Hero Crowley snatches victory at the death

Midleton CBS 2-12 Doon CBS 2-11

The game had everything; great commitment by both teams, a bucketful of scores, a couple of minor skirmishes, both on and of the field, eight minutes of added time, and the winning goal in that period, all combining to make this one of the best Harty ties in years.

Midleton won because they simply refused to give up the chase when all seemed lost, and while losing is a little hard on Doon, their failure to convert possession into scores, particularly in the first-half when aided by the wind they hit nine wides in that period proved extremely costly.

While midfielder Sean Crowley will, understandably, receive all the plaudits for scoring the winning goal, which got Midleton's campaign off to the perfect start, the marvellous pace and accuracy of Ger O'Leary, and the dominance of Aidan Ryan at centre back, also played major roles in their school's dramatic victory.

Doon got the perfect start, when the highly impressive James Bradshaw's long range effort slipped from the hand of the Midleton keeper for a goal after two minutes.

The excellence of Edward Kiely at centre back, and the dominance of their midfield pair Christopher Cronin and George Allis, ensured Doon had Midleton under constant pressure, but faulty finishing cost them dearly.

In contrast, Midleton scored every time they attacked and were level after 20 minutes, mainly due to excellent finishing by Ger O'Leary.

The constant pressure on the Midleton defence was bound to tell, and when James Bradshaw blasted home his second goal, after great work by Michael Fitzgerald, the Limerick school were well worth their 2-4 to 0-7 half time lead.

There was no let up in the intensity of the exchanges in the second-half, as Doon continued to hold the upper hand principally due to the brilliance of Edward Kiely, but he ruined all his good work by getting himself sent off for a second bookable offence, in the 35th minute.

Doon, despite their numerical disadvantage, forged six points clear by the end of the third quarter through the accuracy of Michael Fitzgerald.

However, Midleton's greater stickwork, and particularly that of Ger O'Leary began to tell, and three points on the trot, all from O'Leary, had the deficit down to a goal with seven minutes to go.

The introduction of Paudie O'Sullivan for Midleton added greater penetration up front, and following a great run by Alan Morrissey, O'Sullivan was in the right position to rattle in the equalising goal.

Tension was high both on and off the field, as 14-man Doon came storming back, and two excellent points by Michael Fitzgerald looked to have given them the win, but Midleton refused to throw in the towel.

As the game went into injury time, Cillian Hurley took off on a great run, before knocking the sliothar across the face of the Doon goal for the in-rushing Sean Crowley to hit the winning score.

Scorers: Midleton CBS: G. O'Leary 0-6; P. O'Sullivan, S. Crowley 1-0 each; C. Hurley 0-3; I. Fitzpatrick, B. Hartnett, A. Morrissey 0-1 each. Doon CBS: J. Bradshaw 2-2; M. Fitzgerald 0-6; E. Kiely, C. Ryan, T. O'Donoghue 0-1 each.

MIDLETON CBS: E. McGovern; I. Cooney, C. Leahy, A. Crotty; R. Murphy, A. Ryan, L. Daly; B. Hartnett, S. Crowley; G. O'Leary, S. Hennessy, E. O'Keeffe; A. Morrissey, C. Hurley, I. Fitzpatrick. Subs. K. O'Brien for Daly; J. O'Mahony for Murphy; P. O'Sullivan for Fitzgerald.

DOON CBS: B. Burns; P. Fitzgerald, R. Dunne, M. O'Neill; J. Butler, E. Kiely, A. Hickey; C. Cronin, G. Allis; J. Bradshaw, M. Fitzgerald, C. Ryan; B. Fenton, T. O'Donoghue, M. Ryan. Sub. S. White for P. Fitzgerald.

Referee: D. O'Farrell (Mitchelstown).

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