Tobin strikes late for relieved Rapps
SUBSTITUTE ED Tobin was the toast of Bellefield on Sunday last after his first-time pull to the net in an almighty scramble nearly 90 seconds into added time gave Rapparees a fortunate one-point win over Adamstown in this hard-fought Pettitt's Senior hurling championship Group A tie in Oylegate.
The Ross District side led by three points after teenage attacker Tony French converted his sixth free with less than four minutes left, but a very good solo score from Tomás Mahon drove their Enniscorthy rivals on as they sensed that all was not lost.
M.J. Cooper cleared his lines as Jack Kelly bore down on goal, and then a Tommy Foley shot was stopped and cleared desperately over the sideline. The pressure was on, and it finally paid off for the Rapps when Tobin got the vital touch on a dangerous ball bobbling around the goalmouth.
Lorcan French shot a late wide for an unfortunate Adamstown who had torn into the fray from the off, although they will rue the manner in which an eight-point lead was allowed to slip.
The swirling wind was in the Rapps' favour in the first-half and Tomás Mahon forced Paul Cooper into a good early save, but the lead they took after Conor Ronan's fifth-minute point was shortlived.
Two Tony French frees put Adamstown ahead before a long delivery from M.J. Cooper's placed ball broke kindly and Barry Power drilled it home in the 22nd minute (1-2 to 0-1).
Just over a minute later Thomas Furlong flicked Tony French's line ball from the right to the net, but the Rapps got their act together in the lead-up to half-time and hit 2-2 without reply to edge ahead by the minimum.
Declan Ruth (free) and Eoin Quigley ('65) pulled back points before the former slammed a close-in free to the net in the 29th minute. He tried something similar in added time and, while his effort was stopped, Eamonn Furlong was following up and batted the rebound past Paul Cooper (2-3 to 2-2).
Adamstown were the superior side in the third quarter and outscored their rivals by six points to one, with the three French brothers and dual county Minor Paudie Barden all hitting the target.
However, the Rapps responded through Jack Kelly, Eamonn Furlong and Tomás Mahon, but they couldn't get back level as their rivals grabbed the next two scores courtesy of Lorcan and Tony French (free).
Eoin Quigley ('65) and Tony French (free) went on to swap further points before that late 1-1 burst which left the Rapps as relieved as they were pleased at the final whistle.
Rapparees: Fran O'Gorman; John Ryan, Liam Ryan, Tom Wall; Brendan Kearney, Eoin Quigley (0-2 '65s), Peter O'Sullivan; Jack Kelly (0-1), Conor Ronan (0-1); Eamonn Furlong (1-1), Declan Ruth (capt., 1-2 frees), Tommy Foley; Aaron Ronan, Joe Cullen, Tomás Mahon (0-2). Subs. - Mel Doyle for J. Ryan, inj. (25), Ricky Fox for C. Ronan (33), Ed Tobin (1-0) for Cullen (50), Kevin Ryan for A. Ronan (55).
Adamstown: Paul Cooper; Michael Curtis, M.J. Cooper (capt.), John Whelan; Michael Furlong, Shane O'Gorman, Shane White; Lorcan French (0-2), Paudie Barden (0-1); John French (0-1), Thomas Furlong (1-0), Tony French (0-7, 6 frees); Barry Power (1-0), James Breen, Ian Stafford. Sub. - Eoghan Cashin for Stafford (55).
Referee: Seánie O'Shea (Blackwater).