Geraldines recover to dump Clongeen
Geraldine O'Hanrahans produced a stunning comeback to inflict relegation on a brave Clongeen side in this thrilling Top Oil Intermediate 'A' hurling championship contest in Taghmon on Saturday.
Geraldine O'Hanrahans 3-13 Clongeen 2-15
The New Ross side looked dead and buried at half-time trailing by 13 points but, having fought their way back in the second-half, a stoppage-time Eoin Kelly free sealed an incredible victory.
Clongeen totally dominated the first-half, going four points clear in the opening five minutes thanks to two points from the excellent Paudie Cullen and a point apiece from Emmet Kent and Enda Murphy.
Geraldine O'Hanrahans were struggling to keep any sort of possesion but they did eventually get on the scoresheet when Eoin Kelly fired over a free. Dylan Egan and Stephen Somers added to the Ross side's tally but Clongeen were still in control and more scores from Paul Curtis, Collie Byrne and Christopher Cullen pulled them further clear.
The game was beginning to get away from Geraldine O'Hanrahans and any chance of getting back into it took a big blow in the closing stages of the half, as first Paul Curtis and then Emmet Kent fired to the net to move Clongeen 13 points clear.
The comeback started just moments into the second-half, with David Crowdle scoring a quick goal and point, before Jack Foran, Eoin Kelly and a long-range Stephen Somers effort dragged the New Ross side back into it.
Paudie Cullen continued to keep the scoreboard ticking for Clongeen but their rivals had their backs up, and when the influential David Crowdle crashed in his second and third goals, the sides were all square with five minutes to go.
Another Cullen free put Clongeen back in front but two great scores from Eoin Kelly and Conor Cleere put Geraldine O'Hanrahans in front for the first time.
Paul Curtis levelled things up again moving into stoppage time but Kelly held his nerve with a late free to complete an amazing comeback.
Geraldine O'Hanrahans: Mark Purcell; James Ryan, Tony Murphy, Stephen Kelly; Colin Fenlon, Conor Cleere (0-1), David Purcell; Gary Hill, Anthony Purcell; Eoin Kelly (0-5, 4 frees), Stephen Somers (0-2), Danny Conway; David Crowdle (3-2), Matt Crowdle (0-1), Dylan Egan (0-1). Subs. - Jack Foran (0-1) for Hill, Barry Kelly for Ryan, Dave McCarthy for Fenlon, Jimmy Smith for Conway.
Clongeen: Ricky Rochford; Danny O'Grady, Anton Stafford, Marty Reville; Ger Foxe, Donal Murphy, Barry Foxe; Paudie Cullen (0-8, 5 frees), Martin Delaney; Enda Murphy (0-1), Emmet Kent (1-2), Christopher Cullen (0-1); Paudie Cahill, Collie Byrne (0-1), Paul Curtis (1-2). Subs. - Martin Kehoe for Delaney, Jamesie Rochford for Cullen, Donal Whelan for Kent, Tom Donovan for G. Foxe.
Referee: Dan Crosby (Kilmore).