Griffith grabs late winner
A superb Shane Griffith point in the third minute of injury time earned Shelmaliers a dramatic victory in a hotly-contested Junior hurling championship Group A game in Oylegate on Sunday.
Shelmaliers 1-11 Davidstown-Courtnacuddy 1-10
Griffith gained possession near the left wing and cleverly lost his marker before floating over a beauty to earn Shelmaliers the victory at the death.
Davidstown-Courtnacuddy had drawn level with late points from Mark Byrne (free) and David Dunne and were harbouring thoughts of the win they needed to stave off a relegation battle, but there was a real sting in the tail for the Enniscorthy District side.
Davidstown-Courtnacuddy held a two-point advantage at the interval (1-4 to 0-5), with Patrick Kennedy grabbing the goal in the 13th minute.
Shelmaliers made a lightning start, racing into a three-point lead in as many minutes through Conor Byrne (two) and Emmet O'Leary, but the advantage was wiped out in one fell swoop by Kennedy.
The corner-forward gathered a pass from Johnny Delaney and clinically dispatched the ball beyond goalkeeper Paul McCleane.
When David Dunne split the posts in the 38th minute it gave Davidstown-Courtnacuddy a 1-6 to 0-6 advantage, but five minutes later substitutes Ronan Kavanagh and Craig Parker combined to draw Shelmaliers level.
Kavanagh gathered possession and picked out Parker, who rifled a rasping shot to the left-hand corner of the net.
However, Kavanagh's cameo was shortlived as he was sent-off just ten minutes after being introduced, but Shelmaliers responded well to the setback, going two clear with Stephen Whelan and Graham Staples finding the range.
Two Mark Byrne frees drew Davidstown-Courtnacuddy level but points from Stephen Whelan and Conor Byrne restored the two-point lead for Shelmaliers.
Mark Byrne (free) and David Dunne pointed to leave the sides deadlocked as the game ticked into injury time, but Griffith had the final say with the winner.
Shelmaliers: Paul McCleane; Eoghan Fitzgerald, Kevin O'Leary, Eoin O'Leary; Cian Manley, Barry O'Connor, Niall Murphy; Denis Kelly, Graham Staples (0-1); Shane Griffith (0-2), Conor Byrne (0-5, 4 frees), Emmet O'Leary (0-1); Chris Gordon, Stephen Whelan (0-2), Aodhán Foley. Subs. - Aaron O'Neill for O'Connor, Ronan Kavanagh for Foley, Craig Parker (1-0) for Gordon, Shane Neville for Griffith (temp.).
Davidstown-Courtnacuddy: Ger O'Leary; Stephen Kennedy, Ger Martin, Daniel Delaney; Paul Sheridan, Mark Byrne (0-3 frees), Michael Murphy; Greg Jacob, David Dunne (0-3, 1 free); Walter Furlong (0-1), Stephen Sheridan, James Doyle (0-3); Patrick Kennedy (1-0), Johnny Delaney, Billy Martin. Subs. - Alan Hickey for Martin, Isaac Wheelock for P. Sheridan, Patrick Rowsome for S. Sheridan.
Referee: Michael Gannon (Horeswood).