Clara’s John Murphy fights off the challenge of Liam Moore. Pic: Billy Culleton
On a super Saturday of superb action across the county in the second round of matches in the St. Canices Credit Union Senior Hurling League, Dicksboro and Clara served up a thrilling contest in Gowran last Saturday afternoon, as Cillian Buckley struck over a magnificent long range point from play in injury-time to gain a share of the spoils.
It was a game that Clara left behind having shot 13 wides in contrast to just three for their opponents, with several of those missed opportunities coming in the final quarter.
The Boro made the early running and led 0-8 to 0-4 by the first water break with Shane Stapleton pointing three times from placed balls, while Conor Doheny, Liam Moore(2), Ollie Walsh and Mark Nolan were also on target.
Unfortunately, Ollie Walsh sustained an injury just after scoring a point and had to be substituted, but Dicksboro still remained ahead at the interval leading 0-14 to 1-8 following a most enjoyable first-half.
A Jim Kehoe goal in the 22nd minute followed by a pointed free from Conor O’Shea narrowed the gap to just a solitary points - 0-10 to 1-6 - but the city team finished the half strongly with Shane Stapleton adding four further points from placed balls as they led 0-14 to 1-8 at the interval.
Clara started to gain supremacy during the third quarter with the excellent Jack Langton, John Murphy, Martin O’Connell and Paul Cody leading the way.
Murphy, O’Connell and Cody all pointed from play to draw the Clara men level by the 39th minute - 0-15 to 1-12 - before one of the games big moments arrived in the 42nd minute.
A scintillating run from Chris Bolger drew a foul off one of the Dicksboro defenders, leaving referee Raymond Byrne with no hesitation in awarding the penalty.
Up stepped Lester Ryan who perfectly positioned his shot with precision and accuracy as they began to take a grip of proceedings. 2-12 to 0-15.
However, Dicksboro fought back aided in no small way by Clara’s wastefulness in front of goal.
Four unanswered points from Liam Moore, the unerring Shane Stapleton(2 frees), and a long distance free by Cillian Buckley gave the Boro men the lead once again as the match had entered the final five minutes. 0-19 to 2-12.
Matthew Kenny and the excellent Paul Cody fired over points to regain the lead for the Clara men approaching injury-time, before the hardworking Aidan Nolan replied with the levelling point a minute into stoppage time. 2-14 to 0-20.
Martin O’Connell appeared to have given Clara victory when he fired over a point, but up popped Cillian Buckley to have the final say with his superb effort at the death to gain a potential valuable point for the Boro men who were certainly more economical with their shooting in contrast to their opponents.
Dicksboro- Shane Stapleton 0-10(0-9 frees 0-1’65), Liam Moore 0-3, Aidan Nolan + Cillian Buckley (0-1 free) 0-2 each, Conor Doheny, Ollie Walsh, Mark Nolan and Bill Sheehan 0-1 each
Clara- Conor O’Shea 0-5(0-4 frees), Jim Kehoe 1-0, Paul Cody 0-3, Lester Ryan 1-0 (Penalty), Liam Ryan, John Murphy and Martin O’Connell 0-2 each, Matthew Kenny 0-1
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