Knock NS survived a late Ballyadams comeback to capture a thrilling Division 5 Hurling win in Wednesday’s final in O’Moore Park. In an end-to-end encounter either side could have went either way with star performers all over the park but it was the Knock lads who just held on to see off the Ballyadams challenge.
Perhaps the best of the lot was Seamus Fitzpatrick. The midfielder who stated in the match programme that his favourite car was a Toyota Glanza and his favourite animal was a buffalo showed the speed and power of both of those to help himself to a personal tally of 2-7 and he got the ball rolling in a nip and tuck first half with a series of fine frees before firing a terrific solo goal midway through the first half.
At the other end Ballyadams were no slouches either. Cailim Lafford and Seamus Farrelly were chipping in with excellent scores and a super late goal from Mikie Dempsey ensured that Knock’s lead was cut to a very fragile two points at the half time break.
Cailim Lafford’s early free reduced that to a single point but no matter how hard they tried they just couldn’t get back on terms. Knock’s defence was outstanding, with the powerful Enda Kehoe mopping up anything that came his way, ably assisted by Oisin Fitzpatrick and Ewan Brennan. With that steady foundation Knock’s attack kicked into gear again and a crucial period midway through the half where they hit 1-2 without reply was the key to their eventual win.
A goal from Eoin Sims and 1-1 in the space of a minute from Seamus Fitzpatrick pushed Knock six points clear and although Ballyadams took control in a frantic final few minutes they left it just that tiny bit too late to steal the win. Three excellent frees from Seamus Farrelly cut the lead in half with four minutes left. Knock were defending deep but they managed to nick an invaluable point through a lovely Seamus Fitzpatrick effort.
As time ran out Ballyadams threw everything they had at Knock and the pressure finally told in the last minute when a driving Cailim Lafford burst through and unleashed a stinging shot past Knock’s excellent young goalkeeper Mark Kehoe. That left a single point between the sides but there was time for no more and the Ballyadams lads sank to their knees as their victorious opponents leapt with delight.
SCORERS - Knock: Seamus Fitzpatrick 2-7 (0-3f), Eoin Sims 1-1. Ballyadams: Seamus Farrelly 0-8 (0-6f), Cailim Lafford 1-2, Mikie Dempsey 1-0.
KNOCK NS: Mark Kehoe, Enda Kehoe, Oisin Fitzpatrick, Ewan Brennan, Seamus Fitzpatrick, Eoin Sims, Stephen Brennan, Aaron O’Dea. Subs: James McWey, Fionn McWey, Rory Foyle, Gavin Fitzpatrick, Robert Keane, Anthony Bland, Joshua Brennan, Jamie Stratford, Fionn Cahill, Adam Dalton, Eoghan Fitzpatrick, James Hennessy, Traelach Cahill, Tara Brophy, Katie Fitzpatrick.
BALLYADAMS NS: James Fitzgerald, Jesse Davis, Niall Brennan, Ciaran Condron, Cailim Lafford, Seamus Farrelly, Padraig Lynch, Mikie Dempsey, Oisin Lacey. Subs: Aidan Gleeson, Stephen McDonnell, Kevin Mulhall, Dylan O’Brien, Michael Fitzgerald, Jack Lacey, Robbie Langton, Brendan Murphy, Eoin Shanahan, Senan Shortall, Gavin Weston, Jeremy Whelan