Paddy Bowden had one thing on his mind right from the whistle as he looked to get Lisdowney off to a dream start in Ballyraggett in the Country Style Foods Junior D Hurling League Final but was denied a goal by Niall Shore just 17 seconds into the game and it would be another 12 minutes before they settled and put a score on the board.
Conor Dooley opened St Martin’s scoring and sent the ball straight over the blackspot from a Darragh Quinlan handpass.
In the sixth minute, Dooley had his sights on goal and drew the free which was easily converted by Jack Farrell.
During those opening 12 minutes, St Martin’s defended superbly and it was a free conceded within scoring distance that allowed free-taker Andrew McEvoy to put Lisdowney on the scoreboard.
Moments later Lisdowney again went for the jugular with Darragh Mackey looking to raise the green flag but as before, Niall Shore defended his goal well and the ball was cleared downfield to Conor Dooley who tapped it over with ease.
Andrew McEvoy kept the Lisdowney scoreboard ticking over with superb accuracy from placed balls and with momentum on Lisdowney’s side, Gary O’Sullivan intercepted a wayward St Martin’s pass and offloaded it to Jack Farrell who closed out the half giving his side a three-point margin: Lisdowney 0-8 St Martin’s 0-5.
St Martin’s came out determined in the second half and centre back Cathal Keegan kicked off the half with a superb point from his own half-back line. Lisdowney responded with a short puckout to Tadhg Gill who delivered a long ball into Darragh Quinlan who popped it over the bar.
Gill and Quinlan were in the fray again moments later and this time worked the ball up to Luke Moore, who was introduced at the half-time break and Moore finished it to the back of the net.
Tom Morrissey came on for St Martin’s in the 40th minute and his first touch split the posts.
St Martin’s Adam Comerford, a workhorse throughout, winning many balls and setting up scores put his own name on the scoreboard in the 42nd minute.
In the 55th minute a high ball in from Adam Comerford landed in front of the Lisdowney goal and keeper Niall Grogan controlled it well but a misdirected pass was capitalised upon by captain Damien Tynan who put it in the corner of the net – the sides were level with five minutes to go.
The St Martins substitutes were having an impact and in the 57th minute, James Carrigan soloed up the field unchallenged and put his side ahead with a monster of a point, much to the enjoyment of the St Martin’s supporters.
Andrew McEvoy’s accuracy stood to him two minutes later when he levelled the game from a placed ball. The sides finished 1-12 apiece – we were going to extra time.
St Martin’s Oisin Kelly kicked extra time off with a lovely point from a Jack Farrell pass.
However, Lisdowney, over the next two and a half minutes scored 1-2 and looked to be the stronger of the two sides – their goal coming from a pass across the goal mouth from Luke Moore and Darragh Mackey got the flick to the back of the net.
But St Martin’s dominated the last five minutes of the half, adding 1-3 to their tally.
Damien Tynan got his hurl to a long, high ball in from keeper Niall Shore just at the half-time whistle, giving his team a two-point lead: St Martin’s 2-16, Lisdowney 2-14.
The sides battled it out for the final 10 minutes, trading points and St Martin’s held on for the victory.
TEAMS & SCORERS
St Martin’s: Niall Shore, Tadhg Gill, Mark Coady, Ciaran Nolan, Matthew Shorthall, Cathal Keegan (0-1), Darragh Coughlin, Jack Farrell (0-4, 0-2 frees), James Callaghan, Darragh Quinlan (0-5, 0-3 frees), Adam Comerford (0-1), Adrian Farrell, Conor Dooley (0-2), Oisin Kelly (0-1), Damien Tynan (c) (2-1).
Subs: Tom Morrissey (0-2), James Carrigan (0-1).
Lisdowney: Niall Grogan, Peter O’Sullivan, Kevin O’Sullivan, Jack O’Sullivan, Jams McEvoy, Joe Bergin (c), Jack Dunphy (0-1), Gary O’Sullivan (0-2), Andrew McEvoy (0-11, 0-10f), Paddy Bowden (0-3), Dean Brophy, Killian Dunne, Darragh Mackey (1-0), Eddie Hickey (vc), Brandon Brophy.
Subs: Harry Kennedy, Luke Moore (1-0), Conor Tallis.
Referee: Conor Everard (Graigue Ballycallan)
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