Tuesday 23 January 2018

Kinsella goal ruled out at the death

GERALDINE O'HANRAHANS and Naomh Eanna will have to do it all again after 60 minutes couldn't split them in the Intermediate A football championship semi-final at Bellefield on Saturday last.

Gorey looked like they had snatched a last-gasp, sensational win in the battle of these two unbeaten sides when Lee Kinsella punched the ball to the net from close range after David O'Brien's free was cleared out from under the crossbar.

However, after consultation with his two umpires, referee Barry Redmond gave a free out for a square ball infringement from the dead ball and then blew for full-time to leave the sides to prepare for an intriguing replay.

Playing against the breeze, the New Ross town side had by far the better of the opening exchanges. Shane Roche got two points on the board early while Ricky Doyle split that early double with a powerful finish to the Naomh Eanna net after good work by Jamie Cullen (1-2 to 0-2).

By the 22nd minute the Geraldines had moved five clear but things soon started to go wrong. Roche, so often the difference for his side, hit the upright from a close-range free. The miss seemed to knock the county man's confidence as he went on to spray eight consecutive wides.

Naomh Eanna narrowed the deficit to two at the break with five different scorers making up their five-point total. Joseph O'Connor sped through to goal two minutes into the second period to give Gorey their first lead - an advantage they stretched to two (1-6 to 1-4) with a point from David O'Brien.

After a 28-minute spell without a score - the majority of which had came with the wind at their backs - Doyle finally ended the Geraldines' point embargo with ten minutes remaining. It was a minor Peter Travers quickly countered at the other end.

A marauding Derek Butler was proving to be the New Ross bright spark as the game wore on and he pointed to narrow the gap to one (1-7 to 1-6).

Eoin Bailey levelled in the 54th minute before a David Purcell effort suddenly gave Geraldine O'Hanrahans the lead in the final minute.

To their credit the Gorey town side held their nerve and levelled through John O'Brien before the dramatic ending ensured that both sides lived to fight another day.

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