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Dr. Harty Cup Hurling Final Replay – Thurles CBS v Ard Scoil Ris
Thurles CBS and Ard Scoil Ris played out a cracking draw after extra time in the Dr. Harty Cup Hurling Final Replay on Saturday at MacDonagh Park Nenagh. Final score – Thurles CBS 4-15 Ard Scoil Ris 2-21.
Thurles CBS 4-15 Ard Scoil Rils 2-21
Round-up by Ed Donnelly
Thurles CBS captain Denis Maher – lining out at full-forward due to injury scored a goal in the first minute. However, Ard Scoil Ris were the sharper team for the first 20 minutes and helped by a long range goal from Cathal McInerney, they raced in to a 1-8 to 1-2 lead. Thurles CBS responded with four unanswered points coming up to half-time and by the interval, Ard Scoil Ris led by 1-9 to 1-6.
Thurles CBS kicked off the second half with a goal by substitute Kevin Slattery after 33 minutes to draw level before taking the lead in the 53rd minute when a long range free by Pat Ralph ended up in the net. Ard Scoil Ris were now down to 14 men after Cathal McInerney had been sent off but they dug deep and found the scores to equalise and had a chance to win it late in injury time which went narrowly wide. Final score after normal time was Thurles CBS 3-10 Ard Scoil Ris 1-16.
Extra time was equally dramatic. Ard Scoil Ris were now back up to 15 men and took the lead thanks to a brilliant individual goal by centre-forward Declan Hannon. Thurles CBS earned a penalty four minutes later which Denis Maher dispatched to the net and by half-time in extra time, Ard Scoil Ris led by two points, 2-20 to 4-12. Thurles CBS scored the first three points of the second half of extra time and looked set for victory but just on the stroke of full-time, Declan Hannon scored a long range point for Ard Scoil Ris to ensure that no one went home as losers after an enthralling match where the attendance of 3,090 stood as one at the final whistle to applaud the efforts of two outstanding hurling teams.
Dr Harty Cup Final Replay
Thurles CBS 4-15 Ard Scoil Ris 2-21 (AET)
By Cathal Ryan
In a pulsating encounter at MacDonagh Park Nenagh on Saturday afternoon Thurles CBS and Ard Scoil Ris yet again could not be separated after extra time of a fantastic Dr Harty Cup Final replay. After last Sunday’s bruising encounter both sides exceeded the very high levels that were set in the first encounter bringing even more intensity with no little skill to make this game one which will live long in the memory in front of a crowd in excess of 3000. Declan Hannon scored yet another late and dramatic equaliser for the Limerick school with a 60 yard strike off his right hand side with pressure being applied from defenders as for the third time in this Harty Cup Final saga Ard Scoil Ris levelled proceedings deep into stoppage time to keep the tie alive.
With eight minutes to go in normal time Thurles seemed to have sealed the their second Harty Cup success in as many years when Pat Ralph floated a long range free deep into the Ard Scoil Ris square and as Shane Dowling dropped back onto the line he made a despairing reach to pluck the sliotar from under the crossbar only for the ball to agonisingly clip the tips of his fingers and drop to the net. This left the Tipperary men three points clear but this Ard Scoil Ris side once more showed their never say die attitude and one minute into stoppage time last week’s saviour John Fitzgibbon latched onto a ball played into the inside forward line. The Adare starlet shrugged off the attention of would be tacklers to strike sweetly off his left hand side under the MacDonagh Park stand to send this rip roaring final to extra time.
Both sides looked weary as proceedings finally came to an end with there being many casualties to cramp in extra time. Some of the Thurles players looked jaded and their management team will have to work hard to lift a side that was within touching distance of victory. The reintroduction of Aidan McCormack to their side for round three of this epic will go a long way in helping as the classy forward has missed the first two encounters through a harsh suspension picked up in the semi final.
The Ard Scoil Ris management will be delighted with the spirit and persistence of their side who have found scores when needed the most in injury time at the end of both games to keep themselves alive in the contest. However as Thurles regain a player from suspension the Shannon-siders will lose one of their co- captains Cathal McInerney who saw red for an off the ball incident five minutes into the second half that will mean he will miss the third chapter of this contest. There were many positional changes before throw in on both sides but when the action did get underway it was the men in black with yellow trimming who pounced first through a point from forward Mark Ryan. The Thurles response was as fast as it was emphatic. In the following play a long ball broke in behind the Limerick sides full back line and Denis Maher who had started at full forward glided on to the loose ball and cracked a left handed drive to the net.
This didn’t upset the first time finalist’s rhythm and they replied with scores from a John Fitzgibbon free and Shane Dowling who had began this game at centre forward in a change with Declan Hannon. Again the Mid Tipperary men responded in similar fashion through a Mike O Brien free and a score from Tommy Doyle who was only introduced as a substitute in the first clash but started this one and had a fantastic game. From this the tenth minute the Limerick boys owned the next quarter of an hour scoring 1 – 5 without reply. The goal came from a speculative ball dropped in from Cathal McInerney and Aidan Stakelum in the Thurles goal didn’t deal with the heavy pressure applied from Mark Ryan in the 13th minute.
With five minutes remaining in the half the men in blue and gold did bring themselves back into the encounter with four scores, two frees from Mike O Brien and points from play from Pat Ralph and Tommy Doyle. At half time the score stood at 1-9 to 1-6 in favour of Ard Scoil Ris. With only two minutes on the clock in the second period Thurles scored a superb team goal that was finished with a flick to the net from substitute Kevin Slattery. Niall Kennedy scored a lovely point for Ard Scoil Ris before McInerney was dismissed after an altercation with Mike O Brien.
The game ebbed and flowed with some great scores and immense intensity from both sides and there was never more than a point between the sides from this point until the 52nd minute when Ralph’s free found the net to put Thurles ahead by three heading into the final stages. But a free from Hannon and one from Fitzgibbon dragged the margin back to one before Fitzgibbon took centre stage to bring the side’s level and force extra time on a score of 3-10 to 1-16. As the audience in attendance caught breath both sides retreated to the dressing rooms for a much deserved break. Upon return to the field it was Ard Scoil Ris who drew the first decisive blow. Declan Hannon who was by now restored to the forward line shimmed around the last defender and planted the ball in the onion sack.
However when only two minutes later Thurles received a penalty that was dispatched by Denis Maher you began to sense that another draw was on the cards. At the interval of extra time the challengers to the thrown led by two points 2-20 to 4-12. Mike O Brien scored two super points on the restart and added another from a free six minutes into the second period of extra time and this was how it remained until Hannon equalised and set up a third meeting between two sides who rightfully were applauded and cheered for from every corner of the ground on the final whistle for an incredible afternoon of hurling.
Thurles CBS: Aidan Stakelum; Pa Dunne, Cathal Carroll, James Bourke; Philip Looby, John Meagher, Cathal Barrett; Stephen Maher, Pat Ralph (1-2,1-0F); John Bergin, Brian Campion, Tommy Doyle (0-3); Conor Hammersly, Denis Maher (2-0,1-0 Pen)(capt), Mike O Brien (0-10,7F). Subs: Kevin Slattery (1-0) for B. Campion (25), Cian Treacy for C. Hammersly (49), Niall O Brien for J. Bergin (57), C. Hammersly for C. Treacy (66), J. Bergin for N. O Brien (70), Ailbe Power for S. Maher (75).
Ard Scoil Ris: PJ Hall; Mark Carmody, Eoghan McCarthy, Alan Dempsey; Cathal McInerney(co-capt), Declan Hannon (1-5,4F), Martin Moroney; Sean O Brien (co-capt), Niall Kennedy(0-2); Adrian Breen, Shane Dowling(0-2), Brendan O Connor; Mark Ryan(1-1), Kevin Downes (0-1), John Fitzgibbon (0-8, 6F). Subs: Jamie Shanahan (0-2) for M. Ryan (38), Ciaran Keogh for A. Breen (54), Kevin Keane for B. O Connor (55), A. Breen for C. Keogh (63), M. Ryan for K. Keane (75).
Referee: David Copps (Cork)