O'Sullivan sparks gritty Pearses triumph
DROMID PEARSES 1-8 CU CHULAINNS 0-5
Dromid Pearses marched into the semi-finals after a hard-fought win against British Junior champions Cu Chulainns in Birmingham.
Aidan O'Sullivan's goal in the first half sparked Pearses to life as they struggled to get to grips with their opponents, but the second half brought a far more controlled performance out of the Kerrymen.
Pearses brought a strong contingent of support with them, but they were made to wait until 15 minutes into the game for a score before O'Sullivan rattled the back of the net after Cu Chulainns failed to clear their lines.
Thomas Curran grabbed three points in total, with two excellent scores delivered midway through the opening half, while a closely marked Declan O'Sullivan added two points to the cause.
Cu Chulainns were not overawed, though, and points from Ronan Henry, Michael McCourt and Niall Burns ensured that they were well within touching distance for long periods of the game.
Midfielder Curran came close to bagging a second goal for Pearses, but his close-range strike was bravely blocked by goalkeeper Pete Holland.
As the game advanced, Pearses took charge.
Marshalled ably by the three O'Sullivans in the full-back line, they stifled Cu Chulainns' forward momentum to great effect as Declan O'Sullivan came more into the game to influence their attacking endeavour.
Despite a total of 11 wides, Pearses did find their mark with points from Niall O'Shea and James Curran and again came close to goal number two only for referee Barry Cassidy to rule out O'Shea's close-range effort for a 'square ball'.
There was concern for Pearses as full-forward O'Shea was stretchered off late on after a challenge in front of goal that led to a late penalty award. But, Thomas Curran didn't go for goal and chose to knock the ball over for his third point instead of going for goal.
Ultimately, Dromid Pearses had too much for Cu Chulainns, who could not capitalise on their good start.
Scorers -- Dromid Pearses: A O'Sullivan 1-0, T Curran 0-3 (2f), Declan O'Sullivan, N O'Shea 0-2 each, J Curran 0-1. Cu Chulainns: R Henry 0-3, N Burns, M McCourt (1f) 0-1 each.
Dromid Pearses -- A Hogan; P O'Sullivan, Dominic O'Sullivan, Donal O'Sullivan; Donncha O'Sullivan, K O'Shea, M Sheehan; T Curran, C O'Connor; A O'Sullivan, Declan O'Sullivan, A O'Connor; E O'Leary, N O'Shea, J Curran.
Cu Chulainns -- P Holland; S Twohig, T Greene, D Gordon; D Hughes, E O'Gara, P McCloskey; P Kelly, J Malone; S O'Neill, M McCourt, N Considine; R Henry, P McGovern, N Burns.
Ref -- B Cassidy (Derry)