Byrne bags last-gasp Rathnure winner
All-county hurling league semi-final
Hosts Rathnure snatched victory from the jaws of defeat with two points in 24 added time seconds to send Oulart-The Ballagh home with defeat in the All-County Hurling League Division 5 semi-final on Friday.
Rathnure 2-14 Oulart-The Balagh 2-13
The Blackstairs men looked to be heading to defeat when the visitors took the lead with a superb Conor Lawless point eleven ticks into added time.
Things continued to look bleak for Rathnure until Colin Carney sent over a leveller from long range three minutes and 29 seconds into injury time.
After that, the clash seemed destined to go to extra-time but Colm Byrne had other ideas. Operating out at centre-forward in the second-half, the burly attacker latched onto the resulting puck-out and sent over a winning point from just over the '65 with the second-last puck of the game.
Oulart-The Ballagh had the better of the opening half playing with a stiff breeze. They led by 0-5 to 0-1 courtesy of four points from the deadly Rory O'Connor after ten minutes, but Rathnure got themselves into the match when Trever Hogan found the bottom left corner of Michael Sinnott's net.
With the scores tied at 1-3 to 0-6, Oulart-The Ballagh grabbed their first major when O'Connor forced his way in on goal and beat Seán Nolan.
A second followed five minutes before the break when Michael O'Dowd drilled home after great work by Niall Redmond to help Oulart-The Ballagh into a 2-10 to 1-6 interval advantage.
Rathnure took their time to mount a fightback and were still trailing by four with twelve minutes left.
However, Seán O'Neill made an impact after being introduced, Hogan's second goal proved vital and with their late show, the home side eventually prevailed.
Rathnure: Seán Nolan; Richard Murphy, Cormac Morrissey, Adam Quigley; Paul Barron, M.J. Murphy, Kevin O'Leary; Jason Murphy, Paddy Quigley (0-1); Alan Ronan (capt., 0-5, 4 frees), Dave Guiney, Colin Carney (0-2); Barry O'Connor (0-1), Colm Byrne (0-4), Trevor Hogan (2-0). Subs. - Quinten Codd for Guiney (37), Seán O'Neill (0-1) for A. Quigley (38), Jamie Miller for Barron, inj. (47).
Oulart-The Ballagh: Michael Sinnott; Darragh Brennan, Richard Doyle (capt.), Seán Murphy; Darragh Nimmo, John Murphy, Colin Browne; Barry Leacy, Cormac Finn (0-1); James O'Toole (0-1), Rory O'Connor (1-10, 0-8 frees, 0-1 '65), Cathal Kenny; Michael O'Dowd (1-0), Niall Redmond, Craig Davitt. Subs. - Conor Lawless (0-1) for Davitt, inj. (24), Barry Sinnott for Kenny, inj. (33).
Referee: John Tobin (Geraldine O'Hanrahans).