08 Dec 2021

O'Hare's heroics send Roche back to Division Two

Roche Emmets 2-6 Na Piarsaigh 0-10

O'Hare heroics sends Roche back to Division Two

Barry O'Hare. (Pic: Ciarán Culligan)

Division Two/Three play-off

Roche Emmets 2-6 Na Piarsaigh 0-10 (Darver Centre of Excellence)

In 2014, Roche were relegated from the Intermediate Championship. Barry O'Hare, the scorer of 0-12 in the relegation game versus Naomh Malachi, missed with the last kick of extra-time as Emmets suffered the drop.

Three-years on, and charged with kicking the score to send his club back to Division Two, O'Hare nailed a 64th minute '45 from along the left-hand touchline as Roche lifted themselves back up a level two-years after suffering league demotion.

O'Hare was having a poor game by his standards up until that point, however, he exemplified his big game mentality with that kick, a point which was subsequently followed up by a minor from Cathal Byrne. That sealed the victory, but O'Hare's secured it.

Na Piarsaigh were arguably the more accomplished outfit on the night. Already with a thread-bare squad, injuries to David Boyle, Des McCann and the excellent Robert Murphy during the match hindered their attempts at retaining their Division Two status.

The Naps trailed from the eighth-minute, when Eugene Murray palmed in Roche's first goal, until Murphy converted a free-kick with 52 minutes played. It looked at that point that Damien Shiels' men were finally going to seize the initiative.

However, after David Quigley forced a '45, O'Hare showed nerves of steel to point from an incredibly difficult position in forcing Roche in front - a lead they couldn't relinquish.

The Rock Road men, despite going to the break level 0-4 to 1-1, will regret their eight first-half wides and the fact that they didn't capitalise on their second-half dominance where, having conceded 1-1 shortly after the break, they reeled off five consecutive points to go ahead. 

Dan O'Connell levelled for Roche before a frantic finish looked to have been topped off when Dermot Carthy - recovering from an earlier miss - dropped over a lead point for Roche. But still the Naps fought back with Ciarán Murphy drawing the teams level for a fourth time.

In a subsequent move, Alan McCartney launched a high, hanging ball onto the Roche square and after some scrambling, the men in blue hacked it clear, forcing the '45 at the opposite end from which O'Hare decided the outcome.

And just like Roche three-years ago, it was a most cruel way for the Naps to lose.

Roche Emmets: Jamie O'Hare; Joe Bishop, Harry O'Connell, Gerry Murphy; Dermot Carthy (0-1), Ciarán Savage, Robert Mackin; Dan O'Connell (0-1), David Quigley; Liam Dawe, Liam Carthy, Conor Carthy; Kevin Callaghan, Eugene Murray (1-0), Barry O'Hare (1-3, 0-2 frees and 0-1 '45)

Subs: Shane Byrne for Mackin, James Tiffney for Savage (black card), Enda Murphy for Murray, Cathal Byrne (0-1) for Callaghan

Na Piarsaigh: Damian McCrink; Joe Woods, Ronan McCartney, Stephen McGuinness; Ciarán Murphy (0-1), Conall Shields, Gary O'Hare; Jarlath Lyons (0-1), Gerard Smyth; Robert Murphy (0-3, one free), Gavin McGee, Mark Larkin (0-4, two frees); Damian McGeeney, David Boyle, Alan McCartney

Subs: Des McCann (0-1, free) for Boyle, Michael Woods for McCann, Mark O'Hare for McGee, McGee for Robert Murphy, Murphy for McGee

Referee: Noel Hand (Hunterstown Rovers)

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