Bat­tling sides will do it all again

Irish Examiner - County - - Sport - Mal­low

MAL­LOW and Water­grasshill couldn’t be sep­a­rated in an ex­cit­ing ju­nior B in­ter-di­vi­sional hurl­ing cham­pi­onship de­cider at Páirc Uí Rinn.

A draw is prob­a­bly a fair re­sult; both sides had their pe­riod of dom­i­nance at dif­fer­ent stages through­out the hour with­out kick­ing on.

Mal­low were aided by a strong wind in the open­ing 30 min­utes, and de­spite lead­ing 0-3 to 0-2 af­ter seven min­utes, they strug­gled for the re­main­der of the half.

Water­grasshill hit four unan­swered points be­fore the firstquar­ter. Kil­lian Roche with three, and a Wil­liam Coak­ley ef­fort. Mal­low reg­is­tered a number of wides, be­fore Conor Han­non pointed.

It was a game, with very few goal scor­ing chances, Water­grasshill were the clos­est to rais­ing a green flag, af­ter they were awarded a 21 me­tre free, it would have been ex­pected that Colm Fen­ton would have tapped the ball over the bar. The for­ward stepped up and un­leashed a pow­er­ful low shot, which the Mal­low play­ers on the line some­how stopped the ball from cross­ing the line. Water­grasshill were much sharper at this junc­ture, with their half-back line out­stand­ing and sent over two points, to push their lead out to four points. A Fen­ton free and a Kieran O’Ke­effe ef­fort with the scores. Brian Mur­phy, just in­tro­duced clipped over a beauty of a point from an acute an­gle for Mal­low, which was fol­lowed by a Sea­mus Buck­ley ef­fort, 0-8 to 0-6 at half-time.

Mal­low young­ster Buck­ley bi­sected the posts 120 sec­onds into the new half, but the Hill replied with two points in a minute, A Fen­ton free and a Wil­lie O’Leary ef­fort with the cru­cial scores. The sides ex­changed points, un­til Conor Han­non sent over a long-range ef­fort to leave just two points be­tween the sides af­ter the third-quar­ter, 0-11 to 0-9.

The ever­green Fer­gal McCor­mack was in­tro­duced for the sec­ond­half, and it was his frees that were vi­tal for Mal­low. McCor­mack con­verted a free to leave a point be­tween the teams, un­til Barry JohnRyan stepped up to level the con­test af­ter 48 min­utes.

The game was wide open at this junc­ture, with both teams push­ing play­ers for­ward. Don O’Rior­dan pointed for Water­grasshill to nudge his side ahead once more, but McCor­mack con­verted two frees, as Mal­low led by a sin­gle point with two min­utes re­main­ing. Fen­ton pointed from a placed ball for Water­grasshill a minute from time. Both sides pushed hard in the dy­ing min­utes for a win­ner, but it didn’t ma­te­ri­al­ize, as two evenly matched sides will have to do it all over again.

Water­grasshill’s TJ Forde un­der pres­sure from Mal­low’s Ryan Harkin and Eoin Mur­phy dur­ing the Cork County Ju­nior B hurl­ing in­ter-di­vi­sional fi­nal at Páirc Uí Rinn.

Water­grasshill’s Tom Dri­nan is tack­led by Mal­low’s Sea­mus Buck­ley and Michael Ma­her.

Water­grasshill’s goal­keeper Ja­son Fo­ley clears from Mal­low’s Ciaran Mur­phy and Gary Sweeney.

Mal­low’s Brian Mur­phy goes high with Water­grasshill’s Don O’Rior­dan.

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