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O'Halloran stars as Blackrock win to reach Cork semi-finals with 0-10 for Kingston in Douglas defeat

They’ll meet UCC or Na Piarsaigh in the semi-final tie.

Image: Bryan Keane/INPHO

Blackrock 1-22
Douglas 0-20

BLACKROCK’S 18-YEAR wait to reach the Cork senior hurling summit has frustrated the traditional market leaders but their journey to correct that continues this season as today they moved within a win of the decider.

A couple of scoring sprees at critical times ignited their charge in today’s quarter-final against neighbour Douglas. The five points that separated the teams at the final whistle was reflective of their control as this game unfolded.

The game represented a personal scoring triumph for a couple of Blackrock forwards who revelled in the space and accuracy of deliveries. Michael O’Halloran has had his involvement curtailed of late due to an ankle injury but he started here and fired over three points inside the first six minutes. That set the tone, by the break he had five from play to his name and he finished with 0-7 after an excellent showing.

Alongside him Alan Connolly was again a reliable free-taker for Blackrock and he critically produced the burst of acceleration to get clear of the Douglas defence in the 42nd minute before drilling home the only goal of the game.

Douglas had their own marksmen of renown. Shane Kingston was a towering presence and amassed 0-10 between placed balls and his contribution from play. Brian Turnbull struck 0-5 and Alan Cadogan weighed in with three but Blackrock’s rearguard marshalled those leading Cork forwards well on different occasions.

A phase after the break proved a setback for Douglas. They struck five wides inside the first five minutes of the second half, paying the price for not getting their best shooters in position and attempting to land from distance. The wide count read 14-7 in their favour at the finish, a costly trend as they had ten wayward efforts in the second half.

That was significant in a game that began in a frenetic fashion as it quickly threatened to develop into a shootout. It was 0-6 apiece by the 12th minute and they were still deadlocked at the first water break. Then came that first meaningful charge from Blackrock, five points registered without reply between the 22nd and 28th minutes.

Douglas produced a fightback to trail 0-14 to 0-11 and they were only 0-15 to 0-14 adrift by the 39th minute. Blackrock got a grip once more, 1-3 posted on the board to go seven clear by the second water break. That was telling as it gave them something to protect.

They stood firm at the back despite Cadogan grabbing a couple of late points and Kingston lashing in a couple of 20-yard frees in search of a goal that Douglas critically needed. Shane O’Keeffe grew in prominence as the game progressed for Blackrock while Tadhg Deasy hit the ground running when brought in off the bench.

A third Cork semi-final in four years awaits, they’ll meet UCC or Na Piarsaigh at that juncture.

Scorers for Blackrock: Alan Connolly 1-6 (0-5f, 0-1 ’65), Michael O’Halloran 0-7, Shane O’Keeffe, Ciaran Cormack 0-2 each, Niall Cashman, Daniel Meaney, David O’Farrell, John O’Sullivan, Tadhg Deasy 0-1 each.

Scorers for Douglas: Shane Kingston 0-10 (0-4f, 0-2 ’65), Brian Turnbull 0-5, Alan Cadogan 0-3, Mark O’Connor, Cian Baldwin 0-1 each.

Blackrock

1. Gavin Connolly

4. Jamie Ryan
7. Stephen Murphy
3. Gary Norberg

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2. Richie Laide
5. Cathal Cormack
6. Niall Cashman

8. Daniel Meaney
9. David O’Farrell

14. Shane O’Keeffe
11. Ciaran Cormack
10. Mark O’Keeffe

22. Michael O’Halloran
13. Alan Connolly
12. John O’Sullivan

Subs

24. Tadhg Deasy for Ciaran Cormack (34)
20. John Cashman for O’Farrell (37)
15. Robbie Cotter for Mark O’Keeffe (55)
19. Alan O’Callaghan for Niall Cashman (60)

Douglas

1. Donal Maher

2. Brian O’Neill
3. Conor Kingston
4. Donnacha Murphy

5. Eoin Cadogan
6. Mark Harrington
7. Cillian O’Donovan

8. Cian Baldwin
9. Stephen Moylan

10. Eoin Dolan
11. Shane Kingston
12. Mark O’Connor

14. Conor Russell
13. Alan Cadogan
15. Brian Turnbull

Subs

21. Andy O’Connell for Russell (43)
23. Ross Howell for O’Connor (47)

Referee: Cathal McAllister (Aghada)

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About the author:

Fintan O'Toole  / Reports from Páirc Uí Chaoimh

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