AIB All-Ireland Club Hurling Championship round-up
AIB All-Ireland Club Intermediate Hurling semi-finals
ORANMORE-MAREE (Galway) 1-13 ST GALL'S 2-4 (Antrim)
CHARLEVILLE (Cork) 1-15 GRAIGUE BALLYCALLAN (Kilkenny 1-13)
By Kevin Egan
In the history of the All Ireland Intermediate club hurling championship, six Galway clubs had reached the decider before this year, and all six came up short. Oranmore-Maree will hope that they can succeed where their predecessors failed next month after they overcame St. Gall’s by 1-13 to 2-4 at Parnell Park today, setting up a final clash with Charleville of Cork who defeated Graigue-Ballycallan of Kilkenny by 1-15 to 1-13 on Saturday.
Galway player Niall Burke got out to a shaky start, missing three early chances as the first four points were shared, but he soon found his rhythm and once he fired over his first point after 15 minutes, he never looked back and ended the day with 0-11, one from play and ten dead balls.
An altercation between Conor Burke of St. Gall’s and Alan Bannon of the Galway club resulted in Bannon receiving a straight red card from referee Patrick Murphy after 23 minutes but even then Oranmore-Maree were starting to take control around the middle third and they built up a 0-7 to 0-4 lead at half time.
The contest was won in the 37th minute when Niall Burke tapped over a free and then from the resultant puck-out, Padráic Keane snapped up possession and darted through the defence before squaring the sliothar to Seán McInerney who made it 1-8 to 0-4.
With Gearóid McInerney sweeping up well at centre back and Burke now slotting over his frees with metronomic accuracy, Oranmore-Maree moved well clear before two injury-time goals from CJ McGourty and substitute Antoin McCaffrey cut the gap back to six points.
AIB All-Ireland Club Junior Hurling sem-finals
DUNNAMAGGIN (Kilkenny) 0-23 CLOUGHDUV (Cork) 2-16 (AET)
CASTLEBLAYNEY (Monaghan) 1-8 CARRICK (Leitrim) 0-10
The All Ireland junior club hurling final will see Kilkenny and Monaghan represented after Dunnamaggin and Castleblayney came through tough tests by the bare minimum this afternoon.
Nearly 1,500 supporters were at Fraher Field to watch Kilkenny champions Dunnamaggin take on Cloughduv of Cork and they got full value for their money as it took extra time to separate the teams, 0-23 to 2-16 the final score at the end of 80 thrilling minutes.
Thomas Maher and Jim Fitzpatrick picked off three points each as Dunnamaggin dominated the first half, scoring 0-9 to just a solitary reply in the space of 20 minutes. 0-11 to 0-5 ahead at the interval and with the wind set to favour them in the second half, they looked comfortable, until Mark Walsh’s goal opened up the game again.
The drama really kicked off in stoppage time when Kevin Barry Murphy’s goal moved Cloughduv in front by the bare minimum in the 61st minute, and Jim Fitzpatrick needed to show nerves of steel to tie up the game once more.
2-12 to 0-18 after 60 minutes became 2-14 to 0-20 after 70, but two final points from Thomas Maher – bringing his total to 0-11 for the afternoon, were more than Cloughduv could handle as time ran out on their bid to get to Croke Park.
Their opponents on that stage will be Castleblayney, who had a Hugh Byrne penalty after five minutes of the second half to thank for their 1-8 to 0-10 win over Carrick hurling club at TEG Cusack Park in Mullingar.
The Monaghan county keeper lined out at wing forward in this tie and shot 1-4 in total, while Leitrim hurling legend Clement Cunniffe was the top scorer for the Connacht champions, firing 0-8 out of their total.
Peter Treanor pointed to put Castleblayney five points up after 42 minutes but that was to be last score of the game from the Monaghan club. Cunniffe gradually brought Carrick back into the game and James McNabola added the score that reduced the deficit to the bare minimum, but they failed to find the extra score they needed throughout four minutes of stoppage time.