Mark Barry kicked the late equaliser for O'Dempsey's.
Last year’s Division 1A champions needed two late points to earn a point against The Heath on a day where conditions were dreadful.
The Heath 0-10
The Heath were out of the blocks quicker, as Daithi Carroll placed over a free from close range. Eoin Delaney continued the good start, as he added another.
O’Dempsey’s got their first point on the board through Michael Finlay, after an inviting ball was played into his path from corner forward Eoin Finlay. Barry Kelly placed over a nice point after to level proceedings.
The Heath then had a number of goal chances that were missed, which they would come back to regret. A good, quick hand passing move involving James Nerney and Andrew Booth resulted in Eoin Delaney having the opportunity at goal, but Padraig Bannon pulled off a good save to deny.
Colin Nestor was next to try his luck, as he went one on one with Padraig Bannon, but he would also be denied. Robert Ging had a shot blocked shortly after, and O’Dempsey’s escaped thanks to the heroics of Padraig Bannon.
Daithi Carroll placed over his third free of the day to restore the away side’s advantage, but O’Dempsey’s finished the half well to go into the break with the lead. Matthew Finlay placed over two lovely frees to leave the score 0-5 to 0-4 in favour of O’Dempsey’s.
The Heath made a few changes at half-time, and the fresh legs seemed to be paying dividends, as they came out of the blocks the quicker once again.
Daithi Carroll added another to his tally with his first from play. He then placed over his fourth free of the day to give the men in black and amber the advantage once again.
Centre forward Conor Meredith brought it back to a level game with a nice point from play. O’Dempsey’s gave themselves a little breathing room with points from Michael Finlay and substitute Stephen O’Leary.
However, The Heath once again bounced back with four unanswered points, hitting a purple patch. Points from Christopher Bergin, Ciaran Booth, PJ Daly and Padraig Whelan meant they held a two point advantage with ten minutes remaining.
Half-time substitute Dylan Kavanagh had an opportunity to seal the win, but the magnificent Padraig Bannon was there to deny him yet again.
The Heath’s Gary Hogan received a black card after he brought down Matthew Finlay as he was going through. Matthew Finlay put over the free, and there was the minimum between the teams with several minutes left.
Substitute Mark Barry hit the leveller with the last kick of the ball from a free, and both sides walked off with a point each.
Scorers: Matthew Finlay 0-4 (frees), Michael Finlay 0-2, Conor Meredith, Mark Barry (free), Barry Kelly and Stephen O’Leary 0-1 each.
Team: Padraig Bannon; Richard Whelehan, Peter O’Leary, Liam Whelehan; Robbie Kehoe, Thomas Kehoe, Cormac O’Hora; Shane Nerney, Rory Bracken; Matthew Finlay, Conor Meredith, Barry Kelly; Michael Finlay, Daniel McCormack, Eoin Finlay. Subs: Stephen O’Leary for O’Hora (39 mins), Mark Barry for McCormack (49 mins), Tom Kelly for L Whelehan (58 mins)
Scorers: Daithi Carroll 0-5 (0-4 frees), Eoin Delaney, PJ Daly, Padraig Whelan, Christopher Bergin, and Ciaran Booth 0-1 each.
Team: Billy Hennessy; Neil Keane, Gary Hogan, Alan Whelan; Ciaran Booth, James Nerney, Mark Dowling; Daithi Carroll, Liam Kinsella; Colin Nestor, Chris Bergin, Robbie Ging; Eoin Delaney, Andrew Booth, James Phelan. Subs: Dylan Kavanagh for Ging (half-time), Robert Dowling for Kinsella (half-time), Padraig Whelan for A Booth (37 mins), PJ Daly for Nestor (42 mins)
Referee: Maurice Deegan (Stradbally)
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