AN EXCITING finish helped Lisdowney edge out Thomastown to claim two points in the junior hurling league championship at blustery Lisdowney on Sunday.
The hosts were quickly off the mark with two pointed Ruairi Hickey frees before he traded another point with the hard-working J.J. Farrell. Thomastown upped the ante, and took the lead in the 11th minute when Farrell finished to the net following a goalmouth scramble. With Darren Burke and Dylan Waugh (free) tacking on points Thomastown were now three to the good (1-3 to 0-3) - but not for long.
Two minutes later, David Dowling levelled the match when he finished a good team move by rattling the Thomastown net. Dylan Waugh (2) and Ruairi Hickey traded the next few scores before Hickey raced through to grab a goal that put Lisdowney 2-4 to 1-5 ahead with 11 minutes left in the half.
Try as they might, Lisdowney couldn’t stay in front for long. Two Dylan Waugh pointed frees restored parity, before Hickey and Waugh exchanged minor scores in a matter of minutes. It looked as if Lisdowney had done enough to take the lead in at half-time when Ciaran Mackey and Hickey shot point in the final minute of normal time, but two injury-time Waugh frees left the game hanging in the balance at the break (Lisdowney 2-7, Thomastown 1-10).
The stalemate continued into the second half. Although Rory Hickey put Lisdowney back in front with a pointed free James Hanrahan scored a great point over near the sideline to leave the sides level again. It looked like Lisdowney had taken a huge step towards victory when, in the 35th minute, Ciaran Mackey first-timed the sliotar past netminder Dylan Walsh but Thomastown upped their game - two points from J.J. Farrell and a pointed free from Dylan Waugh had them level again by the 45th minute (3-8 to 1-14).
Thomastown were proving hard to shake off, as Ruairi Hickey found when his next point was cancelled out by Dylan Waugh. The Grennan men looked to have grabbed the decisive score when James O’Hanrahan bagged a cracking goal to push his side three points ahead with four minutes to play, but Lisdowney weren’t finished yet.
Within two minutes Ruairi Hickey scored a point from a free and one from play to leave the minimum between them, before landing a great point from out on the wing to leave the sides level.
Held nerve to shoot winner
With time almost up minute Hickey handed Lisdowney the spoils when he held his nerve to point a match-winning free.
Best for Lisdowney were Paddy Burns, Anthony O’Hara, Niall O’Hara, Vinny Fitzpatrick and Ruairi Hickey up front, while Thomastown’s top performers were Brian Murphy, J.J. Farrell and Dylan Waugh.
Lisdowney - Niall Grogan, Paddy Burns, Anthony O’Hara, Michael Bergin, Niall O’Hara, Shane Clyne, Sean Phelan, Padraig Kenny, Vinny Fitzpatrick, Eddie Hickey, David Dowling (1-0), Eoin Delahunty, Ciaran Mackey (1-1), Ruairi Hickey (1-12, 0-7 frees, 0-1 65), Paddy Bowden. Subs: Peter Bergin for David Dowling, Joe Bergin for Michael Bergin, Ray Fitzpatrick for Anthony O’Hara (inj).
Thomastown - Dylan Walsh, Sean Mahoney, Peter O’Hanrahan, Mick Cullen, Derek Lanigan, Brian Murphy, James Hoyne, Shane Lanigan, Michael Donnelly, Darren Burke (0-1), J.J. Farrell (1-3, 0-1 free), Dylan Waugh (0-10, 0-8 frees), Thomas O’Hanrahan, James O’Hanrahan (1-1).
Referee - Sean Brennan (James Stephens).