Fourmile’ snatch deserved draw

Tallow\'s James Murray shows his mettle against the Fourmilewater forward line at Fraher Field. Photos: Sean Byrne

Tallow's James Murray shows his mettle against the Fourmilewater forward line at Fraher Field. Photos: Sean Byrne

Tallow . . . 1-11; Fourmilewater . . . 0-14

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A thrilling finish to an exciting county senior hurling championship game at Fraher Field, Dungarvan, on Saturday with Tallow’s battling late rally garnering them the draw their efforts fully deserved. Its a result that will, arguably, satisfy both sides leaving them well positioned to advance to the quarter finals of the championship.

That said however Fourmile’, perhaps, will feel they left victory slip from a position of considerable second half strength, but credit Tallow with that tremendous closing rally leaving the Ballmacarbry outfit dependant on a last gasp point to salvage a division of the spoils.

It was, however, no less than Foumile’ deserved, and it would have been a travesty of justice had they lost a game they looked the most likely winners of for the greater part of the hour. In fact they were only in arrears once when Paul Kearney pointed on the hour, but in the final ninety seconds of added time Richard Fenton rifled over an equaliser to give his side a result that leaves them very firmly in contention for a place in the last eight of the title race.

 

Tallow will probably be disappointed that they failed to reproduce the level of performance that had seen off champions Ballyduff six days earlier, but the truth of the matter is that they played as well as they were allowed by a dogged and determined opposition that will be no pushover for any the other title contenders.

In fact they played well enough to have sneaked all of the spoils, and seemed to be heading for doing just that when they eased six points clear inside the final quarter. Looking near enough to being dead and buried, Tallow to their credit staged a magnificent rally and inspired by a super goal strike from teenager Tomas Ryan subsequently came within seconds of fashioning victory.

Vice-like grip

It was virtually all Fourmile’ in the opening half and that wasn’t just down to the fact that they had the assistance of whatever breeze there was. They were playing a good and solid band of hurling and their defence, which benefited hugely from the transfer of Brian Wall to centre back, had the opposing Tallow attack in a vice-like grip.

Points by Thomas O’Gorman and a super one from Shane Walsh gave them a flying start and it was a lead they would only lose once, and briefly, for the remainder of he half.

Paul O’Brien got Tallow off the mark from a 4th minute “65” and it was to be the start of another good day for the midfielder whose form just might be studied right now by the county selectors. Richard Fenton had the first of his ultimate ten point haul from a 5th minute free, and the only time in the half Tallow enjoyed parity on the scoreboard was when O’Brien unerringly found the range from a long range free on the quarter hour.

Thereafter it was all Fourmilewater with Tallow restricted to just one more point – a great one from midfielder Paul Murray, and the Ballymac’ outfit deservedly led by double scores, 0-8 to 0-4, at the interval.

Fenton accounted for three of those points, two from play, with Martin Walsh chipping in with the fourth. Shane Walsh saw them off to the perfect second half start with a quality point inside ten seconds and now the most serious and searching of questions were being asked of Tallow. No immediate answers forthcoming and with Fenton continuing to punish defensive indiscretions Fourmile’ looked to be firmly in the driving seat when they widened their advantage to half a dozen points, 0-12 to 0-6, with less than a quarter of an hour remaining.

Vintage goal

Some measure of magic was needed if Tallow were to rescue themselves, and it fell to teenage corner forward Tomas Ryan to come up with the goods. He split the uprights for a magnificent point from a sideline cut in the 50th minute, and after Paul Kearney quickly added another from a free it was Ryan who threw his side the priceless lifeline with a goal of vintage quality in the 52nd minute.

Sixty seconds later William Henley’s point had the sides level, and with all of the momentum behind them Tallow now looked the probable winners. No rolling over however by Fourmile’ and it was still deadlock on the scoreboard after a further points exchange by Fenton and Paul O’Brien.

On the hour Kearney’s pointed free looked to have dramatically won it for Tallow, but if ever justice was done it was when Fenton rifled over his tenth point from another free with what was to be the penultimate puck of a fine game. Now with three points from a possible four after two games, both sides are well positioned to advance to the last eight in the title race.

 

Teams and scorers

Tallow: B. Power, A. Kearney, S. McCarthy, M. O’Brien, J. Murray, D. O’Brien, K. Geary, P. O’Brien, P. Murray, S. “F” McCarthy, W. Henley, P. Kearney; T. Ryan, B. Sheehan, L. McCarthy, Sub; B. Henley for L. McCarthy.

Scorers: P. Kearney (0-5) T. Ryan (1-1); P. O’Brien (0-3); P. Murray, W. Henley (0-1) each.

Fourmilewater: C. Ryan, S. Lawlor, L. Lawlor, J. Walsh, P. Horkan, R. Rice, L. Walsh, Maurice O’Gorman, S. Lawlor, B. Wall, S. Walsh, Michael O’Gorman, R. Fenton, T, O’Gorman, M. Walsh, Subs; A. Lawlor for Michael O’Gorman, D. Wall for T. O’Gorman.

Scorers: R. Fenton (0-10); S. Walsh (0-2); T. O’Grman, M. Walsh (0-1) each.

Referee: Dessie O’Leary, Erins Own.

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