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.