan O’Conadded two scores to push the lead out to six points.
Scorers Éire Óg:
D Goulding 0-4 (0-2 free), J Dineen, L Sheehan, A O’Connor 0-2 each, K Hallissey, D O’Connell 0-1 each.
A Murphy, E Buckley, P. Cronin 0-2 (0-1 free) each.
C Kelly, S McCarthy, J Mullins, C O’Mahony, D O’Herlihy, A O’Mahony, M O’Shea, L Murphy, F O’Rourke, L Sheehan, K Hallissey, D O’Connor, D Goulding, A O’Connor, J Dineen.
Sub. J Kelleher for D O’Connor (36, injured)
C Denn, K O’Sullivan, A Nolan, D O’Shea, E Hegarty, A O’Callaghan, A Giltinan, A Murphy, P Mac Deisigh, C Kilcoyne, T Gberevbie, M Drummond, M Mulconry, E Buckley, K Hegarty.
Subs. D Meaney for A Giltinan and P Cronin for T Gberevbie (both half time), L O’Sullivan for M Drummond (39), E Hickey for C Kilcoyne (48).
Referee. M Murphy (Bride Rovers).
A minute’s silence was observed for the late Blackrock and Cork hurling legend John Horgan.
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