Ou­lart-The Bal­lagh win af­ter re­mark­able re­vival

New Ross Standard - - SPORT - ALAN GOFF


OU­LART-THE BAL­LAGH marched on to the All-County Hurl­ing League Divi­sion 2 fi­nal af­ter a re­mark­able come­back vic­tory over hosts Rath­garogue-Cushin­stown on Sun­day.

It looked as though the home side would cruise to an easy win when they led by ten points mid­way through the sec­ond-half but in a grip­ping fin­ish, Ou­lart-The Bal­lagh clawed back the deficit to bring the game to ex­tra-time be­fore go­ing on to record a ten­point win.

The vis­i­tors raced out of the traps in the first-half and led by 0-3 to nil af­ter ten min­utes with a brace from Peadar Mythen and a point from former Olympic boxer Adam Nolan.

It took a while for Rath­garogue-Cushin­stown to get go­ing, but when they did they hit five points with­out re­ply which in­cluded an ex­cel­lent brace from cen­tre-for­ward Bernard Fur­long.

Ou­lart-The Bal­lagh be­gan to hit a lot of wides and Rath­garogue-Cushin­stown ex­tended their lead with wing-back Ja­son Dunne and half-for­ward Tadhg Cody get­ting the pick of the points to leave the New Ross District side lead­ing by 0-8 to 0-5 af­ter a lowkey first-half.

Fol­low­ing the break, mid­fielder Bob Mur­phy opened the scor­ing for Rath­garogue-Cushin­stown. Points from Bernard Fur­long and Ol­lie Bol­ger be­fore a Chris Kent goal and a Tadhg Cody point made it 1-12 to 0-5 mid­way through the sec­ond-half.

Ou­lart-The Bal­lagh were not done though, and a su­perb goal from cor­ner-for­ward Gary Mur­phy be­gan the come­back.

Ol­lie Bol­ger tried to steady the ship with a pointed free but points from Peadar Mythen and an­other goal from Mur­phy brought Ou­lart-The Bal­lagh back into it. Rath­garogue-Cushin­stown’s Brian O’ Neill re­sponded and left the scores 1-17 to 2-8 with five min­utes to play.

How­ever, the in­tro­duc­tion of Dar­ren Nolan at full-for­ward along with a few po­si­tional changes seemed to turn the tide in Ou­lart-The Bal­lagh’s favour.

In a fran­tic last five min­utes, they hit two goals with­out re­ply, from Jack Roche and a last-gasp ef­fort from Cathal Kenny to draw the sides level at 1-17 to 4-8.

Ou­lart-The Bal­lagh had all the mo­men­tum and could have won it with the last puck of the 60 min­utes, but Mythen’s free tailed wide.

Ex­tra-time was all one way traf­fic. Peadar Mythen missed an early penalty for Ou­lart-The Bal­lagh af­ter a su­perb save from Nicky Sin­nott.

How­ever, the even­tual win­ners hit 1-4 with­out re­ply with Cathal Kenny get­ting his sec­ond goal to put them in com­mand at half-time (5-12 to 1-17).

Ou­lart-The Bal­lagh added five more scores in the sec­ond pe­riod in­clud­ing a fine point from Dar­ryl Gray to leave a fi­nal score of 5-17 to 1-19 af­ter a pul­sat­ing affair, and they will now face HWH-Bun­clody.

Ou­lart-The Bal­lagh: Stephen Doyle; Seán Mur­phy, Den­nis Mor­ton, Ian Storey; Jack Roche (1-1), Niall Red­mond, Tomás Dunne; Cor­mac Finn (0-1), Cathal Kenny (2-0); Peadar Mythen (0-7, 3 frees), Adam Nolan (03), James O’ Toole; Dar­ryl Gray (0-2), Michael Ja­cob (0-2), Gary Mur­phy (20). Subs. - Dar­ren Nolan for O’ Toole, Dar­ragh Nimmo for G. Mur­phy, inj., Barry Sin­nott (0-1) for Finn, inj.

Rath­garogue-Cushin­stown: Nicky Sin­nott; Peadar Cody, Paudie McGrath, Ricky McGrath; Ja­son Dunne (0-2, 1 free), Eoin Porter, Bryan Cody; Bob Mur­phy (0-1), Brian O’Neill (0-2); Tadhg Cody (0-2), Bernard Fur­long (0-4), Paddy Mur­phy; Chris Kent (1-0), Ol­lie Bol­ger (0-7, 4 frees), Daire Bol­ger (0-1). Subs. - Colm Mur­phy for Dunne, Paddy Bar­ron for P. Mur­phy, Shane O’Con­nor for D. Bol­ger.

Ref­eree: Ai­den O’ Brien (Clough­bawn).

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