Ross King picked up a nasty injury on Saturday
LAOIS SHOPPING CENTRE SENIOR HURLING CHAMPIONSHIP GROUP B
With just over ten minutes left to play in Portlaoise, Abbeyleix were level with Rathdowney-Errill and there was potential for a big upset on the cards.
However, Rathdowney-Errill showed their class in the end, with Laois Senior hurler Paddy Purcell scoring a goal to help turn the tide back in their favour and make it two wins from two for Shane Keegan's charges.
Abbeyleix were on the scoreboard first in O'Moore Park in the second game of the double header on Saturday, with midfielder Fionan Mahony firing between the posts.
Rathdowney-Errill replied with the next two points through Shane Dollard and Darren King, before Aaron Brennan landed a free over the bar for Abbeyleix to leave the teams level.
Dylan Carroll and Darren King put Rathdowney-Errill back ahead, but Abbeyleix came back once more as an Aaron Brennan point from a placed ball was followed by a Colm Walsh point from play.
Rathdowney-Errill responded with two more points again through James Ryan and Darren King, and Enda Rowland landed a free over the bar for Abbeyleix, Rathdowney-Errill fired over three points without reply before the first water break.
Brandon McGinley, Ross King and James Ryan raised white flags for Shane Keegan's side, who led 0-9 to 0-5 during the break in play.
Abbeyleix began the second quarter brightly, with Fionan Mahony firing his second point from play and Enda Rowland knocking over another free, but Rathdowney-Errill finished the rest of the half on top. However, there was an injury to Ross King during this period, as he appeared to fall badly on his elbow and was forced off.
Shane Madden, Paddy Purcell, substitute Thep Fitzpatrick and Dylan Carroll (free) pointed for Rathdowney-Errill. Aaron Brennan converted a free before referee Patrick Phelan blew the whistle for half-time, with Rathdowney-Errill leading 0-13 to 0-8.
You felt that Rathdowney-Errill would pull away in the third quarter after the interval, but that certainly wasn't the case. Abbeyleix roared into the contest with two points from Ciaran Byrne, three from Aaron Brennan, and one from goalkeeper Enda Rowland. Rathdowney-Errill only managed a single score through Jack Kelly.
Abbeyleix levelled the affair after the water break through full-forward Brennan, but that was as good as it got for them unfortunately. Paddy Purcell fired in a goal after a clever ball from Dylan Carroll, and further points from Jack Kelly and Darren King put a gap between Rathdowney-Errill and Abbeyleix once more.
Abbeyleix substitute Rory McEvoy grabbed a consolation goal towards the end, but it was Rathdowney-Errill who escaped with the points.
Scorers: Paddy Purcell 1-2, Darren King 0-5, James Ryan 0-2, Jack Kelly 0-4, Dylan Carroll 0-3 (0-1 free), Shane Madden, Ross King, Shane Dollard, Thep Fitzpatrick and Brandon McGinley 0-1
Team: Damien Madden; John Purcell, Kevin O'Dea, Jimmy Corrigan; Jack Kelly, Liam O'Connell, John Keane; Shane Dollard, James Ryan; Paddy Purcell, Dylan Carroll, Ross King; Darren King, Shane Madden, Brandon McGinley. Subs: Thep Fitzpatrick for R King (24 mins, inj), Mark Kavanagh for McGinley (36 mins), Eric Killeen for Kelly (62 mins)
Scorers: Aaron Brennan 0-8 (0-6 frees), Rory McEvoy 1-0, Enda Rowland 0-3 frees, Fionan Mahony 0-2, Ciaran Byrne 0-2, Stephen Thompson, Colm Walsh 0-1
Team: Enda Rowland; Aaron Carroll, Oisin Carroll, Mark Cahill; Barry Walsh, Cillian McEvoy, Lawson Obular; Fionan Mahony, Liam Delaney; Declan Phelan, Ryan Peacock, Jake Cranny; Colm Walsh, Aaron Brennan, Ciaran Byrne. Subs: Stephen Thompson for C Walsh (40 mins), Rory McEvoy for Phelan (43 mins)
REFEREE: Patrick Phelan (Castletown)
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