Maher the marvel saves Lachtain’s

Thomas Flynn (St. Lachtains) chases the sliotar with Ger Teehan (Graigue Ballycallan) in pursuit during the IHL clash in Palmerstown. (Photo: Eoin Hennessy)
St Lachtain’s and Graigue-Ballycallan gave everything they had and they ended up collecting their first points in the intermediate hurling league.

St Lachtain’s and Graigue-Ballycallan gave everything they had and they ended up collecting their first points in the intermediate hurling league.

The teams were content to share the spoils after what was a highly entertaining and competitive second round intermediate hurling league tie.

It was wet and windy at Palmerstown on Saturday, but with the issue in doubt to the finish, fans were engrossed by the fare until the last blow of the referee’s whistle.

With both sides having lost their opening round game, they were in no mood to suffer a second loss and a draw was probably a fair result. Both sides had chances to win the game.

Graigue-Ballycallan had the assistance of the strong breeze in the opening half, but it was Noel McGree who opened the scoring when he landed St Lachtain’s (Freshford) first point.

Mood of game

Conor Murphy (GB) and Brian Kennedy exchanged pointed frees as the mood of the game was set from the off. By the fifth minute it was all square again when Billy Ryan fielded a long puck out before shooting a fine point.

Michael Cormack brought a good ball out from the Freshford defence, and following good combination play with James Maher, crashed a great shot to the back of the P.J. Trant manned net. Conor Murphy landed three pointed frees for Graigue-Ballycallan and Brian Kennedy replied with a converted free.

The hard working James Ryall landed two long range points for Graigue before Philip Campion and Niall Millea repeated the act. These contributions left the half time score: Graigue/Ballycallan 0-9, St Lachtain’s 1-4.

On the resumption Niall Millea converted an early free before Stephen Farrell had the game all square when he crashed home his side’s second goal.

Great point

Brian Kennedy edged St Lachtain’s ahead when he pointed free before Niall Millea punished indiscretions in the St Lachtain’s defence with three nice points from frees. Liam Hickey landed a great point from a line ball and James Maher had the game all square again when he pointed to leave it a (St L 2-7, GB 0-13) midway through the half.

Shane Donnelly and Eddie Brennan exchanged points before James Maher and Brian Kennedy put the Freshford side ahead by two points. The hurling at this stage was hectic and totally absorbing as both sides gave their all in the bid for a win.

St Lachtain’s were a bit stretched at times, because they were reduced to 14 men during this half. The 14 bravehearts battled away, and never flinched in the face of what developed into a hurling storm.

Niall Millea and James Smith had it all square again entering the final moments. In the 60th minute Niall Millea, with a pointed free, looked as if he had secured victory for Graigue, but there was yet another twist in this tale.

James Maher fired over a great point in the first minute of injury time to leave it all square at 2-11 for St Lachtain’s and 0-17 to Graigue-Ballycallan.

This weekend both sides will be chasing their first win when Graigue-Ballycallan take on Emeralds and St Lachtain’s tackle Dunnamaggin.

Scorers: St Lachtain’s - James Maher (1-3); Brian Kennedy (0-4, frees); Stephen Farrell (1-0); Noel McGree, Philip Campion, Liam Hickey, Shane Donnelly (0-1 each). Graigue-Ballycallan - Niall Millea (0-8, frees); Conor Murphy (0-4, frees); James Ryall (0-2); Billy Ryan, Eddie Brennan, James Smith (0-1 each).

St Lachtain’s - Robbie Dowling, Michael Kavanagh, Niall Phelan, Michael Cormack, Mark Kavanagh, Brian Kennedy, Brendan Quinn, John Fitzpatrick, Thomas Flynn, Shane Donnelly, Noel McGree, James Maher, Philip Campion, Stephen Farrell, Liam Hickey. Subs Seamus Hayes, Colin Corcoran.

Graigue-Ballycallan - P.J. Trant, John Cleere, Jimmy Murphy, Eoin Corcoran, Dermot Ryall, James Ryall, Shane Butler, Adrian Burke, Willie O’Connor, Conor Murphy, Niall Millea, Ger Teehan, Eddie Brennan, Gearoid Cleere, Billy Ryan. Subs - James Smith, John Purcell.

Referee: John Kennedy (Ballyhale Shamrocks).