Goals key as Bandon avenge quarter-final loss
Na Piarsaigh 0-15
DENIS HURLEY REPORTS
SEAMUS Lawton is no stranger to high achievement and he has already recognised a similar drive and desire in Bandon.
Having been at the helm as Mayfield won county and Munster JAHC titles in 2016 and following that with the All-Ireland in February of last year, Castlemartyr native Lawton took over the Lilywhites this year, seeking to build on the excellent work of Niall O’Halloran.
The past few years have seen Bandon continually break new ground and on Sunday in Brinny they saw off Na Piarsaigh in the opening round of the SHC, having lost to the same opposition in last year’s quarter-final.
‘It’s my first year with them but their history is there,’ Lawton said.
‘They’ve done it in the last few years, they won a great a county two years ago, they’ve won football counties.
‘They’re a good bunch of lads and that was some test. I couldn’t give them enough praise.
‘They had experience of playing Na Piarsaigh in league games and in the championship and they made good use of that.
‘Making sure we didn’t let them get a goal was a big thing.’
Leading by four points at half-time, Bandon saw that advantage halved as Na Piarsaigh came back at them, 0-12 to 0-10 the score as the final quarter dawned.
A good ball by Bandon’s Darren Crowley found Mike Cahalane. Having been marshalled by Cork colleague Chris Joyce for most of the game, Cahalane made the most of his chance, turning nicely and coming in along the endline before kicking the ball to the net for the biggest lead of the game.
Coming up with the goods on a day when he wasn’t on top form spoke to his quality, Lawton felt.
‘He was injured, he carried a hamstring,’ he said.
‘All he could do was stand at the edge of the square, he did that and he got the goal. That’s class, that’s why he’s a Cork senior hurler.’
Again, Na Piarsaigh came back, with Pádraig Guest finding his range from frees while Kelvin Forde was on target too, but they couldn’t get closer than two points and Bandon had pushed three ahead in injury time before Cahalane set Mark Sugrue up for a clinching goal.
Bandon led all through and had early 0-4 to 0-1 and 0-6 to 0-2 leads as Eoghan O’Donovan and Joe Harrington combined at midfield with Donough Lucey on the ball a lot in the half-back line.
Daire Connery was strong as a free man for Piarsaigh early on, though Philip Crowley was moved out to mark him and did well.
Two Guest frees helped the city side to narrow the gap, but Bandon pushed on again to lead by 0-9 to 0-5 at half-time, six players having scored.
‘We knew Na Piarsaigh’s tradition that they’d come back at us,’ Lawton said.
‘The first ten minutes of the second half were going to be key. The boys stood up to it.’
Though Sugrue extended the lead within five seconds of the restart, Piarsaigh clawed their way back. After two red cards, to Bandon’s Lucey and Piarsaigh’s Paul Cunningham, following a heavy challenge on Ronan Crowley which hadn’t yielded a free, Piarsaigh came closer again, through Evan Sheehan and Guest but when Bandon’s need was greatest, Cahalane did the needful.
Piarsaigh released Joyce out the field to try to salvage something, but it was to be Bandon’s day, the win rubber-stamped by Sugrue’s goal.
Bandon: Mark Sugrue 1-3, Ronan Crowley 0-4 (3f), Darren Crowley 0-3 (1f), Mike Cahalane 1-0, Eoghan O’Donovan 0-2, Pa Barry, Adam Murphy, Jason Hickey 0-1 each.
Na Piarsaigh: Padraig Guest 0-5f, Daire Connery 0-4 (1f), Evan Sheehan (1f), K Forde 0-2, Shane Forde, Gordon Joyce 0-1 each.
Bandon: Pat Prendergast; Peter Murphy, James Walsh, James O’Donovan, Donough Lucey, Jason Hickey, Philip Crowley; Eoghan O’Donovan, Joe Harrington; Darren Crowley, Pa Barry, Ronan Crowley; Mark Sugrue, Mike Cahalane, Adam Murphy.
Sub: Cian O’Mahony for Adam Murphy (54).
Na Piarsaigh: Alan Keating; Eddie Gunning, Chris Joyce, Adam Dennehy; Eoin Moynihan, Paul Cunningham, Patrick O’Rourke; Jamie Morrissey, Kelvin Forde; Dayne Lee, Shane Forde, Keith Buckley; Evan Sheehan, Padraig Guest, Daire Connery.
Subs: Gordon Joyce for Buckley (41), Pádraig Gould for Lee (55).
Referee: Cathal McAllister (Aghada).