Blackwater overcome Cushinstown with late flurry
THREE LATE points helped Blackwater to a deserved victory over Rathgarogue-Cushinstown in The Courtyard Ferns Intermediate hurling championship Group A game at Bree on Saturday last.
Very little separated the sides through the 60 minutes but the ability of the Blackwater attack to pick off their points proved sufficient to separate them. They left it mighty late though as the teams were still deadlocked with just one minute remaining when the seasiders edged in front.
In the opening half Rathgarogue-Cushinstown failed to make better use of the stiff breeze as they struggled for scores against a tight-knit Blackwater defence for whom Diarmuid Murphy was outstanding at centre-back.
An Enda Doran point had Rathgarogue-Cushinstown in front inside 30 seconds of the start, but points from Michael Lillis (free) and Paul Murphy edged Blackwater in front.
Both sides were kept in the game by their tight defences, and as they continued to trade points in a low-scoring opening 30 minutes, Rathgarogue-Cushinstown led by 0-5 to 0-4 at the interval.
A Kevin Murphy point in the 36th minute had the sides level. After Ollie Bolger (free) and Denis Carroll exchanged points, a clinical finish from Peter Aspel brought the game's only goal at the end of the third quarter, but more importantly it gave his side a 1-6 to 0-6 lead.
Amazingly the New Ross District outfit failed to add to their tally in the closing quarter as three Michael Lillis points (two frees, one '65) brought the sides level (0-9 to 1-6) with one minute remaining. Then in an explosive finish a Kevin Murphy point on 60 minutes gave his side the lead, with Michael Lillis tagging on two further excellent points, one '65 and the final effort from 80 metres, to give his side a three-point victory in the end.
Blackwater: Peter O'Brien; Anthony Roche, Kevin O'Brien, Brian Curran; Brian Dooley, Diarmuid Murphy, Seán Cash; Denis Carroll (0-1), Michael Lillis (0-7, 4 frees, 2 '65s); Jason O'Leary, James Dooley, Niall McLoughlin (0-1); Paul Murphy (0-1), Johnny Murphy, Brendan Murphy. Subs. - Kevin Murphy (0-2) for O'Leary, Johnny Mooney for Cash.
Rathgarogue-Cushinstown: Colin Whelan; Pat Devereux, Francis O'Brien, Paudie McGrath; Charlie Kent, Danny Martin-Carroll, Eoghan Whelan; Chris Kent (0-1), Brian O'Neill; Enda Doran (0-2), Barry Murphy, Ollie Bolger (0-3, 2 frees, 1 '65); Peter Aspel (1-0), Bernard Furlong, Nicky Sinnott. Sub. - Matthew Cody for Furlong.
Referee: Noel Stafford (Clongeen).