Rathnure hold Taghmon revival
Hosts Rathnure advanced to the quarter-finals of the Greenstar Under-21 hurling Premier championship despite a sloppy second-half on Tuesday.
Rathnure 2-14 Taghmon-Camross 1-12
Despite spraying eleven wides in the first 30 minutes (17 overall), the Blackstairs boys were coasting to victory at the interval, leading by 2-9 to 0-3. The home side played some superb, crisp hurling in the period and looked like a championship favourite on that form.
Things changed markedly after the resumption with the intensity gone down a few levels and the classy play a distant memory, with mentors and the home crowd becoming exasperated by the change in Rathnure fortunes.
Taghmon deserve plenty of credit for the turnaround in the second-half. A weaker set of troops might have thrown in the towel and coasted through the period to an inevitable loss.
The visitors refused to go away quietly though and pushed their opponents to the last puck of the game.
The scores were tied at one point each when Rathnure made a major breakthrough. It was Seánie Redmond's floated ball in from the right that was broken down by Rory Higgins, and the corner-forward swept the dropping ball into the net with a powerful pull from toe-height.
The same two were involved in the eighth minute for green flag number two. This time it was Higgins haring away down the left untouched; he shot low and while Jack Dunne saved the effort there was nothing the Taghmon-Camross stopper could do to deny Redmond from the follow-up.
A carbon-copy run from Higgins saw him drill a powerful low shot inches wide of the right post in the tenth minute.
Eventually Taghmon-Camross settled after a few defensive changes but they couldn't stop a string of points, with Michael Redmond on target with a trio to help his side into their twelve-point half-time lead.
The game's first score from a free came from Luke Sinnott just one second after the 40th minute ended, but at that stage Taghmon-Camross were still 2-11 to 0-7 behind.
Sinnott notched his side's next three points too and further scores by Darren Carty and Michael O'Gorman cut the deficit to 2-13 to 0-12.
Just seconds into added time Johnny Murphy pulled home from Barry Og McGrath's pass to narrow the gap to four.
That was as close as they got as James Tobin put a seal on victory with a late point to set up a quarter-final clash with Oulart-The Ballagh in Rathnure tonight (Tuesday).
Rathnure: Liam Barron; Denis Maher, Brian Quigley, Martin O'Connor; Aodhán Foley, Podge Doyle, Mattie Creane; Eoin Higgins (0-1), Shane Lawlor (0-2); Ciarán O'Connor (0-1), Michael Redmond (capt., 0-5, 1 free), James Tobin (0-3); Paddy Flynn, Seánie Redmond (1-0), Rory Higgins (1-2).
Taghmon-Camross: Jack Dunne; David O'Keeffe, Aidan Winters, Stephen O'Keeffe; Stephen Stafford, Jack Murphy, Conor O'Keeffe; Ian Carty, Darren Carty (0-2); Shane Doyle, Richard Stafford (capt.), James Carroll; Luke Sinnott (0-4 frees), Stephen O'Gorman (0-1), Barry Og McGrath (0-4). Subs. - Stuart Murphy for D. O'Keeffe, inj. (24), Johnny Murphy (1-0) for Carroll (33), Michael O'Gorman (0-1) for S. Murphy (51).
Referee: Pat Kehoe (Rathgarogue-Cushinstown).