John Lockes (Callan) easily achieved their ambitions of getting to the South junior hurling ‘B’ championship semi-final by taking out the Rower Inistioge more easily than they expected.
Not exactly a game that would warm the cockles of a cold heart on a cold day, nevertheless, the endeavour of both sides was honest in the main, with neither side even contemplating yielding an inch if demanded to do so.
The Rower got off to a great start, and had 1-2 on the scoreboard inside the opening seven minutes. The winners had scarcely vacated the blocks. Bill McCormack had given the John Lockes a one-point start, but their enthusiasm had not morphed into anything worthwhile from a hurling viewpoint until about the 11th minute. At that stage, John Lockes had narrowed the deficit to a mere two points.
The Rower goal was posted by Shane Ryan in the 6th minute.
John Lockes hit a purple patch between the 15th and 18th minutes when Dan McCormach shot 1-2, to push them into a two-point lead.
A John Lockes player was red-carded for an indiscipline act in the 19th minute. That certainly was not going to help any situation. By half time, John Lockes led by 1-9 to 1-5.
Even with the numerical advantage, the Rower Inistioge just could not force the issue with the determined John Lockes. The Callan defenders were standing strong and tough, particularly full back Eoin Fahy, Liam Kennedy and Bill Mc Cormack.
Young Bill McDowell was playing the game of his life at midfield, while the returning Dan Doheny was flying on the half forward line. He really set fire to the John Lockes stove within three minutes of the re-start, when gathering a ball, bearing down on the Rower Inistioge defence, and slipping it over the goal line for a very welcome goal.
A Brian McCann point in the 46th minute afforded the winners a 2-15 to 1-7 lead. The gallant Rower Inistioge had a more than daunting challenge in front of them.
However from there to the finish it was nip and tuck, with the Callan men more than deserving their victory, given their numerical shortfall for a very long time.
Scorers: John Lockes - D. Mc Cormach (1-7, two pointed frees); Dan Doheny (1-1); B. Mc Cormack (0-4, one free); Brian McCann, Mark Shelly (0-2 each); Jim Power (0-1). Rower Inistioge - Daniel Cottrell (0-5, four frees, one ’65); Shane Ryan (1-2, one pointed free); Michael McDonald, Rob Grace, Michael White (0-1 each).
John Lockes - Sean Bryan, Eoin Kennedy, Eoin Fahy, Ruairi Kennedy, Mark Nolan, Bill Mc Cormack, Liam Kennedy, Josh Haines, Bill McDowell, Dan Doheny, Jim Power, Mark Shelly, D.Mc Cormach, Brendan Grace, Brian McCann. Subs - James Maken, David Phelan.
Rower Inistioge - Pauric Lyng, Dara Kennedy, James Roche, Eugene Murphy, Diarmuid Aspel, Paul Flood, Kieran Meaney, Richie Ryan, David Lyster, Michael McDonald, Sean Grace, Michael White, Rob Grace, Daniel Cottrell, Shane Ryan.
Referee - Michael O’Sullivan. (Shamrocks).