St Mary’s Leixlip 1-14
Carlow Town 3-7
By Kieran Murphy
THERE was a tense finish to this Leinster League Division 4 Hurling final at Netwatch Cullen Park on Sunday when Carlow Town fought back to score two goals when it looked as if St Mary’s were going to stroll to an easy victory.
With twelve minutes to go Cian Bracken pointed from play to put seven points between the sides. Then Carlow made a few changes and with his first touch of the sliotar, replacement Sean O’Gorman drilled a low shot to the net at the O’Hanrahan end of the ground to put a bit of life back into the game.
Then a 65 from Karol English ended up in the net and with the game going into injury time the Oak Park side had a glimpse at redemption.
The Leixlip side fought back and Ben Travers pointed. A late Karol English free reduced the margin to a point once more and with the last puck of the game another free from Carlow’s leading scorer drifted wide. The Kildare side were relieved to hear the full-time whistle.
The first half was well-contested. Paddy Murphy and Damien Carty were the danger men up front for Leixlip with a Carlow Town goal coming after Conor Lawlor surged through the defence and off-loaded to Barry English. Taking the sliotar and a heavy tackle, the veteran slid the ball home.
St Mary’s hit back and scored the final three points of the half to lead 0-10 to 1-4 at the break. Their only goal came one minute into the second half from Carty. That looked to be the decisive score but a game of hurling is never over until the final whistle as events proved as the game went into the final stages.
St Mary’s: Lee Hogan; Calvin Finn, Brian Nicholson, Alan Murphy; Ryan Doyle, Padraig Mulrennan, Conor Higgins; John Roche (0-1f), Lorcan Shinnors; Paddy Murphy (0-3), Cathal Melville (0-1), Cian Bracken (0-4, 0-2 frees); Ben Travers (0-1), Damien Carty (1-3), Stephen Ryan (0-1). Subs: Aidan Ryan for A Murphy (h/t), Karl Burke for Roche (41 mins).
Carlow Town: Sean McCormack; Willie O’Reilly, Barry English (1-0), Aidan Curran; Cian Sweeney, Karol English (1-5, 1-1 frees, 2 ‘65s), Diarmuid Murphy; Matthew Hayden English, Conor Lawlor (0-1); Lazzie Meaney, Larry Farrell, Peter Doran; Corey Harmon, Cian Clancy (0-1 free), Dave Walsh. Subs: Jason Kenny for Sweeney (42 mins), Cormac Lawlor for Clancy (44 mins), Mick Shannon for Curran (51 mins), Sean O’Gorman (1-0) for Harmon (58 mins), Alex O’Meara for O’Reilly (58 mins).
Referee: Mark Ryan (Dublin)