Barry praises forward effort as Sarsfields squeeze home
Sarsfields 1-15 Bishopstown 1-13 CORK SHC FINAL
It was a close-run thing at times, but eventually Sarsfields managed to claim a third Cork hurling title in five years as they overcame Bishopstown at Pairc Ui Chaoimh.
Trailing by 0-9 to 0-7 against the first-time finalists, Sarsfields worked far harder in the second half and had opened up a five-point lead as the game moved into injury-time before a goal from Bishopstown's David Hickey set up a nervy finish.
Their fairytale finish did not materialise, however, and Sarsfields' second-half turnaround, thanks largely to the efforts of midfielder Eoin Quigley, Kieran Murphy and Eoin O'Sullivan and underpinned by Robert O'Driscoll's goal, was enough for them to repeat their 2008 and 2010 successes.
"To win three in five years, and contest four of the finals, is something that we can be proud of in ourselves," said Sarsfields captain Joe Barry. "We have something in us in the second half (of games), we almost have to be put under pressure to win.
"The forwards in the second half, against the wind, did a lot of work to keep the ball. The Bishopstown backs were fantastic but we were able to squeeze it out in the end."
Despite a good start, Sarsfields' attack found it difficult to make inroads as Bishopstown defended tightly, with Cian McCarthy's frees the main source of scores.
Denis Crowley's point for Bishopstown in the fifth minute, to level at 0-2 each, could have been a goal but for a good hook by Daniel Kearney, but two points in quick succession, a Pa Cronin free and one from Brian Murray, had them 0-4 to 0-3 in front by the 13th minute.
Things then got even better as first Michael Power and then Cronin notched wonderful efforts from tight angles to open up a three-point lead.
Power's third point just before half-time left his side two in front at the interval, having not shot a wide.
The start of the second half was a cagey affair as Sars got back to within a point only for Bishopstown, through points by Cronin (twice) and captain Thomas Murray, eased clear again before Sars took control.
Quigley was influential at midfield and they were finally level by the 47th minute thanks to Tadhg Óg Murphy and Daniel Kearney points.
McCarthy put them in front at 0-13 to 0-12 for the first time since the ninth minute and then came the key score, Eoin O'Sullivan blocking down a clearance and playing a ball across goal, which O'Driscoll flicked in.
Scorers -- Sarsfields: C McCarthy 0-8 (6f), R O'Driscoll 1-1, M Cussen 0-2, T Óg Murphy, K Murphy, D Kearney, G O'Loughlin 0-1 each. Bishopstown: P Cronin 0-6 (2f), M Power 0-3, D Hickey 1-0, D Crowley, G McGlacken, T Murray, B Murray 0-1 each.
SARSFIELDS -- A Kennedy; D Kenneally, J Barry, C O'Sullivan; D Roche, R Ryan, E Martin; E Quigley, D Kearney; C McCarthy, G O'Loughlin, W Kearney; R O'Driscoll, K Murphy, M Cussen. Subs: T Óg Murphy for W Kearney (h-t), E O'Sullivan for Roche (45).
BISHOPSTOWN -- K O'Halloran; S O'Neill, D Lester, C O'Driscoll; B Healy, I Jones, R Ryan; K O'Driscoll, B Murray; R Conway, P Cronin, T Murray; D Crowley, M Power, G McGlacken. Subs: J Murphy for K O'Driscoll (45), P Honohan for Crowley (49), M Driscoll for Ryan (54), D Hickey for McGlacken (57).
Ref -- J Kearney (Ballyhea).