Rathdowney-Errill hold off late surge to reach final

Hurling Division 1 League semi-final

Rathdowney-Errill hold off late surge to reach final
By Damian Moran damian@leinsterexpress.ie @express_sport

Rathdowney-Errill held off an injury-time charge from Borris-Kilcotton to secure their place in the league final against Castletown next weekend.

Leading by four points with normal time up, Rathdowney-Errill were cruising but Borris-Kilcotton pulled the gap down to one in the added seven minutes and had they knocked over two 21 metre frees instead of going for goal, they could have come out with a win.

In glorious sunshine in Durrow on Sunday evening, Borris-Kilcotton had the better of the opening ten minutes and built a 0-5 to 0-2 lead with the scores coming from PJ Scully, Bill Meade, Daniel Fitzpatrick, Stephen Dunphy and a long range free from Eoin Fleming.

Mark Kavangh and Ross King were on target early for Rathdowney-Errill who were guilty of hitting a number of poor early wides.

However they got back into the game with Kavanagh four points with the only reply being another long range free from Fleming to leave the sides level midway through the half.

It was nip and tuck for the remainder of the half with Fleming bringing his total to four with more deadly accurate free taking. PJ Scully and Aaron Dunphy were also on target for Borris-Kilcotton while Mark Kavanagh hit three more for Rathdowney-Errill with Jack Kelly levelling matters on the half-time whistle.

Rathdowney-Errill were dealt a blow on the resumption when Mark Kavanagh, who hit eight of the ten first-half points, was forced off with an ankle injury. After a very lengthy delay, his team-mates set about making up for his enforced absence by hitting the next four points to put clear daylight between the sides.

It took Borris-Kilcotton until the 18th minute of the half to add to their total when Daire Quinlan found the target but Rathdowney-Errill matched them score for score with Ross King scoring three and substitute David Poynton also on target. Scores from PJ Scully and Owen Bergin kept Borris-Kilctton within four but into what would be a lengthy injury-time period, four remained the deficit.

They had a chance to get closer but a powerfully struck 21 metre free from Eoin Fleming was saved. Two points from frees from PJ Scully halved the deficit with now five minutes of injury-time played.

Soon after Scully went for goal with another 21 metre free but again it was saved. With 37 minutes on the clock, Stephen Dunphy reduced the gap to one but that would be as close as Borris-Kilcotton got Rathdowney-Errill saw out the remaining seconds to seal their place in the final.