LAOIS SHOPPING CENTRE SENIOR HURLING CHAMPIONSHIP, GROUP B, ROUND 3
With top spot and a place straight through to the semi-final on the line for the winners of tonight's clash in O'Moore Park, Rathdowney-Errill and Borris-Kilcotton met in this final Laois SHC Group B game.
While the first half failed to catch fire, the second half had three goals and was more like a proper championship encounter. Borris-Kilcotton ended up winners by a single point in the end, as they booked their place in the semi-finals by topping Group B, while Rathdowney-Errill head a quarter-final against either The Harps or Rosenallis.
Borris-Kilcotton began the brighter, as PJ Scully sent over a free and then Joe Campion knocked over the first score from play. Rathdowney-Errill replied well, with Darren King, who has been in brilliant form since the start of the championship, firing over a lovely effort from out near the stand.
Brandon McGinley grabbed a second point for Rathdowney-Errill after good play from full-forward Shane Madden to fend off a few challenges and feed McGinley.
That left the scores level at two apiece, but for the next five minutes there would be no flags raises by the umpires either side of the pitch due to some poor shooting. Shane Madden had a sight of goal after Borris-Kilcotton backs failed to clear the danger, but Madden blasted it all the way to the sideline.
PJ Scully sent over his second free, before Rathdowney-Errill centre-forward Dylan Carroll replied after James Ryan caught Borris-Kilcotton sleeping with a short sideline ball.
Scully and Carroll (free) exchanged further scores, before Aaron Dunphy put Borris-Kilcotton ahead again after selling his marker with a beautiful dummy and splitting the posts. Rathdowney-Errill wing-back John Keane knocked over the final score before the first water break was called for, with the scoreline still even.
Jack Kelly fired over the first score after the water break ended after he went on a charging run, and then Brandon McGinley got his second for Rathdowney-Errill from an acute angle.
Borris-Kilcotton quickly hit back, with midfielder Colm Stapleton pointing two on the trot from open play. Dylan Carroll landed two frees in a row for Rathdowney-Errill, but again Borris-Kilcotton came right back through Joe Campion and Aaron Dunphy scores.
Paddy Purcell and Scully (free) swapped points before half-time, with the two teams going in level once more, 0-10 each at the interval.
The second half got off to a flying start. Neil Foyle, who was moved from the full-forward position out to wing-forward, landed the opening score of the half for Borris-Kilcotton, but Rathdowney-Errill replied with a goal.
Carroll's free dropped short and into the square, and Rathdowney-Errill full-forward Shane Madden just got the slightest of touches to put it into the corner of the net past Eoin Fleming in goals.
Scully managed to reply with a free for Borris-Kilcotton, but they were guilty of firing four wides during this period. Rathdowney-Errill punished this sloppiness, with Jack Kelly and David Poyton pointing for them.
Colm Stapleton and Carroll exchanged points before the second water break was called, with that Shane Madden goal enough to keep Rathdowney-Errill three to the good.
However, Borris-Kilcotton grabbed a goal early in the fourth quarter to level things. Carroll (free) and Stephen Dunphy swapped points, before substitute Emmet Jones crashed the net with his first touch for Borris-Kilcotton.
Carroll landed another free, and then Mark Kavanagh raised another white flag from play for Rathdowney-Errill, but back came Borris-Kilcotton. They hit six on the trot through Noah Quinlan, Stephen Dunphy, Aaron Dunphy (two) and Scully (two).
Rathdowney-Errill did grab a goal in stoppage time to reduce the gap back to a point, as centre-back Liam O'Connell cracked the penalty into the goals. However, they had no time to work the ball up the field for the equaliser, and Borris-Kilcotton held on
Scorers: PJ Scully 0-7 (0-5 frees), Aaron Dunphy 0-5, Emmet Jones 1-0, Colm Stapleton 0-3, Stephen Dunphy 0-2, Joe Campion, Neil Foyle and Noah Quinlan 0-1 each
Team: Eoin Fleming; Philip Tynan, Enda Parlon, Steven Finan; Patrick Whelan, Stephen Phelan, Matthew Whelan; Joe Campion, Colm Stapleton; Aaron Dunphy, PJ Scully, Daire Quinlan; Stephen Dunphy, Neil Foyle, Noah Quinlan. Subs: Emmet Jones for D Quinlan (47 mins), Dean Carey for N Quinlan (53 mins), Dan Fitzpatrick for Phelan (60 mins)
Scorers: Dylan Carroll 0-7 (0-6 frees), Shane Madden and Liam O'Connell (pen) 1-0 each, Brandon McGinley and Jack Kelly 0-2 each, John Keane, Darren King, David Poyton, Paddy Purcell and Mark Kavanagh 0-1 each
Team: Damien Madden; John Purcell, Kevin O'Dea, Jimmy Corrigan; Eric Killeen, Liam O'Connell, John Keane; Shane Dollard, Jack Kelly; Paddy Purcell, Dylan Carroll, James Ryan; Darren King, Shane Madden, Brandon McGinley. Subs: David Poyton for Dollard (HT), Mark Kavanagh for McGinley (42 mins), Joe Fitzpatrick for King (55 mins), Padraig Rafter for Madden (55 mins), Thep Fitzpatrick for Kelly (57 mins),
REFEREE: Alan Doheny (Castletown)
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