Watergrasshill capture the junior B crown after a thrilling shootout with Mallow

Watergrasshill capture the junior B crown after a thrilling shootout with Mallow
Thomas Dinan, Watergrasshill, blasts over the bar from close range. Picture: Larry Cummins

Watergrasshill 2-16 Mallow 3-11

WATERGRASSHILL were crowned Junior B Inter-divisional Hurling champions following victory over Mallow in the decider at Páirc Uí Rinn on Saturday night.

This was a replay after both sides played out an exciting draw a few weeks back. It was another fine game of hurling.

Mallow looked to have won the game in a frantic seven minutes of injury time when they scored a goal but Watergrasshill’s response was outstanding.

Watergrasshill celebrate after their win against Mallow. Picture: Larry Cummins
Watergrasshill celebrate after their win against Mallow. Picture: Larry Cummins

Watergrasshill dominated the opening-half; they scored three points inside six minutes. Willie O’Leary, William Connolly and a Colm Fenton free with the white flags.

Mallow were struggling, but did score two points on the bounce, through Conor Hannon and a Michael Maher free.

The sides traded points, as the Hill led 0-4 to 0-3 after 17 minutes. Watergrasshill extended their lead out to four points, as Kieran O’Keeffe, Connolly and a Fenton free all scored points.

Mallow, despite being out-played, reduced the lead to one point, Gary Sweeney sent in a long ball into the box, it evaded everyone, and went into the net.

It failed to spur them on, as Watergrasshill finished the half strong with the last three points, 0-10 to 1-3.

On the resumption, Mallow scored five of the eight points scored in the third-quarter, sub Fergal Cormack scored four of Mallow’s points, as his side only trailed by two points after the third-quarter, 0-13 to 1-8.

The teams exchanged points, until the impressive William Connolly extended the winners lead out to three points after 55 minutes.

Conor Hannon replied with a long-range effort for Mallow, 0-15 to 1-10.

Kieran Coakley in action on the half-back line. Picture: Larry Cummins
Kieran Coakley in action on the half-back line. Picture: Larry Cummins

Not many inside the ground could have predicted what was going to unravel in the seven minutes of injury-time. As the game went into the 60th minute, Matty Taylor popped up to score a wonder of a goal for Mallow.

Watergrasshill went down the other end of the pitch and broke Mallow’s hearts with a crucial green flag, sub Chris Healy set up Killian Roche for an easy finish.

Cormack pointed from a free for the losers, but Roche replied from a placed ball to push the lead out to two points. The winners added a second goal, Roche again.

That wasn’t the end of a breathless injury-time period; Mallow scored their third goal, Brian Carey’s long-range free went all the way into the net.

The final whistle sounded from the resulting puck out.

Watergrasshill captain Don O'Riordan holds the cup as the team celebrate their win against Mallow. Picture: Larry Cummins
Watergrasshill captain Don O'Riordan holds the cup as the team celebrate their win against Mallow. Picture: Larry Cummins

Scorers for Watergrasshill: K Roche 2-4 (0-2 f), W Connolly 0-5, C Fenton 0-3 f, T Dinan 0-2, W O’Leary 0-1, K O’Keeffe 0-1.

Mallow: F McCormack 0-6 (0-5 f), B Carey 1-0 f, G Sweeney 1-0, M Taylor 1-0, M Maher 0-2, C Hannon 0-2, B Murphy 0-1.

WATERGRASSHILL: J Foley; M Murphy, C Murphy, C Cronin; M Kennedy, K Coakley, B Fenton; K O’Keeffe, D O’Riordan (C); W O’Leary, W Connolly, C Fenton; K Roche, TJ Forde, T Dinan.

Subs: C Healy for TJ Forde (41), A Foley for T Dinan (54).

MALLOW: R Harkin; E Murphy, J Healy, C Murphy; B O’Riordan, B Carey, R Downey; C Hannon, M Maher; C Stokes, G Sweeney; B Murphy; M Taylor, B John-Ryan (C), S Buckley.

Subs: F McCormack for S Buckley (half-time), G O’Sullivan for E Murphy (42), M Roche for G O’Sullivan (50, inj), J Glynn for B John-Ryan (55), F Moynihan for G Sweeney (55).

Referee: David Daly (Brian Dillon’s).

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