Na Piarsaigh 1-6
BRENDAN KENNEALLY REPORTS
MACROOM ended their season on a positive note with a three-point win over Na Piarsaigh in the Premier IFC relegation play-off at a wet and windy Ovens on Sunday afternoon.
Having elected to let Macroom have the benefit of the elements in the first half, Na Piarsaigh must have been pleased to be within a point of the Mid Cork men at half time, 1-5 to 1-4. When they drew level within six minutes of the resumption it appeared likely that they could go on and maintain their premier intermediate status.
In fairness to Macroom, they did not concede. With their old brigade of Fintan Goold, Seán Kiely, Rory Buckley and Tony Dineen leading the way with assistance from Mark Corrigan, Don Creedon, Eolan O’Leary and Alan Quinn of a younger vintage, they succeeded in blunting the edge of the Na Piarsaigh challenge. After David Horgan put them in front in the 40th minute from a mark, they put in a massive effort in the final quarter to gain a hard-earned victory with Seán Kiely kicking over their final three points.
Macroom, playing into the northern goal, had a great start, Eolan O’Leary with a first-minute point and Fintan Goold with another a minute later. With this duo adding a further point apiece it saw Macroom lead 0-4 to 0-0 after seven minutes. Na Piarsaigh settled and free-taker Alan Hogan got his side on the scoreboard in the 13th minute. He repeated the exercise a minute later and added a third in the 19th minute. Piarsaigh goalkeeper Alan O’Sullivan made a super save from Kiely at the expense of a 45, which Fintan Goold kicked over in the 22nd minute.
Sixty seconds later Macroom were rocked by a goal for the city side, Kevin O’Meara slipping the ball wide of goalkeeper Brendan O’Connell. Luckily for the winners, in their next attack Eolan O’Leary booted to the Piarsaigh’s net from close range after Johnny Murphy’s shot had been blocked in a crowded goalmouth. Another point from Hogan before the break left Macroom leading by a single point, 1-5 to 1-4.
Ominously for Macroom they conceded a free in the 36th minute, which Hogan kicked over to level the score. Macroom regained the lead in the 40th minute when David Horgan called a mark just inside the 45 and sent over in style. Seán Kiely doubled their lead on 41, and then opened up a three-point gap in the 48th minute. Na Piarsaigh hit back with a point from Kevin Moynihan in the 55th minute, but Kiely had the final score of the game to put Macroom three points clear and steer them clear of relegation.
Macroom: E O’Leary 1-2; F Gould (1 45), S Kiely 0-3 each; D Horgan 0-1 (1 m).
Na Piarsaigh: A Hogan 0-5f; K O’Meara 1-0; K Moynihan 0-1.
Macroom: B O’Connell; K Condon, R Buckley, D Creedon; J O’Riordan, T Dineen, M Corrigan; C Dinneen, D Horgan; S Kiely, F Goold, E O’Leary; B O’Gorman, A Quinn, J Murphy.
Subs: M Hunt for O’Gorman (41), D Twomey for Condon (inj, 43), E O’Gorman for O’Riordan (51).
Na Piarsaigh: A O’Sullivan; C Long, E Gunning, A Burke; SP Cooke, P Rourke, D McGuire; K Moynihan, G Joyce; K Buckley, S Forde, C Hogan; K O’Meara, Alan Hogan, R O’Sullivan.
Sub: G Healy for Rourke (42, inj).
Referee: J Forbes (Dohenys).