A 58th minute point from Conor Fogarty, one of their best players, helped Erin’s Own (Castlecomer) dodge the pitfalls of a relegation battle.
Fogarty’s score was enough to haul back Danesfort, who would have leapfrogged the ’Comer men into a position of mid-table safety.
Saturday’s game in Ballyragget was evenly contested, with both sides having periods of dominance. Martin Boran opened the scoring with a pointed free, but Richie Hogan hit back with a similar score as both sides fought hard to gain the upper hand. It was tit for tat until the end of the first quarter, at which stage the sides were still locked together at 0-4 each.
Conor Fogarty edged the ’Comer side in front in the 17th minute after good work from Eoghan Meally. He was unlucky not to stretch the lead two minutes later with a long range effort after catching a high ball at the heart of his own defence.
A Martin Boran free resulted in another ’Comer point as the men in blue began to edge ahead. The industrious but unlucky Martin Hawley looked to have scored a 23rd minute goal but the sliotar hit the side netting, allowing the Danesfort players to heave a collective sigh of relief.
Richie Hogan made ’Comer pay for that let-off when he pointed a free in the 25th minute. However at this stage Erin’s Own were oozing confidence and further points from Martin Boran (free) and Martin Hawley, after good work by Jimmy Byrne, stretched the Castlecomer lead to three points (0-8 to 0-5) at the interval.
Sadly that was as good as it got for Erin’s Own, as Danesfort began the second half in business-like fashion. Points from Cathal O’Neill and the excellent Richie Hogan left just a single point between the sides before Jimmy Byrne settled Erin’s Own with a good point. The Hogan brothers Paddy (free) and Richie (play) squared it all up by the 54th minute.
Hang on for victory
Oisin Daly then edged Danesfort ahead and it seemed they might hang on for victory, especially as ’Comer had only scored one second half point up to this stage.
However in the 58th minute Castlecomer were awarded a free about 60 metres from the Danesfort goal.
It was by no means an easy shot, but Conor Fogarty sent it over the bar, plunging Danesfort into relegation trouble and ensuring his own side’s senior status for another year.
Danesfort did have one last chance in the dying seconds but Cathal O’Neill’s effort was agonisingly short. They must now face into a dreaded relegation dogfight, with a semi-final against Tullaroan next on the cards.
SCORERS: Danesfort - Richie Hogan (0-5, frees), Paddy Hogan (0-2, 0-1 free), Oisin Daly (0-2), Cathal O’Neill (0-1). Erin’s Own - Martin Boran (0-4, frees); Conor Fogarty (0-2, 0-1 free); Peader Boran (0-2); Martin Hawley, Jimmy Byrne (0-1 each).
Erin’s Own - Tom Brophy, James Mullins, Ciaran Wallace, Conor Delaney, Jerry Callinan, Conor Fogarty, Eoghan Meally, Eoin Brennan, Robert Moran, Martin Boran, Declan Dunne, Jimmy Byrne, Michael Murphy, Martin Hawley, Peadar Boran. Subs: Eddie Brennan for J. Byrne, Niall McMahon for Moran.
Danesfort - Paddy Tynan, Gavin O’Keeffe, Liam Forristal, Darren Booth, Tony Woodcock, Paul Murphy, Philip Walsh, Richie Hogan, Jim Phelan, David Forristal, Cathal O’Neill, Paddy Hogan, Cillian Treacy, Robert Walsh, Oisin Daly. Subs: Paddy Hickey for Woodcock, James Cunningham for Forristal, Ger Dunne for Treacy.
Referee - Maurice Flynn (Mooncoin).