St Sylvester’s 2-15
Ratoath (Meath) 0-21
Both sides may feel they could have won it. Both could possibly feel lucky not to have lost. But the most important thing is St Sylvester’s remain in the hunt for the Leinster Special Junior Hurling Championship, writes Diarmuid Geraghty.
The game was an epic played on the home turf of Meath champions Ratoath. Twenty minutes of extra-time could not separate the teams and both had to settle for a replay next weekend. If the second installment is half as good as the first, it will be a match to remember.
The game started at a frantic pace. It was score for score for the opening quarter. Ciaran Falvey and Fergus Rooney led the charge for the Malahide men with some excellent score taking.
However, it was Ratoath who managed to get on top and a scoring burst before half-time left them in the ascendancy at the break on a score of nine points to five.
The second half began in much the same vein as the first ended. It looked ominous for the Syls as they appeared to be struggling and soon found themselves six points in arrears.
However, the introduction of Mannix Ryan after 40 minutes saw the Malahide men gain a foothold at midfield and they somehow managed to drag themselves back into contention.
Mark Norman started the comeback with a brilliant 30-yard goal effort before points from Falvey, Conor McCafferty and Norman forced extra time.
The momentum appeared to be with Sylvester’s and a Tom Reddy goal within minutes of the start of additional time gave them a three-point advantage. Ratoath would not lie down however, and an excellent second 10 minutes saw them hit four without reply and the game ended in a stalemate.
Sylvester’s manager Pádraic Duffy was delighted with his team’s spirit. “It’s been a trademark all year,” he said. “Somehow we always manage to pull ourselves back into contention and today was no different. It was a massive struggle but I couldn’t have asked for more from the lads today.”
The replay takes place this Sunday at Broomfield (Malahide) at 2.30pm.
St Sylvester’s: H Murray-Hession; D Rooney, I McCafferty, P O’Leary; A Morris, E O’Flaherty, D O’Flaherty; D Casey, R Kennedy; C O’Conor, G Hannon, F Rooney; C Falvey, M Norman, T Reddy. Subs: C McCafferty for Hannon(37), M Ryan for Casey(40).
– Diarmuid Geraghty (Evening Herald)