O’Donoghue was ‘The Equaliser’

Two late points from frees by substitute, Cian O’Donoghue earned Tullogher-Rosbercon a share of the spoils in this interesting, sometimes exciting South junior hurling ‘B’ encounter in the Rower on Saturday.

Two late points from frees by substitute, Cian O’Donoghue earned Tullogher-Rosbercon a share of the spoils in this interesting, sometimes exciting South junior hurling ‘B’ encounter in the Rower on Saturday.

The home side, with the Summer breeze at their backs, were the better outfit in the first half, and even though their take could have been bettered, they were still good value for their half time score of 1-8. Mickie McDonald shot them to the front inside the first couple of minutes, and centre-forward Tom Murphy really ignited them with a fine goal in the 12th minute.

Tullogher had their first mark when Eddie Cullinane shot their opener in the 14th minute, a point from a placed ball. Donnacha O’Connor racked up the first of his two goals for Tullogher in the 21st minute to keep them in the slipstream of the home side who were beginning to flex their muscles as they led by 1-3 to Tullogher’s 0-1 at that stage.

It was 1-8 (Rower) to 1-3 at the break, but the homesters were now well aware that they were not going to get an easy ride from the Tullogher men.

The Rower’s defence, with Shane Ryan and David Tennyson particularly impressive, were well aware of the threat of the likes of Eddie Cullinane and Donnacha O’Connor. They could not afford to allow them to locate any kind of space in front of their goal. It was still anyone’s game.

A goal by Cullinane within seconds of the restart shocked the Rower. Within a further two minutes, Cian O’Donoghue belted over a free, and now from being a bit behind they found themselves just a single point adrift.

As is oft times the case, the Rower responded with conviction. Points by Thomas Whelan and Pauric Ryan by the 40th minute were followed by a Sean Grace (Charlefield) goal in the 41st minute.

Tullogher responded almost instantly with a goal from Donnacha O’Connor. Half way through the second half, the Rower led by four points and seemed to have weathered the storm. They were still two points to the good at the 59-minute mark, and then we had those two O’Donoghue frees, to bring the tie to stale-mate.

A good game that both sides might have won, but neither side would claim that a draw was not a fair result.

Scorers: Rower-Inistioge - Michael Doyle (0-6, two frees); Sean Grace ( C) Tom Murphy (1-0 each); Pauric Tierney (0-3); Pauric Ryan, Mickie McDonald (0-2 each); Tony Whelan, Sean Grace (0-1 each). Tullogher-Rosbercon - Cian O’Donoghue (0-9, four frees, one ’65); Eddie Cullinane (1-3, two pointed frees); Donnacha O’Connor (2-0).

Rower-Inistioge - Paddy Lyng, Neil Lyng, Nicky Kenny, Shane Ryan, Paudie Fleming, David Tennyson, Luke Tennyson, Sean Grace (Ch), Tony Whelan, Pauric Ryan, Tom Murphy, Pauric Tierney, Michael McDonald, Sean Grace, Michael Doyle. Subs - Dan Cottrell.

Tullogher-Rosbercon - Eoin Ryan, James Murphy, Bob Forristall, Shane Morey, Mark O’Brien, Tony Conway, John Murphy, Anthony Cottrell, Brendan Lawlor, Kevin Hennessy, Jim Ryan, Donnacha O’Connor, Willie Ryan, Eddie Cullinane, Brian Aylward. Subs - Richie Ryan, Cian O’Donoghue.

Referee - Johnny Minogue (Thomastown).