County Junior Hurling League [Round 5]
GALMOY 1-17, GRAIGNAMANAGH 3-10
Four minutes into injury time of this County Junior League clash at Galmoy on Sunday July 22nd 2012, Graignamanagh were awarded a thirty metre free in front of goal. With Galmoy one point ahead, one expected Eddie Walsh to pop the sliotar over the bar and settle for the draw. Unbelievably, Walsh’s shot slipped outside the upright and Galmoy escaped to victory.
The home side led 1-10 to 0-4, after playing with the breeze, at the interval. But for the second week in succession they let their opponents back into the game and almost paid the price. Ronan Dowling and Phil Russell exchanged early points before Galmoy hit a string of wides. Stephen Murphy settled them with a seventh minute free, his first of ten for the afternoon. Martin Phelan added another from distance before Eddie Walsh opened the visitor’s account from a free, following a needless foul on Cathal Roche.
Galmoy were dealt a blow after ten minutes when Noel Doherty had to retire with a hamstring injury. Two Stephen Murphy frees extended their lead before a foul on Ronan Dowling, saw Eddie Walsh add another free for Graignamanagh. Straight off the puck out James Dunne caught a good ball and passed to Nigel Stanley who pointed.
From that resultant puck out Seamus Kavanagh pucked out a worn and battered sliotar. That ploy backfired when Martin Phelan sent the ball right back in from 60 metres and the sliotar went into the top of the net off the goalie’s Hurley. A lucky break for the hosts!
Jim Ryan popped over Graig’s last point of the half in the 19th minute and Galmoy had three more pointed frees from Stephen Murphy as Graignamanagh conceded some reckless fouls to lead by nine points at the break.
One expected the southerners to respond after the break and with the strengthening breeze behind them that is what they did. They switched James Cahill from centre back to centre forward and he had a big influence on their fight back. Eddie Walsh started the ball rolling from a placed ball when a Galmoy defender picked the sliotar off the grass. Walsh then took a pass from Cahill and slotted over from an angle on the left. Cahill soon added a point of his own before Graig hit three bad wides in a row. In the interim, Stephen Murphy, from a free and Phil Russell had two Galmoy white flags flying. Murphy then made a good run forward before setting Stephen Delaney up for another Galmoy minor.
The Graignamanagh selectors then made their game saving move when they switched Eddie Walsh to full forward in the 41st minute. The move paid off within a minute when Walsh sent a stinger to the net following a good cross by young Lee Kinsella from the right hand side. Two minutes later it was Kinsella who applied the finishing touch to the net following a long free downfield by full back James Meaney.
That left it Galmoy 1-13 Graignamanagh 2-7 with quarter of an hour remaining and all to fight for.
As Graig introduced two more substitutes, Ronan Dowling pointed for the second time as the visiting full forward line toyed with their direct opponents .Phil Russell was grounded at the other and Stephen Murphy brought the advantage back to three points. Stephen Delaney had a good outing for Galmoy and, after blocking a defender’s clearance; he gathered the sliotar and pointed in the 52nd minute.
A minute later Lee Kinsella won a penalty for Graignamanagh as he tried for his second goal. Brendan Phelan blocked Eddie Walsh’s shot and Galmoy survived, but only momentarily.
Walsh fielded a delivery from substitute Adam Kennedy, rounded his man and struck home Graig’s third goal of the half. He then put over two quick frees and the Graig men led as the game slipped into injury time. Stephen Delaney and substitute Donncha Gray won two vital late frees for Galmoy and sharpshooter Murphy made no mistake to give a one point lead to the hosts before we had that last minute drama. The result confines Graignamanagh to relegation territory while Galmoy’s win pushes them up to a third place finish on the League table.
GALMOY: Joe Dollard, Brian Doherty, Brendan Phelan, Eamonn Corcoran, John Phelan ,Niall Doherty, Michael Brennan, Nigel Stanley (0-1),Martin Phelan(1-1), Thomas Phelan(Bawn), Stephen Delaney(0-2), Noel Doherty, Phil Russell(0-3), Stephen Murphy(0-10frees), James Dunne(Capt.),
Subs: Frank Phelan for Noel Doherty inj. 10 mins and Donncha Gray for Frank Phelan 53 mins.
GRAIGNAMANAGH: Seamus Kavanagh, Bernard Hennessy, James Meaney ,Ciarán O ‘Brien, Diarmuid O’Neill, James Cahill (0-1),Jim O’Donnell, Brendan Foley, Jim Ryan(0-1),James Doyle, Padraig Whelan, Eddie Walsh(2-6,0-5 frees),Lee Kinsella(1-0),Cathal Roche, Ronan Dowling(0-2).
Subs: Leonard Blanchfield for Jim Ryan 31 mins, Paul Hamilton for Padraig Whelan 45 mins and Adam Kennedy for James Doyle 49 mins.
Referee: Pat Hayes (Graigue Ballycallan)