'Bob' does the damage for Ballyhogue
Substitute Jim 'Bob' Levingstone proved an unlikely hero as his 59th minute goal capped a magnificent Ballyhogue recovery as they shocked favourites Rathnure in this hugely exciting EEW Junior 'A' hurling championship quarter-final at Taghmon on Sunday afternoon last.
Ballyhogue 2-14 Rathnure 3-10
Trailing by seven points ten minutes into the second half, having been nine point adrift during the opening period, Ballyhogue kept battling to reduce the deficit, with a Michael Parker goal two minutes from the end leaving two points separating the sides, 3-9 to 1-13. It was one minute later that sub Jim 'Bob' flashed a left handed shot across the keeper into the opposite corner of the net to give his side the lead. Although both sides went on to exchange late points it was Ballyhogue who held out in a tense finish to cap the most remarkable of comebacks.
Through the opening thirty minutes it was Rathnure who dominated as veteran full-forward banged home three goals, the first after nine minutes, with the second five minutes later, while his third just five minutes before the break set his side up for an interval lead of 3-4 to 0-5, with Denis Asple, three pointed frees, along with two from John Kehoe keeping their opponents in touch.
Three unanswered Asple pointed frees inside seven minutes into the second half hauled Ballyhogue back into contention, but realising their plight it was Rathnure who responded with points from Dave Guiney and Austin Codd.
But with three minutes remaining it was Rathnure who still led 3-9 to 0-13, but to their credit Ballyhogue continued to battle, and it was those qualities that led to goals from subvs Parker and Levingstone to give them the most dramatic of victories and a place in the semi-finals.
Ballyhogue: Paddy Carr; Fion Rochford, Sean Rochford, David Byrne; Shane Doyle, Eddie Galavan (0-1), James Parle; Denis Asple (0-9, 0-7 frees, 0-1, 65), Conor Byrne; Shane Byrne, Denis Lacey (0-2), Graham Parker; Sean Ring, John Kehoe (0-2), Shane Roche. Subs: Syl Byrne for David Byrne; Dara Doyle for S Roche; Jim 'Bob' Levingstone (1-0) for Kehoe; Michael Parker (1-0) for Ring.
Rathnure: Sean Nolan; Richard Murphy, Cormac Morrissey, Adam Quigley; Nicky Quigley, M J Murphy, Kevin O'Leary; Jason Murphy, Harry Quigley; Alan Ronan, Dave Guiney (0-1), Colin Kearney (0-5, 0-4 frees); Neil Morrissey, Colm Byrne (3-2), Trevor Hogan (0-1). Subs: Austin Codd (0-1) for Neil Morrissey; Paul Holohan for Nicky Quigley; Liam Lawlor for Harry Quigley.
Referee: Bob Treacy (Clongeen).