Conahy Shamrocks and Glenmore must return to Ballyhale this weekend to try and sort out things following this draw in Saturday’s intermediate hurling championship quarter-final. The consensus from rival supporters was that a draw was probably a fair result.
That would most likely be the view of the teams also, although both had enough chances to win over the 60 minutes. In the end it was Conahy who had to dig deep to force a draw.
It looked like they had blown a late chance when a Kieran Mooney 65 went wide, but moments later Paul Buggy steered a 62nd minute free between the posts to the delight of the Conahy supporters.
Glenmore got off the mark early with points from Ger Aylward and Michael Phelan, but the Conahy defence quickly asserted its authority with Denis Kelly in particular in commanding form at centre-back. Points from a Paul Buggy free and Micheál Lawler brought the teams level and from here to the finish there was never more than one score between them.
Scores were at a premium in the opening half, but by the 20th minute Conahy had edged ahead by two points. That lead was short lived, though, when Eoin Murphy pointed a free.
The tie was very stop-start in the opening half with players on both sides being treated for injuries. Glenmore dominated the closing stages with points from Eoin Murphy (2) and Michael Phelan to see them take a two point lead at the interval.
They could also have had a goal in the 28th minute when the in-rushing Eoin Murphy had his shot brilliantly saved by Andy O’Keeffe in the Conahy goal. A three pointer at that stage would have been a real fillip for the Southerners.
Glenmore stretched their lead to three points immediately on the resumption when Eoin Murphy pointed another free. The response from Conahy was positive and by the 40th minute the sides were again back on level terms.
Both teams were guilty of some poor shooting, particularly from frees, and will need to eliminate such basis errors in the replay.
The action ebbed and flowed in the second half with both teams having periods of dominance. By the 58th minute Conahy had taken a two-point lead (0-10 to 0-8) with scorers from Gary Kavanagh and Micheál Lawler and they looked likely winners.
Glenmore, though, had other ideas as the game took on a similar pattern to the first half with the Southerners getting on top. Three unanswered points looked like it might see them through to the county semi-finals until Conahy’s late equaliser.
It would have been harsh on either team to lose. Both defences excelled, while each attack had to work extremely hard for every score.
Glenmore’s rearguard stars were Fegal Freyne, Colm Foran and John Cody, with Ciarán Foran impressing at midfield in the second half. Their attack was heavily reliant on Eoin Murphy, Michael Phelan and Ger Aylward for scores.
Denis Kelly was very impressive at centre-back for Conahy in the first half, with David Healy and Kieran Mooney superb in this sector all through, but particularly in the second half. Gary Kavanagh worked industriously at midfield, while the attack was best served by Gavin Nolan, Declan Buggy and Alan Healy.
Scorers: Conahy Shamrocks - Paul Buggy (0-4, frees); Gavin Nolan, Micheal Lawlor, Alan Healy (0-2 each); Gary Kavanagh (0-1). Glenmore - Eoin Murphy (0-7, five frees, one 65); Ger Aylwsard, Michael Phelan (0-2 each).
Conahy Shamrocks - Andy O’Keeffe, Seamus Óg Brennan, David Healy, Thomas Nolan, Kieran Mooney, Denis Kelly, Paraic Harding, John Wallace, Gary Kavanagh, Peter Vickery, Declan Glenmore Buggy, Gavin Nolan, Micheál Lawler, Paul Buggy, Alan Healy. Sub - Paraic Nolan.
Glenmore - Paul Fitzgerald, Michael Cody, Mark Phelan, Colm Foran, John Cody, Paddy Mullally, Darren Aylward, Colm Foran, Emmet Vereker, Ger Aylward, Michael Phelan, Mark Aylward, Eoin Murphy, Shane Doherty. Subs - Ben Doherty, Sean Kirwan, Ken Cottrell, James Cody.
Referee - Paddy Neary (James Stephens).