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 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.
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.
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).