Feeney-inspired Upper earn Blackwater bragging rights
Ballyduff Upper 1-12; Lismore 0-14
A close game was expected in Cappoquin on Sunday evening last and so it proved to be when neighbours Ballyduff Upper and Lismore clashed at the superbly laid-out Cornerstone venue.
The highlight was the performance for the winners of former county defender Tom Feeney playing at centre-back. The question has to be asked why he did not get to play more often for Waterford, particularly when you consider the problems at No 3 since Sean Cullinane retired. The Ballyduff stalwart played like a man 10 years his junior and used all his experience to be in the right place at the right time over the hour against their Blackwater neighbours.
It was Lismore, playing with the aid of a strong wind, that started the brighter, with senior inter-county panellist Maurice Shanahan scoring two early points from frees.
Shane Kearney opened Ballyduff’s account on six minutes when he pointed from play and two minutes later it was the busy Patrick Kearney who levelled the scores.
More often than not crucial scores come towards the end of the game but here it came just 10 minutes in when Patrick Kearney slammed the ball past former county ‘keeper Brendan Landers in the Lismore goal.
Brendan Hannon and Padraig Prendergast exchanged points for their respective sides within a minute of Kearney’s strike. Maurice Shanahan pointed from a free on 14 minutes for Lismore, only for Patrick Kearney to cancel it out 60 seconds later.
Shanahan landed a point for Lismore just past the midway mark of the half before Brendan Landers became the second netminder in this year’s senior championship to score when he pointed a free for Lismore from his own 65-metre line.
Maurice Shanahan and John Prendergast added points for Lismore inside a minute of each other as Ballyduff ended the half stronger with two more points, the first from Brendan Hannon on 27 minutes and then just before the break from Jamie Kearney in a move started by goalkeeper Adrian Power who burst out past a number of Lismore attackers to clear his lines.
The second 30 minutes was just as tight. Maurice Shanahan added three points to his account: the first came within a minute of the re-start and then a brace on 37 and 39 saw Lismore two points to the good.
Brendan Hannon hit a free for Ballyduff on 42 minutes and he scored from play soon after to restore parity.
A quiet Dan Shanahan pointed before Brian Kearney added a point for Ballyduff to tie the scores again with 13 minutes to go.
Dan Shanahan and Patrick Kearney added points in a three-minute spell and with three minutes left Brendan Hannon pointed for Ballyduff to leave just between the sides.
We all know what Adrian Power is capable of doing from a long distance free and with two minutes to go he stepped up to take one in his own half and sent the sliotar sailing between the posts.
Trailing with time almost up, Lismore took a gamble by sending on Dave Bennett, who is not fully fit, and it nearly paid off as he converted a free with a minute remaining to leave just a point between the sides.
But a Bennett effort from a placed ball in stoppage time didn’t have the accuracy and so the 2007 county champions held out to preserve their one hundred percent record.
Ballyduff Upper: A Power; P Molumphy, T Molumphy, M Drislane; G Feeney, T Feeney, J Twomey; S Hannon, B Kearney; S Kearney, S Molumphy, J Kearney, S Cunningham, P Kearney, B Hannon. Sub. K Geary for Cunningham
Scorers: P Kearney 1-3, B Hannon 0-5, B Kearney 0-2, J Kearney, A Power 0-1 each.
Lismore: B Landers; E Bennett, J O’Connor, L Byrne; S Bennett, D O’Gorman, T O’Brien; D Howard, S Kearney; J Prendergast, J Shanahan, D Shanahan; C O’Gorman, M Shanahan, P Prendergast. Subs. T Walsh for J Shanahan, S O’Keeffe for J Prendergast, D Bennett for P Prendergast.
Scorers: M Shanahan 0-8, D Shanahan 0-2, P Prendergast, B Landers, J Prendergast, D Bennett 0-1 each.
Referee: T O’Byrne (Erin’s Own).
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