AHANE 1-11 GARRYSPILLANE 0-13 Limerick SHC final IT was heartbreak for Garryspillane as county star Niall Moran ended their dream of a first ever Limerick SHC title, and delivered Ahane their 19th, in front of 7,000 fans at the Gaelic Grounds yesterday.
Deep into injury time both sides looked resigned to a replay, when Ahane, under the cosh for long periods, won a free. Moran pointed from 58 yards and while a few seconds remained for the Bouncers to draw level for what would have been the 10th occasion, they were repelled by a magnificent Olly Moran at centre back.
The last ten minutes apart, it was pretty dreadful stuff with neither side able to impose any sort of authority.
Neither was there any flow to the game, with a string of injuries, over 45 frees and little quality.
In the first half, which ended at 0-7 to 1-4, there were just three scores from play, increased to five at the end of the third quarter, again with the teams on equal terms at 0-10 to 1-7.
Garryspillane custodian Darren Hayes will have nightmares about the Ahane goal, midway through the opening period.
Centre back Moran struck a 70-yard free deep into the goalmouth, Hayes smothered the ball but as he attempted to clear, Brian Healy nicked it from his hurley and scooped to the net.
The ageless Frankie Carroll still managed to keep Garryspillane in touch from placed balls and it was all square 0-7 to 1-4 at the break. When Dave Ryan knocked over a brace of points for the south Limerickmen on the turnover, the pressure was back on Ahane. Niall Moran and John Meskell ensured equality, and it remained nip and tuck to the finish. In 55 minutes, Meskell swung it the way of Ahane once more. Almost immediately Donie Ryan replied. There was further late drama when David Laing had the Ahane fans on their feet when he hit the net with a stinging shot. However, referee Michael Mann spotted an infringement and ruled out his effort.
With calls to the referee to signal full time, Ahane got the vital break when awarded a free and Moran did his duty.
SCORERS - Ahane: N Moran 0-6 (0-5f), B Healy 1-1, J Meskell 0-2 (0-1f), D Laing, J Moran 0-1 each. Garryspillane: F Carroll 0-6 (all frees), Donie Ryan 0-3, TJ Ryan 0-2 (0-1f), David Ryan 0-2 (0-2 frees).
AHANE - F McCarthy; D O'Sullivan, B Meskell, D Fitzgerald, C Smith, O Moran, C O'Reilly; N Moran, A O'Doherty; J Moran, D Laing, J Meskell, B Healy, S O'Connor, P Ryan. Sub: M Hayes for O'Doherty.
GARRYSPILLANE - D Hayes; S Bourke, J Sheehan, J Kiely, M O'Brien, David Ryan, T O'Donnell; J Ryan, M O'Donnell; C Hickey, TJ Ryan, T Harty, Donie Ryan, F Carroll, D O'Dea. Subs: P Hyland for D O'Dea, M O'Dea for Harty.
REF - M Mann (Ballybrown).