Tullaroan’s Tommy Walsh attempts to get a shot away. Pic; Willie Dempsey
It was a meeting between the last two winners of the Intermediate hurling championship and like beforehand there was nothing to separate the sides as Tullaroan and Lisdowney played out an entertaining draw at UPMC Nowlan Park on Sunday afternoon.
It was Lisdowney’s first game at this elevated level and they were thankful for a stoppage time point from Aidan Tallis that ensured they came away with a point.
Lisdowney may even feel they could have won the game as they hit a number of wides throughout which showed the inexperience they had at senior level.
On the other hand Tullaroan grew into the game and led by Shane Walsh they looked like they were going to grind out a victory but they had to be content with a point.
Lisdowney raced out of the blocks and within seconds they had scored a goal when corner forward Brian Kavanagh beat his man before shooting past Paul Buggy in the Tullaroan goal.
Lisdowney were playing all the hurling early on and if it weren’t for a couple of careless wides they may have ran up a sizeable advantage.
Alas Tullaroan got on the board with a 7th minute Shane Walsh free and while Lisdowney joint captain Niall Brennan replied with two efforts there was only a point between the sides at the first water break when brothers Tommy and Shane Walsh combined to assist Dylan Simpson who netted past Liam Dunphy for Tullaroan’s opening goal.
Lisdowney looked primed to add a second goal directly after the brief interval when Conor O’Carroll had a glorious opportunity to score but despite getting two bites of the cherry, Tullaroan goalkeeper Buggy stood tall to deny the full forward.
That missed chance seemed to effect Lisdowney as they went through a scoreless period afterwards.
Shane Walsh was a constant threat at full forward for Tullaroan and in the 17th minute he plundered in a goal to put his side in front.
Bill Gaffney and Bill Walton then followed up with points from play as the 2019 intermediate champions opened up a four point margin, 2-3 to 1-2.
Lisdowney responded with efforts from Conor O’Carroll and Michael Kenny before successive frees from Walsh meant Tullaroan maintained a four point lead at the break.
Lisdowney were a changed outfit after the break and they hit five points without reply to overturn the Tullaroan advantage.
Niall Brennan, Conor O’Carroll and Aidan Tallis all found the target to reduce the deficit to a single point and Lisdowney then had a glorious opportunity to take the lead when Cathal Jordan was brought down in the square for a penalty.
Tallis stood up to take the strike but not for the first time in the game Buggy thwarted a Lisdowney attacker.
The confidence levels remained upbeat for Lisdowney despite the miss and when Brennan and Tallis added to their tallies, they edged their way into the lead.
Tullaroan eventually woke from a scoreless period in the 42nd minute with Bill Gaffney pointing before Shane Walsh knocked over a free.
Conor O’Carroll replied for Lisdowney and there was nothing between the sides halfway through the second half.
Tullaroan then made a run for home with four of the next five scores as Walsh and John Walton got a pair of points.
Tullaroan led 2-11 to 1-11 at that stage but Lisdowney finished the better with Tallis and Michael Kenny levelling up the game with only minutes remaining on the clock.
Walsh then looked like he had snatched victory for Tullaroan with a 62nd minute free but in the last attack Tallis knocked over his sixth point right on the sideline as his side deservedly took something from the game.
Tullaroan -Shane Walsh (1-7, 0-7f), Dylan Simpson (1-0), Bill Gaffney and John Walton (0-2 each), Bill Walton (0-1)
Lisdowney -Aidan Tallis (0-6, 0-3f), Niall Brennan (0-5, 0-3f, 0-1 65), Brian Kavanagh (1-0), Conor O’Carroll (0-3), Michael Kenny (0-1, 0-1f)
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