Silvermines 0-13; An Rinn 0-11 - Showing plenty of raw guts Silvermines battled their way into the Munster intermediate club hurling final with a two-point win over Waterford champions An Rinn at a heaving Dolla on Sunday afternoon.
Dónal Keogh, Ronan Sherlock, Orrie Quirke and Jason Forde enjoyed fine outings for Silvermines, but the most impressive feature of this game was the resolve shown by the ‘Mines men when An Rinn came at them.
Slick hurling had defined the ‘Mines campaign thus far, but on Sunday afternoon a physically powerful An Rinn asked a serious question of Paddy Moore’s men.
An Rinn, despite playing against the breeze, led 0-7 to 0-4 at the break and had restricted Silvermines to a single point from play in the opening half - the ‘Mines responded brilliantly to that challenge however in the second half with four successive points helping the Tipperary champions into a lead which they refused to relinquish thereafter.
A Seán Quirke point handed the ‘Mines the lead in the very first minute, but An Rinn stormed into this encounter with points from Tadhg Ó Huallachain, Dónal Breathnach (free) and full-forward Bili Breathnach helping the Waterford champions into a 0-3 to 0-1 lead inside the opening nine minutes.
An Rinn were utterly dominant under the dropping ball, but were frustrated when firing three bad wides during this dominant period.
A Jason Forde free cut the deficit to a single point, but An Rinn struck back thanks to Bili Breathnach and led 0-4 to 0-2 before a Jason Forde free kept a struggling Silvermines side within striking distance.
Once more, however, An Rinn responded when a four-man passing move ultimately saw Tadhg Ó Huallachain work the ball into the hand of Dónal Breathnach who belted over a superb point in the 19th minute.
The contrasting quality of approach play was best illustrated seconds later when the ‘Mines dropped a harmless ball into the hand of Dónal Breathnach. Silvermines, to say the least, were not making clever use of the wind.
An Rinn’s right wing-forward Dónal Breathnach was causing the ‘Mines untold problems and was fouled in the 22nd and 24th minutes. Breathnach converted the respective placed balls and An Rinn led 0-7 to 0-3.
Silvermines were encouraged prior to the break when Jason Forde smacked over a terrific long-range free to leave three between them (0-4 to 0-7), but there was very real concern that the Tipperary champions were in serious trouble.
To their credit however Silvermines were a side transformed after the break.
Two minutes into the second half Orrie Quirke drove over an inspirational long-range free from inside his own 65-yard line to cut the deficit to two points.
A minute later a Quirke free dropped short and Willie Keogh gathered possession before reducing the margin to one.
An Rinn looked a little rattled now with dissent in their ranks seeing a placed ball moved forward in the 34th minute and Jason Forde equalised - 0-7 apiece.
ollowing Forde’s equaliser an ugly melée broke out which referee Declan O’Driscoll dealt with by cautioning Orrie Quirke and Tadhg Ó Huallachain before Orrie Quirke, who was now emerging as a real force in this contest, was fouled and Jason Forde handed his side a 0-8 to 0-7 lead in the 39th minute.
A Dónal Breathnach free in the 44th minute levelled matters, but Silvermines were hurling well now and franked their dominance with an Orrie Quirke point from play - this time Quirke’s long-range free dropped short and broke to Willie Keogh who had the good sense to pass to the advancing Quirke and the midfielder helped his side into a 0-9 to 0-8 lead in the 49th minute.
Jason Forde added a free before David Boland passed to David Keogh in the 52nd minute and the Silvermines corner-forward rifled home a great goal.
Unfortunately play was called back for a foul on Boland and the ‘Mines had to content themselves with a Jason Forde free.
An Rinn responded with points from Bili Breathnach and Dónal Breathnach (free) to reduce the Silvermines lead to a single point (0-10 to 0-11) by the 56th minute, but a foul on Pádraig Fogarty presented Jason Forde with an opportunity to re-open a two-point differential in the 58th minute.
There was still time for An Rinn to recover the situation especially when referee Declan O’Driscoll indicated that he intended to play at least five minutes of injury time. Indeed, An Rinn’s task looked all the more possible when Bili Breathnach fired over his fourth point from play on the hour mark to leave a single point between them (0-11 to 0-12).
The ‘Mines steadied themselves however and in the 63rd minute, when Jason Forde’s free dropped short, Orrie Quirke fired over from close range.
An Rinn enjoyed two late chances to rescue the situation.
In the 64th minute Dónal Breathnach rounded his man, but fired wide before Ray Ó Ceallaigh was dragged down at the expense of a 21-yard free in the 65th minute.
Dónal Breathnach took responsibility for the placed ball and although the wing-forward mustered an absolute rasper Silvermines full-back Brendan Timmons saved and scrambled the ball out to safety.
Seconds later Declan O’Driscoll blew his final whistle. Cue euphoria (and a few sighs of relief).
Silvermines: Cathal Sherlock, Maurice Leamy, Brendan Timmons, Damien Boland, Dónal Keogh, Ronan Sherlock, Noel Quirke, Cathal Gleeson (captain), Orrie Quirke (0-3, 0-1 free), Jason Forde (0-8, 0-8 frees), David Boland, Seán Quirke (0-1), William Keogh (0-1), Daniel Keogh, David Keogh. Subs: (26th) Pádraig Fogarty for Seán Quirke, (62nd) Alan Ryan for Daniel Keogh.
An Rinn: Donie Ó Murchadha, Ray Ó Ceallaigh, Shane Ó Cuirrin, Séamus Ó Lionán, Cillian Ó Murchadha, Darach Breathnach, Criostóir Breathnach, Ferdia Ó Haodha, Tadhg Ó Huallachain (0-1), Dónal Breathnach (0-6, 0-5 frees), Shane Ó Ceallaigh, Pádraig Ó Murchadha, Liam Ó Lionán, Bili Breathnach (0-4), Ciarán Tóibín. Subs: (42nd) Fearghal Ó Ceallaigh for Ciarán Tóibín, (57th) Cian Ó Conchúir for Shane Ó Ceallaigh.
Referee: Declan O’Driscoll (Limerick).