Sunday 22 September 2019

Gusserane hit back for draw

Bannow-Ballymitty reeled in

Shane Bradley

Gusserane produced a superb ten-point comeback to salvage a draw against Bannow-Ballymitty in Group A of the Junior hurling championship in O'Kennedy Park, New Ross, on Saturday.

Bannow-Ballymitty 1-16 Gusserane 3-10

With 17 minutes remaining this game looked as good as over as Bannow-Ballymitty held a ten-point lead, but Gusserane produced a blistering last quarter and outscored their opponents by 2-5 to 0-1.

Bannow-Ballymitty dominated the opening quarter as they raced into a six-point lead, with corner-forward Kieran Butler causing huge problems as he notched three points from play. Pat Fitzharris slotted three placed balls from close range, with Gusserane yet to pose any threat on goal with 15 minutes played.

Full-forward Graeme Cullen opened their account with a fine score from a tight angle as they looked to get into the game. After a Keith O'Grady free, Shane Cullen split the posts with a fine score to leave them trailing by 0-6 to 0-3 with 20 minutes played.

Fintan Ryan pointed from close range before the first goal from Mark O'Neill after he pounced on a breaking ball. Bearing down on goal from a tight angle, he made no mistake, with the sides now level (0-7 to 1-4).

Pat Fitzharris added a huge free while playmaker David Currid pointed from 55 yards to leave Bannow-Ballymitty ahead by one at the interval.

Just like the opening period, they took complete control again in a topsy-turvy encounter. Kieran Butler found himself isolated one-on-one inside and he netted to add to his tally.

The impressive Pat Fitzharris then added four quickfire scores including two from play and the game looked over, with Bannow-Ballymitty ahead by 1-15 to 1-5 with one quarter to go.

Gusserane to their credit produced a blistering display in the last quarter, starting with scores from Adrian Redmond and two Mark Rossiter frees. Mark O'Neill then scored a fabulous goal as he set off on a long solo through the heart of the defence and, having already caught the ball twice, he showed great skill to fire high to the net, a great goal to reduce the arrears to four.

O'Neill again bore down on goal and earned a penalty which Rossiter fired home, and it was now game on with minutes remaining. Rossiter levelled from a free, and Fitzharris then pointed to edge Bannow-Ballymitty back in front, but Shane Cullen pointed at the death to complete a great comeback as the sides shared the spoils.

Gusserane: Micheál Ryan; Robert Browne, Kenneth Cahill, Jack O'Connor; Liam Dillon, Shane Cullen (0-2), James Redmond; Mark Rossiter (1-3, 1-0 pen., 0-3 frees), Adrian Redmond (0-1); Mark O'Neill (2-0), Keith O'Grady (0-2), Martin Fitzharris; Páraic Conway, Graeme Cullen (0-1), Fintan Ryan (0-1). Subs. - Seán Ryan for Fitzharris (37), Ciarán Conway for Dillon (43), Jack Burford for O'Grady (55).

Bannow-Ballymitty: John Sinnott; John Mernagh, Paudge Barden, Conor Furlong; Mark Wallace, Niall Murphy, John O'Leary; Arthur Sweetman, David Currid (0-1); Nicky Doyle, Pat Fitzharris (0-9, 5 frees), Gary Morton; Pádraig McCormack, Micheál Murphy (0-1), Kieran Butler (1-5). Sub. - Kevin Doyle for Morton (51).

Referee: Aiden O'Brien (Cloughbawn).

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