– Don/Ash hurlers earn first Championship Win
HT : Don/Ash 1-03 Kilskyre 2-07
FT – Don/Ash 4-08 Kilskyre 2-13
Donaghmore Ashbourne’s intermediate hurlers produced a stunning second half comeback to grab their first Championship win of the season and reignite their fight for survival
Having trailed by 7 points at two stages in the second half, the team showed great determination and some quality to reel Kilskyre in
The first half was a collection of frees, Kilskyre comfortable to convert any dead balls off the hurl of ‘’Rasher’’ Muldoon, and they fired in a goal in the opening 10 minutes through Jack Tunney. But Ashbourne kept in range, Davey Carey putting over two frees of his own, Adrian McManus almost catching out Kevin Devine with a long range point which bounced on the six yard line and over the bar, before Carey raised a green flag. After his initial strike was blocked, he pulled on the ball instinctively and it flew into the net, amid some confusion on the sideline. A lapse in concentration in the half back line just before the break allowed Peader Byrne to race through and blast past Sean Benville to put a slightly harsh look on the scoreboard at half time.
The management shuffled the pack at half time, bringing in Danny Deery for Cian Field and moving Conor Carey and Sean Robinson into the half back line, before moving Andy Byrne from midfield into the edge of the square, and it was these changes which triggered the remarkable comeback. D.Carey dropped over two more scores, another effort from McManus went over after some good build up from Robinson and Paul Finglas, but it was the high balls in on top of keeper which reaped the most rewards. Byrne caused havoc in the air, and Deery was there to pick up any scraps, striking twice to the net as the momentum started to swing to the side of the Moors. Kilskyre were being snuffed out, Niall Geraghty couldn’t cope with the Donaghmore backs, and they were relying on Muldoon and Byrne for a lot of their scores from frees. They broke through in the 61st minute though, with a man on the overlap, the ball was flicked across by Brady to Charles Brogan. He swung first time in the air, but a sensational save by Benville kept the ball out, and the ball was scrambled away. It was a big moment, as Byrne would make his mark moments later, another high ball in caused trouble, and it allowed him to drill the ball past Devine to complete the amazing turnaround.
The drama wasn’t done as Kilskyre upped the pressure, needing the victory to stay in the Championship. Conor Carey was dismissed for a questionable second yellow. Ball after ball was pucked in, but a monumental effort in defence by the Walsh’s, Matty Baxter, and Aonghus Mulvihill repelled the attacks. In the last minute of injury time Kilskyre were awarded a disputed 21-yard free, which Muldoon struck only to be blocked on the line. Referee Shane Mooney blew the full time whistle to cap off an amazing performance from the Moors.
Don/Ash – Sean Benville, Paul Finglas, Maitiú Baxter, Daragh Walsh, Aonghus Mulvihill, Martin Quinn, Conor Walsh, Andy Byrne (1-02), Conor Carey, Cian Field, Adrian McManus (0-02), Shaun Byrne, Davey Carey (1-04), Eoin Cafferey, Sean Robinson.
Subs – Danny Deery (2-00) for Field, Luke Andrews for C.Walsh, Daire Kelly for D.Walsh, Terry Bruton for Finglas
Unused subs – David Kent, James McKeown, Colm Randle, Sam Benville, Ian Byrne,