Mellows edge it
Liam Mellows 1-16 Taghmon-Camross 1-15
An outrageous effort deep into injury-time from Stephen O'Rafferty earned Liam Mellows a precious 1-16 to 1-15 second round win over Taghmon Camross in Group B of the Top Oil Intermediate 'A' hurling championship in Monageer on Saturday.
Despite enjoying a numerical advantage in the final twelve minutes after Mark O'Gorman departed on a second yellow card, the recently-crowned ACHL Division 4 champions couldn't manage to wriggle free from their resilient opponents.
Indeed, a fine effort from the sideline by Richard Farrell, and another from Minor Ross Cody which gave the north county men a 1-15 to 1-13 lead one minute from time, were cancelled out by Darren Carty and Chris Cullen (free) as a draw looked imminent.
However, when loose man Risteárd Kinsella sprayed the ball out to the right wing towards O'Rafferty, the substitute produced a moment of class to get his side back on track following an opening round loss to Geraldine O'Hanrahans.
A topsy-turvy first-half saw Liam Mellows race 0-4 to nil in front after twelve minutes, with Joe Gardiner hitting three scores in that spell (one free).
Taghmon-Camross hit back with conviction though, as Michael O'Gorman swiped to the net on 22 minutes to build a narrow 1-7 to 0-8 interval lead.
However, the eventual victors resumed with a clever effort from county footballer Conor Carty and a free from Gardiner, while Stephen Moloney galloped through to goal via a deflection and turn the tables by 1-10 to 1-7 after 33 minutes.
And it remained tight thereafter as Colin Kennedy and Cullen traded six frees evenly, before that late point from O'Rafferty saw Liam Mellows home.
Liam Mellows: Darragh Murphy; Frank Roche, Conor Cleary, Risteárd Kinsella; Marc Halpin, Andy Merrigan (capt.), Aaron Condren; Stephen Moloney (1-0) Colin Kennedy (0-3 frees); Colm Morris, Joe Gardiner (0-5, 3 frees), Seán Roche (0-1); Conor Carty (0-3), Richard Farrell (0-2), Ross Cody (0-1). Subs. - Stephen Gardiner for Morris, Stephen O'Rafferty (0-1) for S. Roche.
Taghmon-Camross: Seán O'Gorman (capt.); Shane Doyle, David O'Keeffe, Mark O'Gorman; Stephen Stafford, Alan Nolan, Adam Winters; Darren Carty (0-1), Tomás Furlong; Shane Lacey, Chris Cullen (0-8, 7 frees), Luke Sinnott (0-2); Michael O'Gorman (1-0), Stephen O'Gorman (0-4), Pierce Doyle.
Referee: Philip Murphy (Faythe Harriers).