GAA Clean Ireland Recycling
County Junior B Hurling Final
Holycross Ballycahill 0-12
Templederry Kenyons 0-12
Holycross Ballycahill left it late but managed to retrieve an almost lost cause in the final quarter of the Junior B hurling final against Templederry Kenyons in The Ragg on Saturday afternoon.
With 15 minutes to play Templederry led comfortably by 0-12 to 0-6 and only the margin of their victory appeared in doubt. Holycross emptied the bench and the experienced substitutes made a marked contribution at the business end of the game.
Templederry will be more disappointed but they had chances to put the game well beyond the reach of the Mid Champions and failed to convert from placed balls in particular.
Pio Kennedy was again magnificent in the heart of the Templederry defence while Michael O’Leary and James Hogan dominated midfield until the final minutes.
Ronan Kinane, Tommy Hogan and Kieran Carey were the pick of the forwards.
For three quarters of the game Holycross struggled but hung in bravely and struck when it counted in the final quarter.
The experienced Michael Lee made telling and clever contributions at full and wing forward.
Kevin O’Dwyer, Paudie Comerford and Peter Gavin posed the most threat in front of the posts while Tom Hayes came into his own in the second half and knocked over three vital frees to keep his side in the game.
Templederry raced into an early lead and were 0-4 to 0-0 by the 8th minute.
Having missed a couple of early frees and watched a decent goal chance nick the right post, Templederry could have been far more in front.
Holycross got on the score sheet in the 9th minute when Kevin O’Dwyer set up Paudie Comerford for a smashing point.
Comerford struck again a minute later when Michael Lee put the corner forward clear again.
Scores were scarce in the second quarter with both sides missing frees but Templederry’s Donal McGrath found his range in added time to leave the halftime score at 0-8 to 0-4.
Early in the second half Templederry looked to be on a winning path, firing over three super points through Ronan Kinane (2) and Tommy Hogan by the 37th minute.
Holycross had introduced three subs by the 41st minute in an effort to turn the game around and it paid immediate dividends.
Michael Lee provided the final pass for Peter Gavin twice in succession which resulted in a point and a chance which, but for the intervention of Templederry’s Mark Gleeson, would have been a goal.
John Fogarty reacted quickest and knocked over the rebound for a point.
Templederry steadied themselves and when Donal McGrath put six points between the sides on the three quarter hour, it looked to be enough but proved to be their last score.
Holycross clawed at the lead and a couple of Tom Hayes frees and a Kevin O’Dwyer point reduced the gap to three by the 50th minute.
It was almost a dream introduction for Holycross sub Donal Duggan when the big man snapped a long Brendan Ryan delivery at the edge of the square in the 52nd minute. His shot was somehow smothered by Templederry keeper Shanahan but it was enough to rally the troops. Lee was again provider for O’Dwyer’s third point a minute later and forced an unlikely free to allow Hayes reduce the gap to a single point with six minutes remaining.
It was all Holycross in the final moments but Templederry defended as if their lives depended on it and probably should have had a free or two.
As it was they managed to keep Holycross at bay until the dying seconds when Peter Gavin, under severe pressure, somehow lobbed a ball high just inside the post and over the bar for a draw. Referee Sean Bradshaw took no chances and blew for time a little early giving both sides the opportunity to do it all again.
Holycross Ballycahill: T. Bourke; P. Ryan, A. Joyce, D. McCullagh; J. Dunne, C. Hayes, B. Ryan; T. Hayes (0-3F), D. Murphy; D. Fennessy, M. Lee, K. O’Dwyer (0-3); M. Fennessy, P. Gavin (0-2), P. Comerford (0-2, 0-1F). SUBS: E. Moloney for Dunne (35), P. McGrath for D. Fennessy (41), J. Fogarty (0-1) for M. Fennessy (41), D. Duggan for McCullagh (48), E. Hassett for Comerford (60).
Templederry-Kenyons: J. Shanahan; B. Hayes, D. Donnelly, P. Hogan; D. Kennedy, P. Kennedy, M. Gleeson; M. O’Leary (0-2), J. Hogan (0-1); D. McGrath (0-1, 0-2F), C. Ryan, J. Kennedy; R. Kinane (0-3), T. Hogan (0-2), K. Carey (0-1). SUBS: O. Murphy for Ryan (27-30).
Referee: Seán Bradshaw (Knockavilla-Kickhams).