Oylegate surge stuns the Alley
Oylegate-Glenbrien 2-15 Buffers Alley 0-16
Oylegate-Glenbrien delivered a late surge to shock Buffers Alley in round two of Group A of the Pettitt's Senior hurling championship with a dramatic 2-15 to 0-16 victory in Bellefield on Saturday.
The reigning Intermediate champions had trailed by as much as six points at one stage in a lethargic first-half, but really upped the ante after the break as they nudged in front four minutes from time and confidently stood firm to secure back-to-back wins.
Truthfully though, the losers cannot have too many complaints as they suffered a systems failure for the majority of that second-half, and also conceded three times as many frees as the victors in that time-frame.
That said, they enjoyed an encouraging start as Paul O'Leary (free) and John Lee Meyler pointed them 0-2 to 0-1 in front after 70 seconds, while another free from the former and an excellent point from in front of the Oylegate-Glenbrien dug-out by Willie Doran increased their lead to 0-4 to 0-2 by the eighth minute.
Pat Kenny also sped away to point, only for Oylegate-Glenbrien to respond through Mark Kavanagh and Seamus Casey to move within the minimum by the end of the first quarter.
However, Buffers Alley bit back with five unanswered points in a row as the Kennys, Pat and Bobby, the O'Learys, Paul (free) and Tomás, and Seán Óg Whelan boosted their lead to 0-10 to 0-4 after 23 minutes.
In between, Jamie Reck had tested the reflexes of Alley netminder Oliver O'Leary, but his team-mates Casey (free) and Bryan McCormack moved Oylegate-Glenbrien to within 0-11 to 0-7 at the interval.
Jamie Reck needed only 16 seconds to close the gap to four after the break, while two Casey points (one free) made it 0-11 to 0-10 after 39 minutes.
The Alley finally awoke through Whelan and Andrew Kenny, and although three successful Oylegate-Glenbrien frees from Casey (two) and Damien Reck restored parity at 0-13 apiece with ten minutes left, substitutes Cormac Foley and Shane Grannell, together with Willie Doran, established what appeared to be a useful 0-16 to 0-13 lead for the Monamolin men.
However, a route one delivery from Damien Reck on top of county colleague Podge Doran saw the towering forward superbly gather, turn and kick to the net for the leveller on 55 minutes.
Jamie Reck then raised the roof with the lead point a minute later, and when Doran bundled his way towards goal again on 59 minutes, his pot-shot was deflected and trickled across the square where Marty Kelly was on hand to prod to the empty net despite being off-balance in doing so.
Seamus Casey sealed the deal with his fifth free one minute into injury time and, try as they might, Buffers Alley could find no way past a stubborn Oylegate-Glenbrien defence marshalled authoritatively by full-back Michael Heffernan.
Oylegate-Glenbrien: John Foley; Robert O'Connor, Michael Heffernan, Ciarán Hourihane; Bryan McCormack (0-1), Damien Reck (0-2 frees), Mark Kavanagh (0-1); Shane Reck, Mike Kelly; Podge Doran (1-1), Jamie Reck (capt., 0-2), Marty Kelly (1-0); Seamus Casey (0-8, 5 frees), Fergus Heffernan, Conor Doyle. Sub. - Conor Heffernan for F. Heffernan.
Buffers Alley: Oliver O'Leary; Seán Murphy, Ciarán Kenny (capt.), Ciarán Murphy; Bobby Kenny (0-1), John Farrell, Ross Donohoe (0-1 free); Paul O'Leary (0-3 frees), Robert O'Leary; Andrew Kenny (0-1), Willie Doran (0-2), Seán Óg Whelan (0-2); Pat Kenny (0-2), John Lee Meyler (0-1), Tomás O'Leary (0-1). Subs. - Cormac Foley (0-1) for Meyler, Shane Grannell (0-1) for R. O'Leary.
Referee: Damien Donovan (Volunteers).