In the end a 60th minute point from a free by Paul Holden earned a draw for Young Irelands (Gowran), but truth to tell this was an error ridden affair in the intermediate hurling championship quarter-final at sun-kissed Clara today.
Both sides had chances to win it in injury-time, but ’Irelands drove three chances wides and St Martin’s (Muckalee) one as the conclusion mirrored much of what had gone before.
Really, there was never a lot between the teams. The scores were level four times during the opening half, including at 0-9 each at the break.
Wind backed St Martin’s did enjoy a spell of dominance during this period when scores from the lively John Mulhall and Shane Kinsella helped them into a best of half lead of 0-7 to 0-4.
’Irelands got back level thanks to some fine scores from JP Treacy, Paul Holden and two nearing the break from Sean Carey.
There was an exchange of scores after the break as the wind died before a brace of points from the strong hurling John Mulhall, followed by a 40th minute goal from Brian Cody, helped St Martin’s into a lead of 1-12 to 0-11.
‘Irelands chased hard, but the number of stray passes and bad strikes by both sides from here on began to mount seriously as the game wore on.
Eventually Young Irelands caught up after three scores in-a-row from star attacker, Paul Holden (2) and sub Padraig O’Neill with his first strike left it at 1-14 to 0-17 six minutes from the end.
There was one score each left in it for the teams, but there were more chances, including a shot for a goal by ’Irelands sub, Tom Drennan, when the ball whistled right to left across the face of goal and wide.
The teams must now meet again next weekend. Both will be glad of the chance to do better.
SCORERS: St Martin’s - Shane Kinsella (0-6); John Mulhall (0-5); Brian Cody (1-0); Canice Maher (0-2); Thomas Breen, John Maher (0-1 each). Young Irelands - Paul Holden (0-10); Sean Kehoe (0-3); Sean Carey (0-2); Paul Delahunty, JP Treacy, Padraig O’Neill (0-1 each).