A draw was the best outcome because there were imperfections from all parties involved in this senior hurling championship quarter-final.
The Rower-Inistioge weren’t happy to shoot 10 wides when gale assisted during the opening period at wind swept Thomastown on Saturday.
Opponents Carrickshock looked to have the hard work done when they turned around to play with the elements with a mere three points to make up, 0-7 to 0-4, but there was no real shape to their efforts afterwards.
And referee, Sean Cleere, probably had better days too. The sending off of Richie Power after being shown two yellow cards left one to wonder, especially about the first card. And then the call against Joe Lyng in the 58th minute for over carrying that earned Carrickshock the lead point looked harsh in the extreme.
Still, it all worked out okay in the end. Both teams have another chance this Saturday to make the semis. A 20-metre free for the Rower seconds into injury-time was converted by top scorer, Michael Grace to even it up at 0-12 each at the finish.
Relief was the predominant feeling afterwards.
“At half-time we were three points up after we missed a lot, including four frees,” Rower manager, Ger Morrissey recalled. “At least we were creating chances. Sometimes it can be easier to play against the wind, which was a huge factor. It was a fair enough result.
“I couldn’t have asked for more in the second half, especially from the defence. Maybe we could have had a bit more composure on the ball at times, but this was a championship clash on an awful day. There was no room for fancy stuff.”
Carrickshock manager, Maurice Power said: “That sort of thing is bad for the heart. The conditions were tough and they led to a dour, physical game. It was very difficult to score, with or against the wind.
“A draw was a fair result. We both have another go at it. We looked in a good position at half-time, but we knew it would be hard to score, and it was. We said it to the lads in the dressing-room not to be doing any silly shooting. The Rower defended very well in the second half, and they must be given credit for that.”
The wind whistle towards the town end goal, and it pushed ball to the right. Hence the difficulty finding the range. The Rower flashed over early points through Ciaran Ryan and Michael Grace (free), but with John Tennyson starting particularly well in the heart of the ’Shock defence, scoring progress was difficult. David Franks and Pat Tennyson did very well during this period for ’Shock too, who had their defences set up well. Their hurling was sure, compact and disciplined.
The Rower had a third score in the sixth minute when Joe Lyng charged down the centre before shooting. Measured against three scores, six wides looked bad at the end of the quarter.
Carrickshock didn’t open their account until the 16th minute. A foul on Michael Rohan saw Jamie Power have a go, but the ball fell short before Richie Power put it over the bar. This was the case with a fair few of their efforts; they fell short and Rower goalie Liam Tierney mopped up possession.
The Rower’s best position was attained in the 24th minute when a point from Pat Lyng, after great foraging by Tom Murphy, left them 0-6 to 0-1 clear. John Power got to the end of a well placed ball from John Tennyson to shoot Carrickshock’s second score within 90 seconds. Two more from Richie Power (frees) left them well placed at the break: 0-7 (RI) to 0-4.
One expected the free taking of Richie Power to be crucial after the turn. It was never allowed became an issue because of the disciplined and powerful hurling of the entire Rower defence. Kieran Joyce was magnificent. He did ‘a Power on it’ by shooting two splendid long range points from all of 80 metres, a distance the opposition couldn’t make earlier.
The Rower opened the second half with a point from Pat Lyng, and even if Paddy Mulcahy hit back for an excellent reply almost immediately from way out on the left wing, Carrickshock couldn’t break the opposing defence. Most of the way the divide was two or three points.
The ’Shock looked to have landed a big blow when they got the ball in the net in the 43rd minute. The score was scrubbed after the referee consulted with him umpires. Richie Power made the play in a central position on the ‘35’ with a hand-pass inside to Kevin Farrell, who beat the goalie with a good shot.
After the score was wiped, apparently because the hand-pass was ruled as a throw, Power (Richie) was booked for the first time.
The divide was shaved to two in the 45th minute when the same Power punished a foul on his brother, John. Two minutes later the ’Shock took a short puck-out; goalie to corner-back Franks, who rifled the ball up to the opposing ‘20’. A foul earned Richie Power a point. Shortly afterwards Kevin Farrell flashed over the equaliser (0-10 each).
Kieran Joyce landed one of those monstrous points mentioned earlier to put the Rower back in front. Kevin Farrell replied. Moments later Richie Power received his marching orders.
The tough call against Lyng followed. Jamie Power put Carrickshock in front for the first time from the free. After Michael Grace levelled in lost time the Rower had one more chance, per Darragh Joyce. The ball shaved an upright. An untidy finish, but a fair one!
SCORERS: Rower-Inistioge - Michael Grace (0-8, five frees); Kieran Joyce (0-2, frees); Joe Lyng, Pat Lyng (0-1 each). Carrickshock - Richie Power (0-7, five frees); Kevin Farrell (0-2); Jamie Power (0-1, free); Paddy Mulcahy, John Power (0-1 each).
Carrickshock - Emmett Dunphy, John Murphy, John Dalton, David Franks, John Cahill, John Tennyson, Pat Tennyson, Shane Power, Paddy Mulcahy, Jamie Power, John Power, Michael Rohan, Kevin Farrell, Richie Power, Brian Donovan. Subs - John Butler, Darren O’Dwyer, Darragh Brennan.
Rower-Inistioge - Liam Tierney, Eoin Doyle, Sean Cummins, Darragh Joyce, Ruairi Galavan, Kieran Joyce, Sean Lyster, Sean Grace, Joe Lyng, Michael Grace, David Lyng, Ciaran Ryan, Cathal Bolger, Tom Murphy, Pat Lyng. Subs - Conor Joyce, Richie Leahy.
Referee - Sean Cleere.