Junior Hurling Semi-Final

Pearses 2-13 Ballinderreen 2-13: Pearses looked to have won this Junior ‘B’ Semi-Final twice. In Kenny Park, Athenry they led by seven points at half-time and after surviving a Ballinderreen fightback after half-time they led by six with four minutes remaining. The South Galway men hit the final 1-3 of the game, with the equalising point coming in the fifth minute of injury time.

Damien Wynne opened the scoring and Pearses led by 0-3 to 0-1 after six minutes. Ten minutes later the teams were level 0-4 each as Ballinderreen found their range. Pearses controlled the second quarter adding four points from play – Niall Skehill, Aidan Kilkenny from the left touchline and Wynne again. With two minutes remaining a long range free by Paul O’Brien found its way to the net at the scoreboard end. Half-time 1-8 to 0-4.

Ballinderreen had a strong start to the second-half. They hit a quick fire 1-2 to make it a two point game. Aidan Kilkenny pointed for Pearses, before a Ballinderreen response. Tom Broderick picked half-time substitute Robbie Donnellan out with a cross field pass for another Pearses point. Again Ballinderreen hit back, 1-10 to 1-9.

Aidan Kilkenny continued to shine for Pearses and some fine work in along the left touchline seen him square the ball across to Robbie who finished to the net. Soon after Kilkenny split the posts from the left sideline and Niall Skehill added another. 2-12 to 1-9 with eight minutes remaining.

Pearses looked to have landed the killer blows, but there was more to come. Ballinderreen were awarded a penalty and a super reflex save by Paul O’Brien kept them at bay. They pointed the resulting 65. Niall Skehill who had an uncharacteristic off-day from frees, continued with his fourth point from play to leave Pearses six up with 4 minutes of normal time remaining.

Ballinderreen pointed from a free on the 30-minute mark and time looked to be running out. They were thrown a lifeline with a goal in the second minute of injury time to cut the margin to just two and another pointed free left just one in it. They worked a sideline on the left side and all angles looked to be covered, but the ball was played back to a loose man who slotted over the equaliser.

These teams will have to go at it again, as Kilnadeema-Leitrim await the winners in the final.

Pearses: P O’Brien (1-0); P Raftery, J Jenkins, T Broderick; L Morrissey, T McDonagh, R Carr; E Lawless, N Skehill (0-7); K Beckett, D Wynne (0-2), A Kilkenny (0-3); P Lally, K Connell, C O’Neill. Subs used: R Donnellan (1-1), C O’Grady, S Walsh, R Skehill. Referee: James A Lundon.

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