Craanford rally pays off
A late rally from Craanford saw them book a spot in the Junior 'B' hurling championship final after they saw off the Rapparees in this entertaining encounter in St. Patrick's Park on Saturday, coming from behind on a number of occasions to eventually pull clear late in the game.
Craanford 2-11 Rapparees 0-15
The eventual winners started brightest as they went ahead in the opening minutes thanks to James Nolan and Cian O'Toole, after Brendan Doyle had opened the scoring for the Rapparees.
But then the Enniscorthy town side began to take control of proceedings with a brace of points from Richie Farrell, and then Dayle Donohoe had them two in front midway through the half.
Nolan responded but Rapparees outscored their opponents by five points to one in the ten minutes before half-time, giving them a reasonably comfortable five-point lead.
It was hard to know what to expect from Craanford in the second-half as in the first period they looked as if they wouldn't pose much of a threat in front of goals.
This doubt was put to rest almost immediately as the new half resumed when Calvin O'Toole grabbed a delivery from Nolan and sent a crashing shot to the net.
Followed quickly by points from Mick Sinnott and Ger Lyons, the Gorey District side were back on level terms.
Points from Farrell, Nick Doyle and Alan Tobin saw Rapparees pull three clear, but the sides were level again midway through the half when Nolan found the net from close range.
Rapparees still looked good however, and points from Nick Doyle and Alan Tobin saw them two ahead with ten minutes remaining.
A massive effort was needed from Craanford, but that is exactly what they gave and a late rally saw them pull clear on the 60-minute mark before Lyons ensured the win in added time.
Craanford: Andrew Tighe; Michael Lancaster, Jack Kenny, Patrick Lancaster; James O'Loughlin (0-1), Peter Shortle, Ger Lyons (0-2 frees); Gary Keating, Cian O'Toole (0-1); Mick Sinnott (0-1), Peter Kavanagh (0-2), James Redmond; Bob Flynn (0-1), Calvin O'Toole (1-0), James Nolan (1-3, 0-2 frees).
Rapparees: John Tyrrell; Fiacre Ryan, Jason Russell, Maurice Donohoe; Chris Doyle, Liam Boland, Nick Doyle (0-3 frees); Barry Deegan (0-1), Patrick O'Shea (0-1); Richie Farrell (0-3, 1 free), Alan Tobin (0-2), Brendan Doyle (0-2); Adam Kirwan, Martin Armstrong (0-1), Dayle Donohoe (0-2). Subs. - Graham Doyle for B. Doyle, Colm Doran for Armstrong.
Referee: Mick Lanigan (Shelmaliers).