Fourteen-man Kildare and a last gasp point for Derry ensured both sides enjoyed victory in the Christy Ring Cup today.
Despite playing with fourteen men for 40 minutes, Kildare remain on course to retain the Christy Ring Cup following this win over Mayo at James Stephens Park Ballina yesterday.
It looked decidedly gloomy for the Lillywhites when they trailed 1-10 to 0-5 at the brek and lost Johnny Bynre to a straight red card after an off-the-ball incident with David Kenny of Mayo.
Playing his first hurling match this year, Keith Higgins scored the Mayo goal just before the break but Mayo were hit by two second half goals by Kildare, both from Willie Greene, the second a tad fortuitous as his long centre was dropped into the net by the Mayo goalkeeper Donal O'Brien.
That second goal levelled the game at 2-9 to 1-12 and Mayo had a great chance to take the lead when they were awarded a penalty but Kenny Feeney's effort flew over the bar.
But it was Kildare's ability to pick off some long range points with a very strong wind which ultimately decided it, Mark Delaney, Gerry Keegan and Martin Fitzgerald particularly effective.
The numbers were balanced in the last minute when Brian Hunt was given a straight red.
SCORERS FOR KILDARE- W Green 2-3, M Delaney 0-7 (5f),G Keegan 0-3, M Fitzgerald and B Deay 0-2, D each, D Flaherty 0-1. MAYO -F Boland 0-7, K Feeney 0-7, 3f, 1 '65, K Higgins 1-0, K McDermott and S Hoban 0-1 each.,
Mayo: D O’Brien; B Hunt, A Connolly, E Collins; D Kenny, K Higgin, N Casey; K McDermott, P O’Flynn; F Boland, K Feeney, A Lyons; S Hoban, L Cribbin, D McTigue
SUBS – S Boland for Cribbin (45), D Gallagher for Lyons (60)
Kildare: P Dermody; M Delaney, F O’Muinecháin, J Doran; D Stapleton, N O’Muinecháin, E O’Neill; M Fitzgerald, M Moloney; W Greene, J Byrne, L Quinnl D Flaherty, D Deay, E Dempsey. :
SUBS: G Keegan for Quinn (h.t) K Whelan for F Ó Muineachain (inj, 39m).
In the final minute of normal time Allan Grant harried London corner back Conor Hickey into carrying the sliothar over the end line and Paddy Henry stepped up the land the ‘65’ for the winning score, the Derry sharp-shooter scoring 1-6 in a player of the match performance,
London took an early four point lead but Derry came back strongly to level at 0-4 each in the 22nd minute but right on the short whistle Mark O’Dwyer put London 1-5 to 0-6 ahead.
Paddy Henry netted for Derry in the 37th minute, O’Dwyer hitting his second goal seven minutes from time.
But Derry won out to reach the semi-final for the first time ever.
The Derry scorers were P Henry 1-6, 0-5 frees, 1 ‘65’, R Convery 0-3, 0-2 frees P Cleary, P McCloskey and N Ferris 0-1 each
The London scorers were P Phelan 0-6 frees, M O’Dwyer 2-0, N Rogers and T Healy 0-1 each
D McDermott M Warnock C Quinn McCullagh A Rafferty C McSorley K Hinphey S McGuigan B Quigley P McCloskey P Cleary P Henry A Kelly R Convery A Grant
D Flanagan for B Quigley 54 mins, N Ferris for P McCloskey 50 mins, B Douban for A Kelly 64 mins
J Barrett C Hickey L Gaule K Fitzpatrick T Healy M Ryan G Morkan E Cooney N Rogers P Phelan N Brophy M O’Dwyer M Ivors K Coen E Collins
P Murphy for K Coen 43mins, C McAlinden for E Collins 52 mins
Referee John Keane Galway