This Allianz Cumann-na-mBunscol Corn de Bhaldraithe Country Cup hurling quarter-final was a cliffhanger, with the hosts Urlingford holding on for a three point win over gutsy Conahy, who fought to the last whistle.
With five minutes to go Urlingford looked to be safe with a five point lead, but two good points for Conahy made it a single score game and they threw everything at a resolute Urlingford, coming up just short against a defence that stood strong and defiant.
Conahy opened brightly when backed by the wind and had two early scores from place balls as the accurate Eoin Cahill fired over a 20 metre free and a 65. Urlingford got to grips with the demands and an early attack yielded a point for Gearoid Troy from a 30 metre free.
Never lost lead
Shortly afterwards Urlingford took the lead that they would never lose when Johnny Doyle goaled from close range. Urlingford struck again when good pressure from their forwards saw the ball break to Luca Lacovara who finished smartly with a fine ground strike.
Before the break Conahy rejigged their team, bringing Karl Downey to centre-back and they got the upper hand again. Darragh Dooley fired over another point from a 65 to leave the half-time score: Urlingford 2-1, Conahy 0-3.
Though Urlingford had the use of the wind in the second half, it was Conahy who again started the better. Thomas Rice came out of goal and into the forwards and early pressure yielded two more points for Darragh Dooley and Eoin Cahill.
Urlingford used the elements well and were dangerous on the break as Conahy pushed forward. Gearóid Troy pointed another free, but it was a major score from the same player that put Urlingford back in the driving seat.
Urlingford broke down field swiftly and Gearoid found himself one on one with the goalie. A good ground stroke and Urlingford were six clear. The game ebbed and flowed but it was Conahy who picked up scores through Danielle Morrissey and Darragh Dooley again.
Urlingford could have added another goal when Johnny Doyle hit the post, but in the end the home team were glad to hear the final whistle as Conahy attacked to the end.
The winners had good performers all over the field, with Gearoid Troy top scoring with 1-2. The full-back line of Jack Hickey, Darren Quinlan and Gerard Kavanagh were great throughout. David Butler was strong at centre-back as was Sean Burke at midfield.
Kieran Norton led the attack well, helped by the hard working Niall Moore, while Johnny Doyle and Luca Lacovara took their scores well.
For Conahy Thomas Rice played well in goal and later the forwards. Karl Downey was impressive, especially when moved to centre-back. He received great help from Geoffrey O’Shea. Darragh Dooley and Eoin Cahill were excellent in midfield while Cian Harding and Vincent Brophy did well in the forwards.
This was a cracking game. Both sides gave their all in what was a great advertisement for schools’ hurling.
Urlingford - Harry Kavanagh, Jack Hickey, Darren Quinlan, Gerard Kavanagh, Sam Atkinson-Lynch, David Butler, Calvin Ryan, Ollie Kenny, Sean Burke, Johnny Doyle (1-0), Kieran Norton, Luca Lacovara (1-0), Niall Moore, Gearóid Troy (1-2), Martin Burke. Subs - Luke Phelan, Keelan Martin.
Conahy - Thomas Rice, Evelyn Phelan, Conor Blanche, Tommy Hennessy, Aisling Maher, Frank Gunner, Geoffrey O’Shea, Darragh Dooley (0-6), Eoin Cahill (0-1), Cian Harding, Karl Downey, Danielle Morrissey (0-1), Siobhan Mullan, Vincent Brophy, Darren Cuddihy. Subs - Dylan Bergin, Paul Healy, Emma Cahill.