Boherlahan-Dualla were denied a place in the Munster Junior B Hurling Championship final when the Premier County champions lost out by a single point after extra-time against their Clare counterparts Inagh-Kilnamona on Saturday afternoon in Raheenagh (Limerick).
Munster Junior B Hurling Championship Semi-Final
Boherlahan-Dualla 3-14 Inagh-Kilnamona (Clare) 2-18
In the competition hosted by the Killeedy club Boherlahan-Dualla sought to emulate the achievements of Thurles Sarsfields who won the All-Ireland title outright last February, but despite the heroic efforts of Brian Horgan, Laurence Devane and man of the match Brian Maher Lar Devane’s men narrowly lost.
The frustrating aspect to this entertaining and whole-hearted contest was that a depleted Boherlahan-Dualla side looked more than capable of winning the semi-final and progressing through the forthcoming rounds of the competition, but, unfortunately, the Tipperary champions conceded twenty-seven frees (won sixteen) and Inagh-Kilnamona’s Dermot Gannon rifled over a whopping thirteen placed balls.
Still though Boherlahan-Dualla can take plenty from this experience and especially since the game featured some truly memorable moments - Brian Maher played a central role in two extraordinary instances; the wing-forward cracked over a magnificent point from inside his own 65-yard line to present his side with a narrow lead four minutes into injury time while Maher also lashed home a spectacular free from fully twenty-three metres to tie the game in extra-time. Indeed, Brian Maher must still be wondering this week how he ended up on the losing side given the quality of his personal display.
John Walsh saw a shot saved by Inagh-Kilnamona ‘keeper Paul Keating as early as the second minute as Boherlahan-Dualla got off to an enterprising start. And, a rousing incident in the eighth minute suggested that the Tipperary champions meant business: the Boherlahan-Dualla forwards swarmed an Inagh-Kilnamona wing-back, forced a turnover and Laurence Devane set up Kieran O’Sullivan for a point which forced his side two clear (0-4 to 0-2).
Four minutes later Brian Maher played a smashing one-two with Darragh Kennedy before firing home the opening goal of the game. Boherlahan-Dualla, however, conceded sixteen frees in the first half and Dermot Gannon kept his side in touch while corner-forward Cian Shannon also appeared a real threat.
Boherlahan-Dualla happened upon a terrific bit of good fortune in the 22nd minute when Darragh Kennedy’s long-range free dropped short and in an effort to batt the delivery a misfortunate Inagh-Kilnamona only succeeded in diverting the ball into his own net (2-5 to 0-5). Two minutes later, however, Inagh-Kilnamona plundered a goal of their own when Thomas Barry shook off the hard-tackling Kevin O’Connell and fired home a smashing three-pointer.
The sides retired with three between them at the break (2-6 to 1-6) and it is worth noting that by this point Laurence Devane had already provided the assist for three Kieran O’Sullivan points.
Inagh-Kilnamona fired 1-2 without reply during the opening four minutes of the second half to take a 2-8 to 2-6 lead with Shane Griffin booting home the key goal. Boherlahan-Dualla, however, responded and with Brian Horgan giving an exhibition at centre-back the Tipperary champions were back on terms (2-9 apiece) with ten minutes to play.
It was hectic stuff during the concluding exchanges of the contest and when Brian Maher delivered an extraordinary point in the fourth minute of injury time it appeared as if Boherlahan-Dualla had done enough to edge it. There was, however, still time for Dermot Gannon to convert yet another free in the 65th minute to force extra-time.
With both sides noticeably tiring free-taking dominated proceedings thereafter and Inagh-Kilnamona surged three clear (2-14 to 2-17) thanks to five more Dermot Gannon strikes. Boherlahan-Dualla refused to yield, however, and with the Inagh-Kilnamona goalmouth absolutely packed full of Clare men Brian Maher somehow managed to bury a free from at least twenty-three metres to tie the game with two minutes to play.
Then, right on full-time, Inagh-Kilnamona threatened a goal; Boherlahan-Dualla ‘keeper Brian Sheehy saved Thomas Barry’s initial effort, but Cian Shannon gathered the rebound and managed to flick over the winning score. Boherlahan-Dualla did enjoy two late opportunities to rescue the situation in injury time, but, unfortunately, both flew agonisingly wide of the target.
Boherlahan-Dualla: Brian Sheehy, Owen Ryan, Kevin O'Connell, Oisín Ryan, John O'Dwyer, Brian Horgan, Michael O'Sullivan, Laurence Devane, Darragh Kennedy (1-4, 1-3 frees, 0-1 '65), Brian Maher (2-3, 1-0 frees), Adam O'Connell, Niall O'Dwyer, John Walsh (0-1), Kieran O'Sullivan (0-6, 0-3 frees), Darren O'Reilly. Subs: (22nd) Jack McLoughney for John O'Dwyer, (57th) Andrew Downey for Adam O'Connell, (ET) Adam O'Connell for Oisín Ryan, (ET) Philip Maher for Kieran O'Sullivan.
Inagh-Kilnamona: Paul Keating, Brian McArthur, Joe Griffin, Pádraig Devitt, Damien Shaughnessy, Alan Mullins, Thomas McConigley, Joseph Gallagher (0-1), Michael McConigley, Shane Vaughan, Dermot Gannon (0-13, 0-13 frees), Shane Wynne, Cian Shannon (0-3), Thomas Barry (1-0), Shane Griffin (1-0). Subs: (42nd) Cathal Griffin (0-1) for Shane Wynne, (48th) John Rynne for Shane Griffin, (55th) Peadar Roughan for Michael McConigley, (ET) Shane Wynne for Damien Shaughnessy.
Referee: Donnacha O'Callaghan (Limerick).
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