Second-half goals decisive as Na Piarsaigh power past Glen

THOSE expecting fireworks in the City Division U21 hurling championship final at Ballinlough yesterday between neighbours and great rivals Na Piarsaigh and Glen Rovers were left bitterly disappointed.

Indeed there was hardly a spark as Na Piarsaigh more than justified getting the Seandún county championship nomination with a sweet victory over the holders. On a bitter cold morning for hurling, Na Piarsaigh always looked up for this one, and despite fielding eight minors, out-hurled the Glen, with second-half goals from Shane Duggan and Pádraig O’Rourke working the oracle.

In a tame and often pedestrian opening half, scores were at a premium and the shooting by both sides dismal, Na Piarsaigh firing 10 wides to the Glen’s six.

It was the Fairhill side that took the lead in the opening minute with a Duggan point, but Ian Whitty should have had a Glen goal, the excellent Adam Dennehy getting a timely block to his shot, the ensuing ‘65 proving fruitless. Piarsaigh’s hurling was faster and crisper and it was no surprise when Kieran Waters doubled their lead in the eighth minute. But then the Glen hit a purple patch with three points in 90 seconds, two from youngster Paul Virgo, a minor again next year, and one from Kelvin Healy, and it was 0-3 apiece after the opening quarter.

Na Piarsaigh’s free taking was dismal, Pádraig Gould missing two chances and his deputy Alan Kenneally another.

But they finished the half strongly with points from Eoghan Moynihan and Adam Dennehy to lead 0-6 to 0-4 at the break.

Five minutes into the second-half the Glen got a real tonic when Dean Brosnan put Eoghan O’Flaherty clear and he beat excellent Piarsaigh ‘keeper Alan Keating to put his side ahead.

But this is a good Na Piarsaigh side, well drilled, with excellent players, as points from Kenneally, a Moynihan free, Gould and Cummin powered them into a 0-13 to 1-6 lead entering the final quarter.

With Liam Martin and Adam Dennehy excellent in defence, Moynihan and Gould solid at midfield and Kenneally and Duggan always sniffing up front, Na Piarsaigh were looking good.

Despite some good solid Glen displays from Derek Moylan in defence, Pat Monson around midfield and Paul Virgo, who battled hard up font, there was no stopping Na Piarsaigh who finished off the game with two sweet goals.

The first came in the 49th minute when the Glen defence failed to deal with Ian McDonnell’s sideline cut and Duggan seized his opportunity with a fine goal.

The second came four minutes later when Moynihan’s long free was broken down by Duggan and O’Rourke did the rest.

There was no way back for the Glen now though man of the match, keeper Alan Keating did have to make a fine save to deny Virgo a goal and Brosnan lashed another chance well wide.

Scorers for Na Piarsaigh: S. Duggan 1-2, P.O’Rourke 1-0, E. Moynihan 0-3 (0-2 frees), K. Waters, A. Kenneally, P. Cummin 0-2 each, Adam. Dennehy. P. Gould 0-1 each.

Glen Rovers: P. Virgo 0-6 (0-3 frees), E. O’Flaherty 1-1. K. Healy and D. Brosnan (free) 0-1 each.

NA PIARSAIGH:A. Keating; C. Buckley, L. Martin, Anthony Dennehy; K. Buckley, Adam Dennehy, C. Joyce; E. Moynihan, P. Cummin; P.Gould, P. O’Rourke, K. Waters; A. Kenneally, I. McDonnell, S. Duggan.

Subs: D. McMahon for Waters (47)m, L. Connery for Joyce (59m).

GLEN ROVERS: C. Hickey; D. Moylan, K. McHenry, J. Mulcahy; R. Virgo, S. McDonnell, D. O’Toole; P. Monson, C. Byrnes; A. Evans, E. O’Flaherty. D. Brosnan; P. Virgo, R. Whitty, K. Healy.

Subs: B. O’Sullivan for Byrnes (ht), J. Busteed for Evans (48m), D. McCarthy for R. Virgo (52), A. Hegarty for O’Flaherty (56).

Referee: B. Coniry (Crosshaven).

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