A tense and gripping encounter was witnessed by all in Rathdowney on Sunday evening as Castletown-Slieve Bloom went to blows with Rathdowney-Errill. In the end, Rathdowney claimed the points but were fortunate to hold on in this spine-tingling finale.
John Gaughan was excellent over place balls throughout the night, but was rather fortunate as he saw his miss-hit effort from the half way line deceive everyone to find its way into the back of the net early on.
Castletown looked the stronger of the two in the first half, yet they went in level at the break. But a superb second half performance from Rathdowney-Errill, and in particular Enda Meaghar, turned the odds in their favor.
A nail-biting conclusion was on the cards, with three points separating the teams and time essentially up, Castletown were awarded a penalty.
Gaughan stepped to the mark as he had done all evening, but could only watch on as his goal-bound effort was saved off the line to secure a Rathdowney victory.
SCORERS – Rathdowney-Errill: Enda Meaghar 0-6 (one free), Patrick Purcell 0-5 (two frees), Darren King 0-3, Shane Dollard, John Purcell 0-2 each. Castletown-Slieve Bloom: John Gaughan 1-7 (1-5 frees), James Hooban 0-2, Fionan Cuddy, Paul Cuddy, Seamus Lyons 0-1.
RATHDOWNEY-ERRILL: Noel Brennan; John Delaney, Brian Campion, Alan Delaney; John Keane, Joe Fitzpatrick, Benny O’Shea; Shane Dollard, Willie Delaney; Eoin Holohan, John Purcell, Enda Meaghar; Patrick Purcell, Darren King, Liam Tynan. Subs: Niall Delaney for John Delaney; John Paul Ryan for Noel Brennan; Mark Dunne for Patrick Purcell.
CASTLETOWN-SLIEVE BLOOM: John Lyons; Tom Phelan, Rob Delaney, Adrian Dollard; Declan Keenan, Kevin Conroy, Cyril Cuddy; Fionnan Cuddy, Paddy Mullaney; Brian Ferns, Paul Cuddy, John Gaughan; Seamus Lyons, Ger Reddin, James Hooban.
Referee: Brochan Reilly