13-man Coolderry get the better of Mount Leinster Rangers to advance to Leinster last four
COOLDERRY 1-22 MOUNT LEINSTER RANGERS 1-16
COOLDERRY emerged from this high-octane Leinster club senior hurling quarter-final at Tullamore with a well-merited six-point victory – despite finishing with 13 men.
The Offaly kingpins lost two men in the second half – Kevin Brady to a second yellow and then Mark Bergin to a straight red in the dying minutes – but held firm to reach the provincial semi-finals.
There they must travel to face the winners of the postponed quarter-final clash between Ballyboden St Enda’s and Clonkill; the probable loss of Bergin through suspension will be a major blow on the evidence of his inspired 0-3 from midfield here in the second half.
The other semi-final will see Wexford's Naomh Eanna face Balyhale Shamrocks after the former beat Camross of Laois by 3-18 to 2-16 today.
Overall, Mount Leinster Rangers could have no complaints: after making the faster start on enemy terrain, the Carlow champions found it increasingly difficult to keep tabs on Coolderry’s danger men.
None was more elusive than skipper Kevin Connolly, who finished with 0-7 from play, albeit another former Offaly star, Brian Carroll, wasn’t far behind.
The Coolderry veteran shot 1-5, 1-2 coming from play, and his 19th minute goal – a venomous angled drive to the roof of Dean Grennan’s net – was especially crucial as they kicked on to lead by 1-13 to 1-9 after a highly entertaining first half.
Carroll’s goal came just a minute after Chris Nolan, Mount Leinster’s most dangerous scoresmith, had swivelled onto his left side to bury their goal, thus restoring a 1-5 to 0-6 cushion for the visitors.
They had been far sharper out of the blocks and, three times in the opening quarter, led by two points.
But a series of monster frees from his own half by Coolderry ‘keeper Stephen Corcoran brought Coolderry back into contention before Connolly and Carroll came into their own. Corcoran’s final tally would reach 0-5 and he embellished his deadball heroics with an injury-time penalty save to deny Kevin McDonald.
SCORERS - Coolderry: B Carroll 1-5 (3f), K Connolly 0-7, S Corcoran 0-5f, M Bergin 0-3, C Molloy 0-2. Mount Leinster Rangers: C Nolan 1-3, D Murphy (2f), D Byrne 0-3 each, E Byrne, J Murphy 0-2 each, J Nolan, M Malone, T Joyce 0-1 each.
COOLDERRY: S Corcoran; S Connolly, T Corcoran, S Burke; B Teehan, K Brady, B Kelly; M Bergin, D King; C Molloy, M Corcoran, E Parlon; B Carroll, J Brady, K Connolly. Subs: C Parlon for J Brady (ht), W Malone for M Corcoran (45), D Parlon for E Parlon (47), D Miller for Carroll (64).
MOUNT LEINSTER RANGERS: D Grennan; G Kelly, R Kelly, M Doyle; K McDonald, R Coady, G Lawlor; D Phelan, D Byrne; J Murphy, M Malone, E Byrne; D Murphy, C Nolan, J Nolan. Subs: P Coady for D Murphy (38), T Joyce for Phelan (43), W Hickey for Lawlor (52), J Kelly for J Nolan (62).
REF: J Keenan (Wicklow)