Report by Martin Delahunty
Graigue Ballycallan 2-18 Rower-Inistioge 1-16
Graigue Ballycallan defeated the Rower Inistioge on Sunday evening 3/9/2017 to qualify for the County Final in an epic encounter. Huge credit to both teams who provided great entertainment to a large gathering who had rushed from their couches after watching the All-Ireland Finals.
The game started well for the Rower men who popped over 4 points without reply and after a mixup in defence were awarded a penalty in the 7th minute. This is where the tide was to turn for the first time in the evening, Stephen Keoghan made a huge save from the resulting strike and the ball was cleared downfield where Graigue were to get their first score from the hurl of Oisín Egan. This helped settle the lads and another 3 points from Oisín on the frees after heroic work from the impressive Jack Butler, gave the Rower a 5 point to 4 lead 15 minutes in. Now the lads were starting to get a grip through all the important lines and this led to a run of 2-3 for GBC to the Rowers 2 points and the mentors were happy to take the break with a 5 point lead on a scoreline of GBC 2-7 The Rower 8 points. Knowing County semis weren’t won at half time, the mentors were quick to point out the Rower would have their spell and to keep composed and keep the score board ticking.
And the script was written, the tide was to change once again, back came the Rower with a rattle and by the 15th minute had hit the front and looked very likely winners. But all the preparation & training that these lads had started all the way back in February was about to pay off, there was no panic but absolute hurling with hunger and desire which lead to GBC scoring 9 points in the last 15 minutes to run out winners on a Final score of 2-18 to 1-16. Impressive on the night, Oisín Egan, Jack Butler, Simon O’Dwyer and Paddy Brennan. So this rewards this great bunch of lads to a County Final date against St. Lachtain’s in Tullaroan on this Saturday morning at 11am. Hopefully a large local crowd will make their way to support the lads before making haste to Thurles to get behind Billy Ryan and Eddie in the U21 final v Limerick. So, congrats to all involved, Philip Heafey, Tommy Manogue, Niall Egan and Eamon Butler. Enjoy the day and best of luck!!
Panel – Jack Walton, JJ Ryan, Eoin Delahunty, Dan Cahill, Brendan Dunne, Stephen Keoghan, Jason O’Brien, Simon O’Dwyer, Eamon Corcoran, Paddy Brennan, Finn Lanigan, Oisín Egan, Scott Lawlor, Tom Brennan, Jack Butler, Daniel Lawlor, Shane Comerford, John Muldowney, Craig Lawlor, Bill Jackson, Mark Brennan, Sam Jackson, Euan Mc Loughlin.