Irish Examiner - County - - Sport - Rory Noo­nan

BRIAN DIL­LON’S and St Cather­ine’s will have to do it all again, tonight, as they ended all square in the Ju­nior A Hurl­ing fi­nal at Páirc Uí Rinn on Sun­day.

The quick turn­around is due to the fact the win­ners are due out in the Mun­ster cham­pi­onship next week­end and there is no other choice at this stage re­gard­ing the re­play.

Not ideal prepa­ra­tions for ei­ther side, but a draw was prob­a­bly a fair re­sult over the 60 min­utes.

In the first-half, Cather­ine’s were by far the bet­ter side and were fully de­serv­ing of their 2-6 to 0-5 lead at the break.

With cap­tain, Daniel Man­gan, lead­ing by ex­am­ple and backed up by the likes of Shane O’Brien and Cal Ah­erne they dom­i­nated the half.

How­ever the sec­ond-half was a far dif­fer­ent af­fair, whether it was nerves or what only Dil­lons will re­ally know, but after the break they played like they can.

Led by the likes of Jack Hor­gan, Dar­ragh Rodgers and Cian McCarthy they were su­perb and outscored their op­po­nents 1-8 to four points to get the draw they fully de­served.

Even at that it took a late, and some- what du­bi­ous one, for Cather­ine’s to level it in in­jury-time. Hor­gan did have one more chance from dis­tance for Dil­lon’s, but in re­al­ity it was just be­yond his range and once the ball broke the fi­nal whistle went.

Hor­gan opened the scor­ing in the sec­ond minute, when he pointed from a 65, with Conor He­garty set­ting up Man­gan to re­ply in­stantly at the other end.

With three min­utes gone Cather­ine’s had their first goal, when the ball broke to Man­gan and he gave Tom Triggs no chance of sav­ing in the Dil­lons goal.

Hor­gan re­sponded from a free for Dil­lons and he was on tar­get again, from another free, to make it 0-3 to 1-1 with 10 min­utes gone.

A quick free from Shane O’Brien set up Brian Mulc­ahy for Cather­ine’s sec­ond point and with 15 min­utes gone Dil­lon’s got their first from play, when To­mas Lawrence scored.

With 18 min­utes gone Rodgers was pulled down by Stephen Mor­ris and the ref con­sulted with his um­pires be­fore de­cid­ing it wasn’t a penalty and just a free, which Hor­gan pointed to make it 0-5 to 1-2.

This proved to be their last score of the half, as Cather­ine’s dom­i­nated from here to half-time.

Mulc­ahy to two in-a-row, and with 21 min­utes gone they got their sec­ond goal.

Man­gan blocked down Mark White and picked up the break­ing ball to blast to the back of the net.

O’Brien pointed from a free and with two min­utes to half-time Mulc­ahy got the last score of the half as Cather­ine’s led 2-6 to 0-5 at the break.

Dil­lon’s got the per­fect start to the sec­ond-half when a side­line by Hor­gan was caught su­perbly by Rodgers to goal and put them right back in con­tention.

Two min­utes later and Rodgers had another goal chance, but after a scram­ble, it was put out for a 65, which Hor­gan duly scored.

Dil­lon’s were now play­ing to their po­ten­tial, with Colin Lynch get­ting in on the scor­ing act, to make it 1-7 to 2-6.

Another free from Hor­gan, after 39 min­utes, saw only a point in it, 1-8 to 26. Two min­utes later and Rodgers beat his man and turned to shoot, but Ed Ah­erne saved su­perbly to deny him a sec­ond goal.

A great run from Hor­gan, with 45 min­utes gone, had the sides level and if you had to pick a win­ner at that stage it would have been Dil­lon’s.

Cather­ine’s didn’t know what was after hit­ting them, but to their credit, they re­gained their com­po­sure, with O’Brien point­ing from a free to put them back in front.

Points from Mulc­ahy and Pa Roche quickly fol­lowed to make it 2-9 to 1-9, with six min­utes to go.

Credit to Dil­lon’s they didn’t let their heads drop, with Rodgers re­duc­ing the deficit. Two frees from Hor­gan had the sides level as the game headed for in­jury-time.

A great point from Lynch put them back in front, but then O’Brien scored from the late free to see them hav­ing to meet again tonight.

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