County Junior B Hurling
Roscrea, let a six-point lead slip in a dramatic end to normal time and had to rely on extra-time to eventually get the better of Holycross/Ballycahill in this marathon County Junior B Hurling Championship semi-final played in heavy underfoot conditions at Templetuohy on Saturday afternoon.
Holycross opened the scoring through Shane Lanigan, but Roscrea answered with three points from Roddy Teehan, Paul Kirwan and a free from James Maher.
Then Padraig McGrath exchanged points with Roscrea’s Conor Egan before Holycross went back in front with three unanswered points from Donal Duggan, Tom Quinlan, and Padraig McGrath to lead 0-5 to 0-4 with the opening quarter ending.
Roscrea’s James Maher, who was lethal from dead balls, brought the sides back level after 17 minutes and a minute later Maher with another placed-ball from about 30 yards that deceived everybody as it went all the way to the net producing the first goal. A shell-shocked Holycross were left reeling as Maher added another point from a free to go 1-6 to 0-5 clear at half-time.
Roscrea extended their lead three minutes into the second half when a ‘65’ was dispatched between the posts by James Maher. Jim McDonnell latched onto a Conor Egan pass to put Roscrea 1-8 to 0-5 clear.
Although the North Champions were on top Holycross living off scraps saw Donal Duggan scored a superb point. Roscrea responded with a James Maher free from the halfway line.
Holycross only placed-ball on target came after 55 minutes from Paraic Russell, but once again, Roscrea responded with another James Maher free to retain that six point advantage in the 60th minute.
With many Holycross supporters ready to depart as the game went into injury time the Mid Champions produced what was an unlikely recovery.
Two minutes into injury-time ‘Cross reduced the leeway when a free from substitute Thomas Hayes into the danger zone was pulled on by substitute John Fogarty and the sliotar rattled the back of the net.
Two minutes later Holycross scored a dramatic equaliser when Padraig McGrath’s close range shot from another Thomas Hayes free into the goalmouth saw Holycross overcome that six-point deficit by 2-7 to 1-10 and add another 20 minutes extra-time.
Holycross were now on a roll and opened up a two-point lead with frees from Paraic Russell and Thomas Hayes. However, they allowed Roscrea off the hook, as James Maher added a further two frees to leave it level at 1-12 to 2-9.
The second period saw Holycross Paraic Russell restore Holycross’ lead but Colm Monaghan level for Roscrea and the large attendance were thinking about a replay. But Roscrea manager John Carroll reintroduction Sam Conlon who with his first touch cut in from the right wing before unleashing an unstoppable shot from an acute angle into the net. That goal rocked Holycross back on their heels allowing Roscrea to regain their composure adding scores from Conor Egan, James Maher, and Paul Kirwan to book that final spot on a score of 2-16 to 2-10.
Roscrea: Daryl Ryan, Michael Kiely, Paul Breen, Shane Davis, Michael Campion, Aaron Ryan, Brian Dooley, Roddy Teehan (0-1), Paul Kirwan (0-2), Pat Fitzgerald, James Maher (1-8), Rory O’Connor, Conor Egan (0-2), Jim McDonald (0-1), Sam Conlon (1-0)
Subs: Colm Monaghan (0-1), Cian Rigney (0-1) Paddy Kiely, John Ryan, Alan Condon, Jack Ryan
Holycross/Ballycahill: John Lacey, David Carroll, Alan Joyce, Brendan Ryan, Aidan Medley, Philip Ryan, Dan Murphy, Kevin O’Dwyer, Paraic Purcell (0-3), Tom Quinlan (0-1), Padraig McGrath (1-2), J. P. Butler, Mark Fogarty, Donal Duggan (0-2), Shane Lanigan (0-1)
Subs: John Fogarty (1-0), Thomas Hayes (0-1), Brian Hanrahan
Referee: Philip Kelly