Saturday 28 Sep 2019Intermediate Hurling - Relegation Play-Off

Riverstick, 15:00PM

Barryroe 3-13 (22) Na Piarsaigh 1-18 (21) AET

A leading RTÉ commentator of Kerry extraction is on record as stating that such is the dynamic appeal of Gaelic games that if you look away for thirty seconds you will have missed something of vital importance. Well, if he had been in Riverstick on Saturday afternoon for the meeting of Barryroe and Na Piarsaigh then certainly his opinion would have been vindicated. Deep into injury time Johnny O'Donovan stepped up to take a last gasp free, nothing less than a goal would suffice, and floated a ball deep into Na Piarsaigh territory which caused chaos. In the resulting scrum the ball found its way to the net. It may need An Garda Síochána to setup an independent enquiry to discover who got the final touch. Regardless, delight for Barryroe, despair for Na Piarsaigh who seemed to have had this match wrapped up at the three-quarter mark as they led 1-14 to 0-08 in deteriorating conditions. Amazingly they now trailed 3-10 (19) to 1-15 (18) after a final quarter Barryroe blitzkrieg. More drama ensued as Na Piarsaigh valiantly launched one last attack and they engineered a free which they gratefully converted and took the game to extra time.

Na Piarsaigh quickly settled and tagged on two points in the first period of extra time. Jack Murphy responded on the stroke of the short whistle with a well taken 65. Mark Crowley, who made a major impact once introduced from the bench, was to the fore early in the second period of extra time and worked a sublime score to tie up proceedings 3-12 to 1-18. It was the tonic that Barryroe needed and when the game was there to be won, Jack Murphy was on hand to land the decisive blow.

This game had everything, great goalmouth excitement and escapes, and a high standard of sportsmanship prevailed in testing conditions. Nothing had gone right for The Blues in the first half as they retired at the break trailing 1-07 to 0-05 with a litany of poor wides which extended well into double digits. With the game in danger of drifting away it was full forward Sean Holland who struck for the crucial score and started a period of dominance which was accelerated further when super sub Jason Fleming rattled the net with his first touch four minutes later, all after some great approach work from Madden and Crowley. Lazarus was awoken and rising by time Johnny instigated the late drama.

Barryroe: Billy O'Donovan, Alan Kiely, Ger O'Leary, Kieran Griffin, Patrick Maloney, David Kiely, Kevin O'Driscoll, Eoghan Sheehy, Jerome O'Brien, Jack Murphy, Daniel O'Driscoll, Ted Kearney, Cathal Sheehy, Sean Holland, John O'Donovan. Subs used: Mark Crowley, Brian O'Donovan, Conor Madden, Jason Fleming, David Murphy, Jack Cahalane.

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