Banteer 0-17, Kilbrin 0-16
THE second bite at the E Tarrant & Sons Skoda Dealer Duhallow JAHC semi-final cherry proved all the sweeter for Banteer to overcome Kilbrin by the narrowest of margins in a closely contested replay in the presence of a large attendance at Kanturk.
Relying on two late goals in extra time to snatch a draw eight days previously, Banteer carved out a narrow and hard-earned win to return to a decider for the first time since 2017.
From a tense battle with little separating the sides, deadlocked on nine occasions over the hour, Banteer demonstrated the durability necessary to carve out a win thanks to a late Kevin Tarran point.
The early exchanges indicated a close affair, with little to choose between the sides with Kilbrin points by Stephen O’Reilly and Shane Crowley matched by Tarrant and Richard O’Connor.
For a spell, Kilbrin operated with a sense of purpose as Crowley and O’Reilly clipped over points.
Though forging two ahead on two occasions midway through the opening half, Banteer weren’t found wanting thanks to points from Tadgh Sexton, Cal Shine and Roche.
Again Kilbrin nudged ahead thanks to a Ronan Heffernan strike, the tide turned in favour of Banteer thanks to the impetus of Colm Coughlan, O’Connor, James McAulliffe and Alan Coughlan in defence.
That allowed decent ball into attack for David Murphy and Luke Philpott point to enjoy a 0-9 to 0-8 advantage at the interval.
Kilbrin came charging out of the blocks for the second half, points from Niall Field and William Heffernan helped alter the scoreboard. But in a game of swaying fortunes, Banteer charged downfield with Sexton, Tarrant and Philpott finding the range.
Again Kilbrin sought to retrieve the situation, Crowley pointing on the double to trim the arrears to the minimum. However, Banteer’s superior teamwork earned frees for Philpott to convert and enjoy a 0-15 to 0-12 lead.
Kilbrin’s cause wasn’t helped by a second yellow card picked up by Darren Daly yet Kilbrin weren’t short of determination, four consecutive points from Field, Crowley and Heffernan swung the game in their favour.
With Banteer’s resolve tested, they found another gear, Denis Roche pointed a free to equalise before Tarrant delivered the matchwinner.
L Philpott 0-5 (0-4 f), D Roche 0-3 (0-2 f), K Tarrant 0-3, T Sexton, D Murphy 0-2 each, R O’Connor, C Shine 0-1 each.
S Crowley 0-7 (0-5 f), S O’Reilly 0-3, W Heffernan, N Field 0-2 each, R Heffernan, R King 0-1 each.
K Roche; B Withers, M Kearney, C Coughlan; A Coughlan, R O’Connor, J McAulliffe; C Shine, D Kearney; D McAulliffe, K Tarrant, T Sexton; D Roche, L Philpott, D Murphy.
K Sexton for M Kearney, D Wilson for D Kearney.
E Riordan; D Daly, E Sheahan, M Field; R King, C King, B O’Sullivan; C Buttimer, J Harrington; T O’Brien, N Field, S O’Reilly; R Heffernan, W Hefferan, S Crowley.
L Daly for T O’Brien, B O’Mahony for C Buttimer.
D Carroll (Kanturk).