Nolan's goal leads to draw
Oulart hold Cushinstown
There was only one fourth quarter score in this Courtyard Ferns Intermediate hurling championship Group A tie, but it was an important one as Oulart-The Ballagh snatched a draw against Rathgarogue-Cushinstown in Bellefield on Saturday.
Rathgarogue-Cushinstown 0-12 Oulart-The Ballagh 1-9
With just eight minutes remaining, trailing by 0-12 to 0-9, Oulart-The Ballagh substitute Cormac Finn broke into space and raced away inside the opposing '65. He off-loaded to Darren Nolan on the run down the left, and the experienced campaigner cut in on goal and drilled low past Colin Whelan for the leveller.
The goal was the bright spot in an otherwise fairly insipid encounter. Oulart-The Ballagh might feel they could have had the game in their hands earlier after swatting a satchel-load of wides. Rathgarogue-Cushinstown might have held on to their lead but maybe the draw was a fair, if not satisfactory, result for both sides.
Oulart-The Ballagh, playing with a light breeze, started brightly with scores from Ben O'Connor, Anthony Storey and Mick O'Dowd inside ten minutes. Matthew Cody opened his side's account in the 13th minute but further scores from Niall Redmond and Dennis Morton ensured the Enniscorthy District side led by 0-5 to 0-1.
Daire Bolger nailed three frees to close the gap to two in the 22nd minute, and he forced Cathal Sinnott into a fine save with a powerful goalbound strike before the break. Eventually, with Aaron Kenny getting in on the act, and Brian O'Neill and Ollie Bolger pointing at the other end, Oulart-The Ballagh led by 0-7 to 0-6 at the interval.
Rathgarogue-Cushinstown's best spell was undoubtedly the third quarter. They scored six points to their opponents' two as Bernard Furlong (two), Cody (two), Bolger and Peter Asple all registered to leave their side 0-12 to 0-9 ahead after 44 minutes.
The only score of the final quarter was Nolan's goal, and rarely in the final exchanges did either side come close to stealing it. In the end the draw was the fair result and both teams will hope for better showings when the championship resumes after the break.
Rathgarogue-Cushinstown: Colin Whelan; Peadar Cody, Paudie McGrath (capt.), Francis O'Brien; Patrick Murphy, Matthew Cody (0-3 frees), Brian Cody; Peter Asple (0-1), Brian O'Neill (0-1); Robert Murphy, Bernard Furlong (0-2), Daniel Martin Carroll; Enda Doran, Ollie Bolger (0-2), Daire Bolger (0-3 frees). Subs. - Tadhg Cody for Bolger (40), James Devereux for Doran (48).
Oulart-The Ballagh: Cathal Sinnott; Eamonn Murphy, Richard Doyle, Ian Storey; Colin Sunderland, Dennis Morton (0-2 frees), Cathal Kenny; Darren Nolan (1-0), Gary Murphy; Anthony Storey (0-2), Mick O'Dowd (0-1 free), Aaron Kenny (0-1); Niall Redmond (0-1), Ben O'Connor (0-2), James O'Toole. Subs. - Cormac Finn for O'Toole (40), David Rossiter for O'Dowd, O'Dowd for C. Kenny (59).
Referee: John Carton (Monageer-Boolavogue).