Ballyduff find late equaliser in frenetic regulation play-off

TALLOW and Ballyduff Lower remain in the top flight of Waterford senior hurling championship — for a few more days — after Saturday’s relegation play off at Fraher Field, Dungarvan finished all square.

Defences were utterly dominant with David O’Brien, first at corner back and subsequently at number six, turning in a man of the match display for Tallow. County star James Murray also contributed significantly to the side’s effort with a great dual with county colleague Jack Kennedy.

A low scoring first half also ended all square, 0-6 each, with three of those Tallow points coming from Billy Sheehan. When he was forced out of the action through injury on the turnover the sector was robbed of its most potent element.

An equally disappointing second half was saved by superlative goalkeeping saves by Brian O’Leary for Ballyduff in the 33rd minute and by his counterpart John Paul Grey nine minutes from time when somehow he managed to deflect away Paul Stephenson’s goal bound drive.

There was also a frenetic finale when each side in turn looked to have belatedly garnered victory.

Substitute Sean Slattery’s point brought Tallow level in the 58th minute, and their non stop midfielder Paul O’Brien rifled over the lead point a minute into added time.

But with the seconds ticking down Ballyduff came with one last surge and Wayne Murphy’s equaliser with what was to be the second last puck of the game earned them the draw they fully deserved.

Scorers: Tallow: B. Sheehan(0-3); P. O’Brien(0-2, 0-1 free); P. Kearney (0-2, 0-1 free); J. Murray(0-1); S. Slattery(0-1). Ballyduff Lower: J. Cuddihy (0-7, frees); J. Kennedy, W. Murphy (0-1) each.

TALLOW: J. P. Grey; D. O’Brien, S. “G’ McCarthy, A. Kearney; P. Murray, J. Murray, M. O’Brien; M. Geary, P. O’Brien; B. Sheehan, J. Beecher, W. Murphy; W. Curley, S. “F’. McCarthy, P. Kearney.

Subs: T. Ryan for Curley (half time); S. Slattery for Sheehan (inj. 39m); K. Geary for M. Geary (45m); C. Geary for Murphy (54m).

BALLYDUFF LOWER: B. O’Leary; G. Harris, D. Power, A. Dunne; M. Murphy, J. O’Leary, P. Kennedy; W. Murphy, P. Fitzgerald; P. Stephenson, B. Power, R. Barron; D. Clifford, J. Kennedy, J. Cuddihy.

Subs: S. O’Leary for P. Kennedy (24m); N. Power for Clifford (38m); C. Kenny for Barron(49m).

Referee: Pat Casey, Cappoquin.

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