A point with the last kick of the game from Sean Ramsbottom rescued a draw for Timahoe after a tense quarter-final in O’Moore Park on Saturday evening.
Timahoe will certainly be the happier side with the draw as on the evening they never hit anything like their best form and had it not been for another man of the match performance from Padraig Clancy, their interest in the championship would likely have come to an end.
O’Dempsey’s were the better team on the night but they wasted a host of goal chances and they will be hoping those misses don’t come back to haunt them on Wednesday night.
They trailed by a point entering the final ten minutes but a superb solo goal from the returning Conor Meredith seemed to have put them in position to go on and win the game.
However despite creating four good scoring chances, they did not add to their total for the remainder of the game and points for Timahoe from substitute Benny O’Connell and the last gasp effort from Sean Ramsbottom, which was set up by the dogged determination of Padraig Clancy, ultimately saw the sides finish level at the final whistle.
O’Dempsey’s opened the scoring through Michael Finaly but soon after a breakdown in their defence left Robbie Foyle in acres of space through on goal and he made no mistake with a rasping finish off the underside of the crossbar.
Points from Michael Finaly and Padriag Kelly for O’Dempsey’s were cancelled out by a brace from Padraig Clancy before O’Dempsey’s took control kicking the next four points through Ed Kelly, Michael Finlay and two frees from Brian Nugent.
During that scoring run O’Dempsey’s also created a clear goal chance when a high ball in from Brian Nugent created panic in the Timahoe defence. However Darren Finlay’s fisted effort hit the crossbar and Timahoe were able to clear their lines. However O’Dempsey’s were still 0-7 to 1-2 ahead but Timahoe cut the lead to one before the break thanks to another fine point from Padraig Clancy.
The men in red were the far sharper outfit at the start of the second-half kicking the first three points to move back into the lead. Padraig Clancy slotted over the first from a free before Brendan Quigley curled a long range effort over the bar to edge his side back in front. Padraig Clancy was again on the mark after 42 minutes to put two between the sides.
After kicking three wides early in the second-half, O’Dempsey’s eventually found their range with a point from a free from Brian Nugent.
Straight from the kick-out brothers Peter and Stephen O’Leary combined brilliantly to cut open the Timahoe defence. After a series of one-twos between the duo, Stephen found himself through on goal but his powerful effort flew inches wide of Eoin Culleton’s left hand post.
At the other end Padraig Clancy continued to torment the O’Dempsey’s rearguard slotting over his sixth point to restore a two point lead for Timahoe with 13 minutes remaining.
O’Dempsey’s however looked the more dangerous when they went forward and a point from Brian Nugent got back within one.
With nine minutes left on the clock O’Dempsey’s blasted into the lead in spectacular fashion. Returning Conor Meredith gathered possession 50 metres from goal and he pinned his ears back and took off towards the the Timahoe goal. On his way he sidestepped three would be tacklers before dispatching the ball to the back of the net past Eoin Culleton.
That put O’Dempsey’s two points in front and they had the chances to close out the game. Unfortunately for them, they didn’t add to their total in the remaining minutes. They did kick two further wides and also wasted other good chances when they were dispossessed when overplaying the ball.
With time ticking down Timahoe’s championship hopes hung by a thread but they showed great character to snatch a draw thanks to a brace of late points.
Substitute Benny O’Connell got them back within one before Sean Ramsbottom drilled over the equaliser with the last kick of the game with more trojan work from Padraig Clancy creating the space for the midfielder to score. The final whistle went as soon as the ball was kicked out after Ramsbottom’s point and the sides will have to do it all over again this Wednesday night in the replay in O’Moore Park
Scorers: Timahoe: Padraig Clancy 0-6 (0-2f), Robbie Foyle 1-0; Sean Ramsbottom 0-1; Benny O’Connell 0-1. O’Dempsey’s: Brian Nugent 0-5f; Michael Finlay 0-3 (0-1f); Conor Meredith 1-0; Ed Kelly 0-1
Timahoe: Eoin Culleton; Richard Oxley, John Lowry, Joe O’Connor; Ciaran Lennon, Martin Bergin, James Whelehan; Brendan Quigley, Sean Ramsbottom; Damien O’Connor, Padraig Clancy, Padraig Kelly; Michael Delaney, Ruairi O’Connor, Robbie Foyle. Subs: PJ Kelly for Michael Delaney (29mins), Willie Lalor for Padraig Kelly (45mins), Benny O’Connell for Joe O’Connor (47mins)
O’Dempsey’s: Padraig Bannon; Thomas Finlay, Peter O’Leary, Conor Kavanagh; JP Kehoe, Robbie Kehoe, Barry Kelly; Conor Meredith, Brian Nugent, Darren Finlay; Stephen O’Leary, Ed Kelly, Michael Finlay. Subs: Liam Finlay for Darren Finlay (55mins)