Ross­lare rule in ex­tra-time

Cross­abeg-Bal­ly­murn pipped in closely-fought clash

Gorey Guardian - - SPORT - BREN­DAN FUR­LONG in Ou­lart


A STORM­ING fin­ish that pro­duced some amaz­ing scores sent this game into ex­tra-time be­fore St. Mary’s (Ross­lare) edged out Cross­abeg-Bal­ly­murn in this ex­cel­lent Martin Storey Un­der-14 fes­ti­val of hurl­ing Gold Plate fi­nal in­Ou­lar­tonSun­day.

As the game en­tered the clos­ing four min­utes, St. Mary’s looked com­fort­able when hold­ing a four­point lead, but within the space of three min­utes the game was trans­formed.

Cross­abeg-Bal­ly­murn forced a goal with three min­utes re­main­ing, to leave the min­i­mum sep­a­rat­ing the sides, while one minute from the end, a glo­ri­ous Tadgh English point had the sides level.

But the drama was by no means over as, one minute into ad­di­tional time, Niall Cullen pointed the Cross­abeg-Bal­ly­murn side in front.

Hav­ing led for so long, St. Mary’s still had one last ef­fort that pro­duced a free which Tadgh Bro­han pointed to bring the game into ex­tra-time. Still lit­tle sep­a­rated the sides in ex­tra-time, but the fin­ish­ing power of the Mary’s boys edged them over the line.

There were times dur­ing this game when one would not have thought it was a Di­vi­sion 3 fi­nal such was the qual­ity of the hurl­ing from both sides, with some out­stand­ing in­di­vid­ual dis­plays, and with both teams so evenly bal­anced it was al­ways a game that was go­ing to go right down to the wire.

By and large the first-half saw the re­spec­tive de­fences on top,with the scor­ing lim­ited through this pe­riod.

Af­ter some hec­tic play in front of goal that failed to pro­duce a score, Cross­abeg-Bal­ly­murn even­tu­ally broke the dead­lock through a lovely left-handed point from mid­fielder Ea­monn Mo­ran.

But the game turned on a goal, with St. Mary’s gain­ing the vi­tal edge af­ter 15 min­utes when cor­ner-for­ward Wil­liam Lyng latched on to a break­ing Tadgh Bro­han free to first time to the cor­ner of the net, giv­ing his side a 1-0 to 0-1 lead.

Af­ter a David McCarthy point had kept Cross­abeg-Bal­ly­murn in con­tention, the same player min­utes later forced a great save out of Mary’s ‘keeper Rob­bie Byrne to keep his goal in­tact.

Three min­uted be­fore the break an Ea­monn Mo­ran pointed 21-me­tre free sent the sides in level (1-0 to 0-3) at the in­ter­val.

The tempo of the game re­ally in­creased on the re­sump­tion as both sides sought out the cru­cial scores. Tadgh English went on a great 40-me­tre solo be­fore send­ing over a de­light­ful point to give Cross­abeg-Bal­ly­murn a 0-4 to 1-0 lead as they opened the sec­ond-half im­pres­sively.

In fact, they could have in­creased their lead but a cou­ple of point at­tempts from long range swayed just the wrong side of the up­rights.

Fol­low­ing these let-offs, St. Mary’s re­sponded with a se­ries of at­tacks through the out­stand­ing hurl­ing of Tadgh Bro­han. Bro­han pointed two frees to give his side a 1-2 to 0-4 lead, but an Ea­monn Mo­ran pointed free brought the sides back level af­ter 37 min­utes.

Bro­han fol­lowed with two pointed frees, while his for­ward col­league, Ben Power, shot over a lovely point from an acute an­gle in be­tween, giv­ing them a 1-5 to 0-5 lead.

When Bro­han pointed a fur­ther free from 40 me­tres with seven min­utes re­main­ing, it looked as if the tro­phy was on its way down south.

But in the clos­ing min­utes, Cross­abeg-Bal­ly­murn pushed their big guns for­ward. Ea­monn Mo­ran lobbed a free into the goal­mouth, with Tadgh English flash­ing the ball to the net at the right-hand post, while just on time an An­thony O’Con­nor point had the sides level.

As the game moved into ad­di­tional time, Niall Cullen edged his side in front, but in one last push the Mary’s forced a 25-me­tre free to the left of goal that Bro­han sent be­tween the posts to leave the sides level (1-7 each) at the end of 50-odd min­utes.

The open­ing five min­utes of ex­tra-time failed to pro­duce a score, but af­ter Ea­monn Mo­ran and Bro­han kept the sides level in the sec­ond pe­riod from placed balls, it took a su­perb Bro­han 40-me­tre free from out on the side­line to even­tu­ally sep­a­rate the sides as Mary’s re­joiced with a dra­matic vic­tory.

St. Mary’s: Rob­bie Byrne; Rory Dono­hoe, Danny Howlin, Diar­muid Roche; Dar­ragh Hayes, Shane For­tune, Conor Mur­phy; Tadgh Hayes, Tadgh Bro­han (0-8 frees); Adam Lam­bert, Ben Power (0-1), David O’Rourke; Kyle Sin­nott, Kyle Clarke, Wil­liam Lyng (1-0). Subs. - Ciarán Byrne for Sin­nott, Eoin Mur­phy for Dono­hoe, Eoin Martin for Lam­bert, inj., also Eoghan Byrne, Shea Ryan, Adam Mur­phy, Josh Dug­gan, Seán Clif­ford, Ciarán Wood­cock, Gar­van Wood­cock, Seán Cullen, Dean Gold­smith.

Cross­abeg-Bal­ly­murn: Seán Hen­nessy; Jack Red­mond, An­thony O’Con­nor, Adam Mur­phy; Matthew Bishop, Tadgh English (1-2), Ross Walker; Wil­liam Mur­phy, Ea­monn Mo­ran (0-4, 3 frees); Ryan Doyle, Niall Cullen (0-1), Jack Pur­cell; Jake Roche, David McCarthy (0-1), Robin Hawkins. Subs. - Joshua Botha for Roche, Jack Halpin for Hawkins, Rory Davis for Pur­cell, Kil­lian O’Toole for Doyle, also Evan O’Leary, Kevin Berry.

Ref­eree: Mick Lani­gan (Shel­maliers).

The vic­to­ri­ous St. Mary’s (Ross­lare) squad. Diar­muid Roche of St. Mary’s is pur­sued by Joshua Botha.

Niall Cullen (Cross­abeg-Bal­ly­murn) solo­ing away from Shane For­tune (St. Mary’s, Ross­lare).

Tadhg Hayes of St. Mary’s (Ross­lare) un­der pres­sure from David McCarthy and Niall Cullen.

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