After leading by 11 points at half-time, Galmoy/Windgap were lucky to win by two (3-10 to 2-11) in the end in this good under-16 hurling league Roinn B game at Galmoy on Saturday.
The home side were well in the ascendancy in the opening half thanks to early points from Peter Hennessy and Niall Walsh. When Walsh won a 10th minute penalty, Hennessy blasted to the net.
Graigue Ballycallan’s strongest player, Geoffrey Maher opened their account from a ninth minute free. Peter Hennessy then added two more good points from play to stretch the lead. When Graigue centre-back, Eamonn Egan, picked up an injury early on, they had to reassign their soldiers.
Philly Cahill went to centre-back and he proceeded to have a powerful game for the visitors, holding Hennessy to just one more point from play.
Another Geoffrey Maher point and one from Jamie Delaney, after a 20 metre solo, kept the visitors in touch at the end of the first quarter. A monster score from 70 metres by Emmett Landy was landed for the winners in the 23rd minute.
A minute later Landy sent a good lineball to Peter Hennessy, who set up Cameron Murphy for their second goal. The third goal came when Tim Molloy worked hard along the endline to send the sliotar across to Niall Walsh, who made no mistake to leave Galmoy/Windgap ahead by 3-6 to 0-4 at the interval.
Graigue were thrown a lifeline in the 36th minute when a defender batted out the sliotar into the path of Adrian Carroll, who made no mistake and rattled the net. Niall Walsh added a point for the hosts but the Graigue wing forwards, Alan Hayes and Shane Hennessy really came alive at this stage.
Shane Hennessy sent over two sweet points to leave it 3-7 to 1-6 at the three-quarter stage. Galmoy/Windgap substitute Patrick Grace hand-passed to Tim Molloy for another home point, but Alan Hayes tossed over two for Graigue in as many minutes to leave two clear goals between the sides. Peter Hennessy stretched it to seven points from a free.
The Graigue mentors now assigned midfielder Geoffrey Maher to full-forward where his height and strength posed problems for the winners. Maher slapped the sliotar to the net and a point each from Billy Ryan and Alan Hayes reduced the margin to two, 3-9 to 2-10.
Emmett Landy and Philly Cahill, a free, exchanged points in the closing minutes as Galmoy/Windgap desperately held out.
Galmoy/Windgap - Kevin Duggan, Sean Phelan, Kieran Phelan, Jack Delaney, Josh Price, Darragh O’Shea, Darren Grace, Emmett Landy (0-2), Cian Hynes, Brandan Phelan, Peter Hennessy (1-5,1-1frees), Robert White, Cameron Murphy (1-0), Niall Walsh (1-2), Tim Molloy (0-1). Subs - Patrick Grace for R. White 35mins; Oisín Phelan for J. Price 49 mins.
Graigue-Ballycallan - Padraig Dunphy, Alan Harrisson, Evan Walsh, George Murphy, James Kelly, Eamonn Egan, Richard Keoghan, Philly Cahill (0-1, free), Geoffrey Maher (1-2, point free), Alan Hayes (0-3), Billy Ryan (0-2, one free), Shane Hennessy (0-2), Adrian Carroll (1-0), Niall Butler, Jamie Delaney (0-1). Subs - Tom Dunphy for N. Butler 48 mins.
Referee - John McCormack.