Bride Rovers 1-15
The Carrigaline Court Hotel Premier Two Minor Hurling Championship final at Páirc Uí Rinn turned into an absolute thrilling second-half with both teams fully deserving of a second chance.
This was a very high-standard contest that saw periods of dominance at various stages by the East Cork and North Cork representatives and the last score of the game belonged to Shandrum, the equalising point in the 62nd minute from full-forward Conor Griffin who was highly influential throughout.
Centre-back, Cormac O’Brien and left corner-back, Paul O’Sullivan caught the eye in the Shandrum rearguard as they tenaciously reinvented themselves after being in arrears by six points early in the second-half.
Conor Barry, Conleith Ryan, and Brian Roche impacted for Bride Rovers on a night when both sides left everything out on the pitch.
The teams were deadlocked five times in the opening 30 minutes before Bride Rovers, having played against a strong wind, led by a goal at the break, a score delightfully executed by Ryan from a cross field delivery by Griffen O’Sullivan.
It did not look encouraging for Shandrum on the resumption when the Rovers increased their lead with points from Barry and Brian Roche.
And when they went into a 1-11 to 0-8 lead on the 36-minute mark the pictured brightened to a far greater extent for them.
But Shandrum’s riposte was superb, upping the ante considerably to score 1-3 without reply to tie it all up after 47 minutes.
Griffin nailed the goal from a fine cross ball by Ronan Geary and he added a few points as well.
Then they forged ahead by two with points from that man Griffin again and Paul Drinan and they were in the control of the proceedings as the clock counted down.
It was frenetic stuff now, both sides striving might and main to get their hands on the big prize on offer.
And we then got another response from the Rathcormac team with points from Barry, Roche and Ryan.
They had regained the lead now but Cormac O’Brien tied it all up again with a Shandrum point.
Centre-forward Cian Hogan regained the initiative for Bride Rovers in stoppage time when he split the sticks before Conor Griffin fittingly tied it up at the death to conclude a splendid game of hurling.
This was a wonderful advertisement for minor club hurling in the county and on the evidence presented here, it won’t be easy to drag them apart either in the eagerly awaited replay.
It was a game well refereed too by Mark Maher.
The replay is scheduled for Saturday, October 20 at 3pm in Mourneabbey.
Scorers for Bride Rovers: C Barry (0-7 frees), C Ryan (1-3), B Roche (0-3), P O’Flynn (free) and E Cashman (0-1 each).
Scorers for Shandrum: C Griffin (1-7, 0-5 frees), C O’Brien (0-4, 0-2 frees), P Drinan (0-2), C Shanahan and S McCarthy (0-1 each).
BRIDE ROVERS: B Hogan; R O’Sullivan, J Mannix, M Quinn; J Buckley, P O’Flynn, E Roche; K Kearney, G O’Sullivan; C Barry (Capt), C Hogan, C Ryan; E Cashman, B Roche, S Knox.
SHANDRUM: E Finn; B Pulis, K O’Sullivan (Capt), P O’Sullivan; C Bowles, C O’Brien, S McCarthy; J Twomey, C Shanahan; R Geary, L Morrissey, P Drinan; J O’Riordan, C Griffin, A O’Leary.
Subs: C O’Flynn for A O’Leary (50), B O’Connor for J O’Riordan (52).
Referee: Mark Maher (St Finbarr’s).