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Monday 23 October 2017

Dwyer point earns draw

Geraldine O'Hanrahans 2-12 Fethard 2-12

Brendan Furlong

Fethard bounced back for a late Ciarán Dwyer point which helped them secure a deserved draw with Geraldine O'Hanrahans in this excellent Top Oil Intermediate 'A' hurling championship Group B round two game in Horeswood on Saturday.

Early in the second-half Fethard seemed to be coasting, having moved into a five-point lead after 37 minutes, but then Geraldine O'Hanrahans suddenly sprang to life and continued to turn the screw on their opponents.

They took a two-point advantage (2-12 to 2-10) with six minutes remaining, but in a dramatic closing minutes Fethard managed to keep their composure, bouncing back for two points to salvage a draw which they richly deserved.

Geraldine O'Hanrahans, who earlier in the week took the District Under-21 Roinn 1 hurling title, deserved to take something from this game, if for nothing else but their battling closing quarter.

Early in the second-half it looked as if the game had slipped away from them, but suddenly their young side got going, no doubt inspired by some splendid goalkeeping from Brandon Gardiner, while Dylan Egan, Eoin Kelly, Stephen Somers and Kevin Grangel shone with their outfield play.

At the end of the opening quarter the sides were level (0-3 each), as Matt Crowdle, Conor Cleere and Eoin Kelly (free) were on target for the Barrowsiders, while Mark Wallace responded with three pointed frees for their opponents.

Wallace was proving the main threat in attack, firing home a 23rd-minute goal that left his side leading by 1-5 to 0-7 at the interval.

Fethard started the second-half impressively, as Ciarán Dwyer pointed, while on 37 minutes a delightful crossfield ball from Mikie Dwyer picked out Joe Sutton who finished superbly to the net, giving his side a 2-6 to 0-7 lead.

Two Eoin Kelly pointed frees kept the Geraldines in touch, but Fethard still led 2-8 to 1-9 at the end of the third quarter.

After 47 minutes, substitute Brian Haberlin, having just been introduced, shot home a superb goal with his first touch to reduce the deficit to the minimum, with Eoin Kelly pointing the sides level from a free with twelve minutes remaining.

Wallace and Haberlin went on to exchange superb points from play, while nine minutes from the end a Wallace pointed free restored his side's lead (2-10 to 1-12).

Six minutes from the end a long Dylan Egan free was blocked down by goalkeeper Seán Foley, but Kevin Grangel was on hand to finish to the net from close in.

In the closing minutes a Wallace free coupled with a late Ciarán Dwyer effort brought the sides level after an excellent second-half.

Geraldine O'Hanrahans: Brandon Gardiner; Gerry Cash, Tony Murphy, Michael Cleere; Enda Kelly, Dylan Egan (0-1), Conor Cleere (0-1); Jack Foran, Matt Crowdle (0-1); Eoin Kelly (0-7, 6 frees), Stephen Somers, Barry Kelly; Kevin Grangel (1-0), David Crowdle, Barry Roche (0-1). Subs. - Brian Haberlin (1-1) for D. Crowdle, Dylan Wickham for M. Crowdle, Ned Connors for Cash.

Fethard: Seán Foley; Danny Mullan, Rúairí Tubrid, Chris Molloy; Daire Barden, Kevin Rowe, Brian O'Donohoe; John Tubritt, Garrett Foley; Graham O'Grady, Eddie Power, Ciarán Dwyer (0-2); Mikie Dwyer (0-2), Mark Wallace (1-8, 0-6 frees), Joe Sutton (1-0). Subs. - Jesse Foley for Power, Richard Waters for O'Grady.

Referee: Fintan Whyte (St. James').

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