Erins Own saw off Carrickshock by the skin of their teeth in what turned out to be a pulsating fourth round of the St. Canices Credit Union Senior Hurling league game in a rain soaked Tullaroan on Friday last. Credit has to be given to both teams, who served up an extremely entertaining game, despite the horrendous weather conditions and also to the Tullaroan club whose pitch was very well presented considering the weather. The game got off to a slow start, which gave no indication of the fireworks which were to unfold over the next sixty minutes. County minor John Power opened Carrickshocks scoring account after a defence splitting run from Michael Rice left Power free to strike home. Power got his second score two minutes later when he turned on to his left side and struck a great point from forty yards out. Michael Rice got his first a minute later when he arrowed a shot over the bar from near the sideline. At this early stage it looked as though Carrickshock could very well run away with the game, but they hadnât reckoned on Comers battling qualities. Michael Murphy took his first two frees very well, watching them sail over the bar from narrow angles before Richie Power got his first score from play from in front of the posts. Erins Own got a break fifteen minutes into the first half when a long clearance by Gordon Byrne was flicked into the goal by Michael Moran past the onrushing John Butler to reduce the Comer deficit to four points. Moran then followed up with what looked like a perfectly legitimate point, but after a long consultation among the officials, it was deemed to be wide. Richie Power got his second from a close range free a minute later. Michael Murphy converted two more frees and Power got his third from another free just before half time. The last chance of the half fell to Brian Donovan who only had to hit the target from ten yards out, but to the dismay of the Carrickshock followers his shot went agonisingly wide. The players went for a well deserved half time break after thirty minutes of top class and intense hurling with Carrickshock leading, 1-8 to 1-5.In that first half, Carrickshock with Michael Rice and John Power in particular looked the most dangerous of the two teams, but the powerful hurling of Conor Fogarty and Peter Donovan allied with the top class free taking of Michael Murphy helped keep Comer in touch. Richie Power tapped over the first of the second half from a 21 yard free after four minutes before Michael Murphy added another to his tally. Ronan Ryan who was a real thorn in the Carrickshock defence at this stage, won two frees Â ,which Michael Murphy duly pointed. Comer were behind by just a single point after some very hard and physical tackling and putting the opposition under immense pressure, closing them down all over the field. The Comer defence was proving immovable, suppressing wave after wave of attack from long balls pumped in by John Dalton, John Murphy and co. Richie Power pushed Carrickshock ahead by two points again after winning his own free from the middle of the field. Ronan Ryan got his first of the game with ten minutes left, to reduce the difference again to just a point. Comer had tightened up defensively in the second half, with veteran full back Sean Meally leading the charge, but goalkeeper Tom Brophy still had to make a great save from a Jamie Power shot, that would have surely seen Carrickshock gain the upper hand for the final few minutes. Razor sharp Michael Murphy then got his best score of the game, when a long range Damien Fogarty free was dropped precariously on the edge of the small square, Murphy got the final flick and the ball found the back of the net. Again, the officials consulted and the score was finally awarded. Erins Own were in the lead for the first time with seven minutes remaining of normal time, but unbelievably we were to have another 13 minutes of action with the referee playing an amazing six minutes of injury time. Power and Murphy traded frees to leave Comer leading by two points going into that injury time. Carrickshock were battling as hard as they could but the Comer backs halted the Carrickshock surge until the sixth minute of injury time when they conceded a free on the 21 yard line. Kilkenny corner back, John Dalton, sprinted from full back to try and clinch the two points for his side. His well struck effort was brilliantly tipped over the bar by Tom Brophy. The referee blew the whistle straight away to see Comer emerge as winners by a single point, 2-10 , 1-12.
This was probably the match of the senior campaign so far, with both teams serving up an excellent game, that had everything, brilliant scores, hard tackling, controversy, and an extremely high level of skill in appalling weather conditions. The delightful hurling of players such as John Dalton, John Murphy and John Power of Carrickshock and Conor Fogarty, Ronan Ryan and Gerry Callinan of Comer, provided great entertainment for the good sized attendance.
Scorers; Erins Own Michael Murphy (1-8) (0-8) frees, Michael Moran (1-0), Ronan Ryan, Jimmy Byrne (0-1)each
Carrickshock; Richie Power (0-6)(0-5)frees , John Power (1-2) Michael Rice, Brian Donovan, Darren O Dwyer, John Dalton (0-1 each)
Erins Own; Tom Brophy, Peter Donovan, Sean Meally, James Mullins, Gerry Callinan, Damien Fogarty, Conor Fogarty, Aidan Moran, Gordon Byrne, Jimmy Byrne, Michael Murphy, Ronan Ryan, Peadar Boran, Michael Moran, Davy Buggy. Subs Brian Dillon, Donal Meally.
Carrickshock; John Butler, Richie Frisby, John Dalton, Luke Gaule, Darren O Dwyer, John Tennyson, John Murphy, Pat Tennyson, John Cahill, Mark O Dwyer, Michael Rice, Jamie Power, Brian Donovan, Richie Power, John Power. Subs Michael Rohan