Bennett free denies Island
Neither side will be pleased with the result as the dropping of a point could see them struggle for a quarter-final slot, but in the end it was perhaps a fitting outcome as Marshalstown-Castledockrell - with a late Eoin Bennett pointed free - denied 13-man Our Lady's Island in this Top Oil Intermediate 'A' hurling championship Group A game at St. Patrick's Park, Enniscorthy on Tuesday.
Our Lady's Island 3-9 M'town-C'rell 0-18
Our Lady's Island finished the game two men short, with Robbie Reville sent-off on a straight red card for a wild pull after 15 minutes, while Fran Corish was also red-carded on 50 minutes.
One minute from the end of additional time the Enniscorthy District side was reduced to 14 players when substitute 'Mitch' Jordan was red-carded for a pull back.
Both sides were seeking their first victory and given the standard of hurling it's easy to see why as they struggled to bring any composure to their game.
After Nicky Keane had opened the scoring, Dean Maloney finished a Leigh Aylward lob to the net on the fifth minute, giving his side a 1-1 to nil lead.
Marshalstown-Castledockrell managed to open their account in the seventh minute through an Eoin Bennett pointed free, and the accuracy of the wing-forward kept his side in contention through this period, although they still trailed by 1-5 to 0-5 at the interval.
Bennett and Liam Kinsella exchanged pointed frees on the resumption, but when Kinsella finished a loose ball to the net after 38 minutes the south county side had regained the initiative, leading by 2-8 to 0-8.
With Bennett and 'Mitch' Jordan picking off some excellent points, Marshalstown-Castledockrell were level (2-8 to 0-14) by the 50th minute.
When Bennett pointed his side in front from a free one minute later they looked capable of moving on against the 13-man Island, but credit to the south county side as they struck back for a Dean Maloney goal on the 60th minute, giving them a 3-9 to 0-17 lead.
In the closing seconds Marshalstown-Castledockrell forced a 60-metre free out close to the sideline but Bennett held his nerve to swing over a great point, giving his side a deserved share of the spoils.
It's not going to get any easier for either of these teams this coming weekend, although on paper at least it would appear that Marshalstown-Castledockrell have the more 'win-able' game.
The Enniscorthy District crew take on bottom ot the table Clongeen in Bree on Friday evening and a victory would leave them pushing hard for a third or fourth place finish.
Our Lady's Island will come up against the form team of the championship to date, new arrivals St. James', in Oylegate on Saturday.
Marshalstown-Castledockrell: Joe Swaine; Tom Bennett Johnny Frayne, John Ormonde; Jack Quigley, Pat Kinsella, Joe Kelly; James Byrne, John Cullen (0-1); Darragh Kehoe (0-1), Colm Bennett (0-2), Eoin Bennett (0-10, 7 frees); Adam Harte (0-1), James Finn (0-1), Michael Kelly. Sub. - 'Mitch' Jordan (0-2) for Byrne, inj.
Our Lady's Island: Noel Dempsey; Fran Corish, Fintan Mullins, Rory Reville; Gary Walsh, Eamon Maloney, Robbie Reville; Colm Kinsella (0-3), Jack Pettit; Leigh Aylward, Nicky Keane (0-2), Liam Kinsella (1-3, 0-3 fees); John Walsh (0-1), Dean Maloney (2-0), Darragh Sinnott. Sub. - Adrian Meyler for Sinnott.
Referee: David Owens (Askamore).