Battling sides will do it all again
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.