Reserve power played a huge part when the Rower Inistioge (Kilkenny) charged to their first victory in the All-Ireland Club Intermediate Hurling final at Croke Park yesterday.
The game went to extra-time, and with subs Paul Sheehan, James Cassin and Conor Joyce all shooting points, the trophy went back to the Noresiders for the second successive year.
At the end of the first half of extra-time, Kilnadeema Leitrim trailed by 1-10 to 1-9. However, they had nothing left in the tank and they weren't to score again, with Paul Sheehan flashing over a point to put the Rower on their way.
In the opening period of extra-time Kilnadeema drew first blood. David Tierney made a daring run upfield and his well-placed pass led to a point from Liam Geraghty. The Rower were back level within a minute, via a pointed '65' from Paul Sheehan.
The Rower twice had the chance to win the match in normal time. Paul Sheehan and Joe Lyng had them in front, but the opposition hit back each time, first through Dara Herlihy and a smashing pointed free from the right sideline by Brian Molloy forced the issue to extra-time, with Rower prevailing.
Scorers – Rower-Inistioge: P Sheehan 0-4 (0-2f, 0-1 '65'), J Lyng 0-3, C Ryan 1-0, D Lyng, J Cassin, M Grace (f) 0-2 each, R Galavan, T Murphy, C Joyce 0-1 each. Kilnadeema: B Molloy 0-5 (0-3 frees), L Geraghty 1-1, D Herlihy 0-2, T Tierney 0-1.
Ballysaggart 5-12 Kickhams Creggan 2-21
BALLYSAGGART and Kickhams Creggan will have to do it all again after they drew an incredible All-Ireland Club Junior Hurling Championship final at Croke Park yesterday.
Kickhams levelled with the last puck of normal time and then pushed three in front despite having midfielder Sam Maguire sent off with nearly 10 minutes left in extra-time.
But with just seconds remaining Shane Bennett got his hat-trick to level this crazy game again and force the replay.
Kickhams forced this game into extra-time when Conor McCann nervelessly fired over a monster free with the last puck of the game.
It was the least that they deserved having bravely battled back from 10 points down, 3-7 to 0-6, early in the second half.
McCann was brilliant for them as they tore into their Waterford opponents, scoring 1-2 of his 1-5 in normal time after the break.
Bennett brothers Stephen and Shane, both part of last year's Déise All-Ireland minor winning set-up, were the twin threats up front for Ballysaggart, notching an impressive 5-7 between them.
Scorers – Ballysaggart: S Bennett 2-7, (2-5f), S Bennett 3-0, K Cashell 0-2, R Walsh, K Bennett, D Devine 0-1 each. Kickhams Creggan: C McCann 1-6 (1-0 pen, 0-2f), O McCann 0-8 (5f), K Rice 0-4 (1f), C Small 1-0, R McCann 0-2 (1f) J Carey 0-1.