CRAANFORD FR. O’REGANS 0-17
NAOMH ÉANNA (GOREY) 0-17
THE GOREY District Junior ‘B’ hurling championship final in Camolin on Friday turned into a classic battle between two local rivals as Craanford and Naomh Éanna couldn’t be separated in 60 minutes.
With light fading extra-time wasn’t possible, so the sides had to do it all over again last night (Tuesday) ahead of next Sunday’s county quarter-finals for both at the same venue.
After missing an early goal chance, Naomh Éanna full-forward Barry Levingston pointed an early free, before opposition number 14 Martin Doyle slotted over from play to level the tie.
Kevin Poole managed to fire over four points in a row for Craanford, three from long-range frees with the aid of a very strong breeze before converting another effort from play.
Gorey’s response came through Oisín Hobbs before Levingston narrowed the gap with another placed ball.
Poole was on fire from frees, adding another one to his increasing tally. Craanford were using the strong breeze to fire ball into the full-forward line, resulting in two quickfire scores from dangerous corner-forward James Nolan.
Opposition corner-forward Eddie O’Brien-Murphy pointed from a narrow angle before Levingston added two more, one from play before slotting a placed ball minutes after Poole had done the same for Craanford.
That left three points between the sides at the break, with Gorey trailing by 0-9 to 0-6.
Craanford made a change at half-time with John Fleming coming on in the inside line. And he enjoyed an immediate impact, slotting over an outrageous sideline cut from a near impossible angle.
Gorey narrowed the gap with midfielder Paddy Dwyer using the strong breeze to his advantage. Fleming responded this time with an effort from play along with sharpshooter Poole.
Levingston’s frees were keeping his side in the game as he narrowed the gap again. John Langan-Murphy came off the bench and he fired over immediately for Naomh Éanna.
With 15 minutes left, Gorey pushed forward and this resulted in them winning a penalty. Levingston stepped up but his effort was expertly saved by Thomas Tobin who also dealt with the rebound to keep his side ahead.
Missing this penalty kicked Gorey into gear all the same as they won four frees in a row which were all converted by Levingston.
Craanford’s solitary reply after this purple patch came from the hurl of centre-forward John Lancaster. This score was massively against the run of play and stemmed a flurry of Gorey points.
Naomh Éanna’s defence was well on top at this point as their half-backs pushed forward at every opportunity. This resulted in Oran Fitzpatrick landing a monster score before Langan-Murphy levelled the tie from out wide.
With the final whistle drawing close, Aaron Byrne was brought on for Gorey, and within minutes he managed to put two points over the bar.
It looked like this had sealed the deal for his side, but that wasn’t the case. Kevin Poole narrowed the gap to the minimum with an effort from the sideline and, with the last puck of the game, he then levelled the tie with a free from 65 yards.
Craanford: Thomas Tobin; Pádraig Tobin, Pat Kenny, Jack Kenny; Michael Shortall, James Byrne, Páraic Redmond; William Conroy, Cian O’Toole; Martin Kenny, John Lancaster (0-1), Kevin Poole (0-11, 8 frees); James Nolan (0-2), Martin Doyle (0-1), Pádraic Donohue. Subs. - John Fleming (0-2, 1 line ball) for Donohue (30), Des Kavanagh for O’Toole (54).
Naomh Éanna: Declan O’Dwyer; Dean Dowling, John O’Brien, Ross Kavanagh; Oran Fitzpatrick (0-1), Brian Sunderland, Kevin Molloy; Paddy Dwyer (0-1), Darragh Fitzpatrick; Noel Kennedy, Jack Molloy, Oisín Hobbs (0-1); Jamie Kinch, Barry Levingston (0-9, 8 frees), Eddie O’Brien-Murphy (0-1). Subs. - John Langan-Murphy (0-2) for Kennedy (30), Aaron Byrne (0-2) for Kinch (54), James McGraynor for Langan-Murphy (60).
Referee: Shane Quinn (Ballygarrett).