Horeswood earn second chance
Rapparees 0-15 Horeswood 2-9
A late rally from Horeswood earned them another bite of the cherry after a hard-fought Permanent TSB Junior hurling championship semi-final in Killurin on Saturday.
The New Ross District men trailed by four points in the 57th minute and looked to be on their way out of the competition, but a Seán Nolan goal and an equalising point from top scorer Michael O'Hanlon kept their hopes alive.
Rapparees will feel they let a glorious opportunity slip through their fingers as, having built up a 0-13 to 1-4 advantage midway through the second-half with some clever hurling, they looked to have got the measure of their opponents.
However, Horeswood showed admirable resolve to finish strongly and pull the game out of the fire, with O'Hanlon and Nolan to the fore.
The Enniscorthy men began quite brightly and built up a 0-4 to 0-2 lead by the eighth minute, with Peter O'Sullivan, Gary Murphy and John Ryan (two) splitting the posts, with the first of the full-forward's points coming after a Caolan Carty shot had been saved by Eoin Mythen.
A brace of Michael O'Hanlon frees drew Horeswood level, but after John Ryan had edged the Rapps back in front, O'Hanlon was in the thick of the action again, plundering possession and rifling a shot to the net in the 16th minute.
Rapparees responded well to the setback though, and scored five points without reply to build up a 0-10 to 1-4 advantage by the interval, with Kevin Walsh popping the ball over the bar, and Declan Ruth and Neil McCrea contributing two points apiece.
Horeswood had the aid of the swirling breeze after the interval, but it was the Enniscorthy men that adapted to the elements better, with two Declan Ruth frees and an eye-catching score from Tom Ryan stretching the lead to six points in the 43rd minute.
Aidan O'Brien's charges dug deep though, and the accurate Michael O'Hanlon arrowed over three placed balls on the trot to get them back within touching distance with five minutes of action remaining.
John Ryan and Neil McCrea pointed, either side of a Seán Nolan effort, to give Rapparees the breathing space of a four-point advantage with four minutes remaining, but Horeswood grasped a lifeline when Nolan got the green flag waving.
Barry Hearn lofted the ball into the danger zone, and with the Rapps contingent appealing that Declan Ruth was nudged in the back, O'Hanlon gathered possession and off-loaded to Nolan who did the rest, confidently finding the back of the net.
Horewood weren't finished yet, and Michael O'Hanlon fired over the equalising point a minute later to earn them another day out.
Rapparees: Aaron Sinnott; John Barron, Mark Redmond, Joe Carley; Brian Ronan, Declan Ruth (0-4, 2 frees), Kevin Walsh (0-1); Seán O'Gorman (capt.), Peter O'Sullivan (0-1); Alan Tobin, Tom Ryan (0-1), Gary Murphy (0-1); Caolan Carty, John Ryan (0-4), Neil McCrea (0-3, 2 frees). Subs. - Ronan Kirwan for Ronan, inj., Conor Farrell for Carty, Lee Treacy for Redmond.
Horeswood: Eoin Mythen; Eamonn O'Sullivan, Shane O'Hanlon, David Larkin; Danny Byrne, Barry Hearn, David Murphy; Paddy Murphy, Seán Stafford; Seán Nolan (1-1), Leigh O'Brien (0-2), Declan Murphy (capt.); Gavin Murphy, Michael O'Hanlon (1-6, 0-4 frees, 0-1 '65), Eoin Murphy. Subs. - Dylan Whitty for E. Murphy, David O'Shea for G. Murphy.
Referee: Seán Whelan (St. Martin's).