Rathdowney-Errill held strong in the closing minutes to see off the challenge of a battling Borris-Kilcotton side by the narrowest of margins in a thrilling clash played out in Fr Breen Park, Abbeyleix on Sunday.
The first half was a very evenly matched affair with the sides matching each other point for point. Rathdowney opened the scoring in the first minute through Mark Dunne, but Borris-Kilcotton leveled from the resulting puck-out through Daire Quinlan.
Again Rathdowney took the lead, this time through Liam Tynan, but Borris equalised through Emmet Jones. The half continued, back and forth, up until the twenty-eight minute when Rory Moore teed John Wall up for the opening goal of the game.
Borris-Kilcotton went on to add a further two points before the break to see them lead on a scoreline of 1-7 to 0-6 at the break.
Borris-Kilcotton picked up the second half where they left off as they increased their lead by two in the five minutes following the restart.
But it was to be Rathdowney who would dominate the majority of the half as they racked up 2-4 without reply, with Brian Bowe accountable for 1-3 and the second goal coming from Bryan Meehan.
With four points separating the teams, a tense final ten minutes was on the cards. Borris-Kilcotton brought the gap to a single point in the second minute of injury time, but it wasn’t to be.
Eoin Bourke converted a sixty-fourth minute free to push Rathdowney two points clear and that was enough to put them into the next round, where they will play Clonaslee.
SCORERS - Rathdowney-Errill: Brian Bowe 1-4 (1-2 frees), Bryan Meehan 1-0, Liam Tynan and Eoin Bourke (0-1 free) 0-3 each; Mark Dunne 0-2; Borris-in-Ossory-Kilcotton: Daire Quinlan 0-8 (0-7 frees), John Wall 1-2, Emmet Jones 0-2, Rory Moore 0-1.
RATHDOWNEY-ERRIL: Niall Delaney; Mark Tracey, Vinnie Cleere, Paddy Meehan; John Delaney, Paddy Bergin, Shane Cleere; Andrew Kavanagh, Jack O’Shea; Brian Bowe, Liam Tynan, Eoin Bourke; Damien Bowe, Bryan Meehan, Mark Dunne. SUBS: Ray Bowe for Damien Bowe.
BORRIS-IN-OSSORY-KILCOTTON: Enda Fitzpatrick; Owen Drennan, Cathal O’Donnell, Enda Power; Richard Power, Chris Jones, Cathal Moynan; Bill Meade, Emmet Jones; Willie Whelan, Frankie Cullinane, Rory Moore; John Wall, Daire Quinlan, Alan Drennan. SUBS: Jamie Dooley for Frankie Cullinane.