Glen Rovers blast past Na Piarsaigh into a county semi-final as top seed – Denis Hurley
Glen Rovers 2-21 Na Piarsaigh 0-12
GLEN Rovers secured a semi-final spot in the Co-op SuperStores Cork Premier SHC as they powered past Na Piarsaigh in Group C at Páirc Uí Rinn on Saturday evening.
Going into the game, the Glen and city rivals Blackrock each had scoring differences of 16 points but a 15-point victory for the Glen ensured they finished with the best record and top seeding.
However, despite the loss for Na Piarsaigh, St Finbarr’s win over Carrigtwohill ensured that the Fairhill side progressed to the quarter-finals, where they will play UCC, who have emerged from the divisions/colleges section.
Beaten by Imokilly in last year’s final, the Glen are now favourites in many people’s eyes and they achieved a third group win in impressive fashion, with Patrick Horgan scoring 13 points while Simon Kennefick contributed 1-4. In defence, Robert Downey was imperious.
The Glen began well with points from Horgan and Dean Brosnan while Piarsaigh struggled in front of the posts, firing three early wides and seeing a free come back off the post.
While Craig Hanifin got them of the mark, Horgan and Simon Kennefick replied. The latter’s point came after a searching crossfield ball from Downey and it was the right half-back who was responsible for their goal on 13 minutes as a delivery from him travelled all the way to the net.
They were 1-5 to 0-2 in front at the water-break and they should have added more goals on the resumption but Kennefick was denied by a good Anthony Dennehy hook and Conor Dorris’s ground-shot was just wide.
With Evan Sheehan beginning to make his present felt in attack, Na Piarsaigh did finish the half strongly, scoring four of the last six points, while the Glen needed a great David Dooling block to deny Dan Gunning.
Even so, last year’s runners-up retired with a 1-11 to 0-8 advantage and they dominated the third quarter, with Simon Kennefick impressing as they moved 1-15 to 0-10 clear. Horgan’s 11th point of the night put them nine clear after the resumption and, though, Sheehan replied with his eighth for Piarsaigh, Kennefick nabbed another Glen goal on 54, benefiting after a great catch and run by Mark Dooley.
Kennefick, Dooley and Horgan augmented the advantage even further and they could even afford a Horgan penalty miss – the ball hitting the post and going wide – after Brosnan was fouled. They had done enough, with Horgan’s 13th point of the night franking the win and an overall scoring-difference of 31.
They now have a wait before playing Sarsfields or Erin’s Own in the semi-finals.
Scorers for Glen Rovers: P Horgan 0-13 (0-10 f), S Kennefick 1-4, R Downey 1-1, D Brosnan, L Coughlan, M Dooley 0-1 each. Na Piarsaigh: E Sheehan 0-9 (0-4 f), S Forde, C Hanifin, G Joyce 0-1 each.
GLEN ROVERS: C Hickey; S McDonnell, D Dooling, A Lynch; R Downey, B Moylan, D Noonan; D Cronin, A O’Donovan; D Brosnan, P Horgan, M Dooley; C Dorris, S Kennefick, L Coughlan. Subs: D Tynan for Dooley (42-47, blood), L Horgan for Coughlan (47).
NA PIARSAIGH: L Donovan; A Dennehy, K Power, C Buckley; G Joyce, C Joyce, D Connery; K Forde, K Buckley; C Hanifin, E Sheehan, K Moynihan; D Gunnin, P Guest, S Forde. Subs: E Hanifin for Gunning (43), G Healy for Buckley (46), D Lee for Moynihan (51), D Maguire for C Hanifin (60).
Referee: C Lane (Banteer).