St Colman’s Fermoy 0-20 Midleton CBS 0-20
ST COLMAN’S overcame the handicap of playing with 14 men for the second-half as well as a six-point deficit after 42 minutes to earn a deserved share of the spoils following a thrilling Dr Harty Cup tie with old rivals Midleton CBS in Watergrasshill on Wednesday.
It looked bleak for the Fermoy side, trailing by 0-18 to 0-14 with two minutes of regulation time remaining after the second of Timmy Wilk’s impressive brace, but they never gave up the chase and rescued a valuable point in a hectic six minutes’ injury-time.
Substitute Liam Foley restored parity for just the sixth time with an equaliser four minute into added-on time only for Midleton’s star performer, Dungourney’s Jack Leahy, to, twice, edge his side in front again but Cillian Tobin answered in kind with a couple of magnificent long-range efforts.
It was a brilliant conclusion to a thoroughly enjoyable opener to Munster’s Second-Level prime hurling championship featuring a spell-binding joust between Leahy and St Colman’s Jamie Magnier, who had an equal share of 0-22 between them.
Forwards certainly earned their scores as the tackling was hard and uncompromising at both ends of the pitch though a draw was the right outcome in a group containing the defending champions, Tulla from Clare.
Midleton played down the slope in the first half with the use of a gentle breeze which helped them lead 0-10 to 0-7 at the break.
A critical moment arrived three minutes into six added on for injuries and stoppages, when St Colman’s lost Brendan Lehane, who was having a right tussle with Daniel Murnane on the 40, to a straight red card for an incident involving Midleton full-back Alex Moloney, who picked up a yellow card.
The east Cork side pressed home their numerical advantage with four points on the trot, including a spectacular effort from Murnane, to jump 0-14 to 0-8 ahead by the 43rd minute.
St Colman’s kept battling, escaping with a timely intervention from keeper Shane Coughlan, who smothered Shane Irwin’s attempt on goal for a 65, which Leahy converted for 0-16 to 0-13, as the excitement levels reached a crescendo in a dramatic finish.
J Magnier 0-11 (0-7 f, 0-1 65), C Tobin, B Lehane, S O’Donoghue 0-2 each, R O’Connell 0-2 (0-1 f), L Foley 0-1.
J Leahy 0-11 (0-4 f, 0-2 65), T Wilk 0-2, C O’Callaghan, D Murnane, T O’Regan, J O’Brien, D McCarthy, S Irwin, C Leahy 0-1 each.
S Coughlan (Fermoy); G O’Brien (St Catherine’s), D Cashman (Bride Rovers), F O’Connell (St Catherine’s); M O’Driscoll (Watergrasshill), J O’Brien (Fermoy), C Hazelwood (Bride Rovers); D Barry (do), O Fitzgerald (St Catherine’s); R O’Connell (Bride Rovers), B Lehane (Watergrasshill), L Roche (Bride Rovers); S O’Donoghue (St Catherine’s), C Tobin (Bride Rovers), J Magnier (Killavullen).
L Foley (Watergrasshill) for Roche (half-time), J Ahern (Bride Rovers) for Hazelwood (48).
P O’Sullivan (Fr O’Neill’s, j-c); D Leahy (Castlemartyr), A Moloney (Midleton), S O’Callaghan (Aghada); C O’Callaghan (Dungourney), D Murnane (Carrigtwohill), T O’Regan (Cloyne); T Roche (Midleton), J O’Brien (Cloyne); T Wilk (Cobh), P Walsh (Carrigtwohill), D McCarthy (Killeagh); J Leahy (Dungourney, jc), S Irwin (Erin’s Own), C Leahy (Killeagh).
K Walsh (Lisgoold) for Irwin (58), S Brennan (Carrigtwohill) for O’Brien (60+2).
E Coleman (Youghal).