Bride Rovers Defeat St.Finbarrs

November 8, 2018

All last week the fact was being mentioned in Cork hurling circles that thirteen years had elapsed since St Finbarrs last won the Cork County Senior Hurling Championship. That was back in 1995 when Bride Rovers started the year as a Junior ‘B’ hurling side. Last Saturday evening at Pairc Uí Chaoimh Bride Rovers and St Finbarrs met in Round Three of the Cork Co S.H.C. and after a thrilling game we beat the Barrs by 2 points. Yes it is really hard to imagine such a result. Few of the pundits and experts gave us a chance against the Togher side but after 66 minutes we won by 1-16 to 1-14 to qualify for the quarter final of the championship. The game was played at a hectic pace on a warm humid evening on a carpet-like sod.
 Our lads lined our s they had against Delanys in the back-door game. From the outset we were in the attack and even in the very early stages it was obvious that the lads meant business with fast crisp hurling which the Barrs couldn’t cope with. Inside 5 minutes Jerome O’Driscoll had hit over 4 points. Kevin Murray had two points for St Finbarrs before we got a vital score. A ball worked well out of defence came to Sean Ryan and he gave a perfect pass to Richie Cahill – goal – we were ahead 1-4 to 0-2. Shortly after this Sean was narrowly wide with another great effort. Barry Hazelwood saved a certain goal by deflecting the sliotar over the bar. Robert O’Mahony got a goal for the Barrs in the 21st minute. Padraig Murphy hit a brilliant point from way out followed by similar scores from Sean, Barry Johnson (free) and Jerome (free) to stretch our lead again. Time and time again the Barrs tried to get through the half forward line into the game but Pa O’Driscoll, Barry Murphy and Pat Walsh were unbreakable. A super score from Sean Ryan left us 1-10 to 1-8 ahead coming to the short whistle. The boys in blue had the last say with a point to leave us 1-10 to 1-9 ahead having played with a slight breeze.
 On the resumption Jerome restored our two point lead but Ronan Curran pointed for the Barrs. Terry then had a peach of a point for us. Donal Ryan was injured in a clash and after a long stoppage he had to come off to be replaced by Michael Collins. Aidan, Brendan and James had to cope with huge puck outs from the Barrs keeper Sean Barry but the defence held firm. The second half was really close – at one stage we enjoyed a three point lead but not for long. Richie, Barry J. and Terry all had points for us but we couldn’t pull away from the city side. Coming close to the end Donal went back on and Jerome from a free gave us a three point lead as e headed for injury time. former Cork senior, Kevin Murray, pointed to leave just 2 between the sides. Michael Ryan took a pass from Robert O’Mahony and goaled but O’Mahony had taken too many steps and we got a free out. As minute followed minute of injury time the tension mounted as we clung to a two point lead. We were in the 6th minute of added tome when the Barrs got a close in free. ‘Keeper Sean Barry was called to make the journey to take the free. You can imagine the scenario, sixty six minutes gone, we’d led from the start and now at the end if Barry scored we were gone out of the championship. Many in the attendance couldn’t even bear to look. He bent, he lifted, he struck – a bullet – saved. A few seconds later game over. What a game, what a result, Bride Rovers had beaten the Barrs in senior hurling. This was only our eight ever senior hurling championship game since our elevation to senior ranks. One swallow never made a summer but this result guarantees us top class hurling for the summer which is what it is all about. I’m slow to praise individual players and for this game there’s no need as each of the sixteen played his heart out in a great team display. This was a top class display of hurling. Last week I asked for plenty of vocal support and it was wonderful to hear the ‘Rovers’ roar in the stand in the second half.
 Great credit to Liam, Anthony, Georgie and Jack for the preparation of the team for this vital tie.
Team & Scorers: B Hazelwood, A Collins, B Walsh, J Murphy, P O’Driscoll, B Murphy, P Walsh, P Murphy (0-1), B Murphy, D Ryan, B Johnson (0-3), R Cahill (1-1), T Broderick (0-2), J O’Driscoll (0-7), S Ryan (0-2).   Sub: M Collins.
This win puts us in a quarter final against East Cork neighbours Erins Own. They defeated Douglas by 2-15 to 3-8 in Riverstown on Saturday afternoon last. With Newtownshandrum and Cloyne they are favourites to win the county but there’s a lot of hurling to be done yet. It was great to see Fr. Seanie and Fr. Fachtna at the game.