Of course, the result left Meelin devastated and they will regret far too many wides, especially in the first half when they had a most of the play. With wind advantage, Jeremy Curtin guided over their opening point and they went 0-4 to 0-1 ahead after 10 minutes when free-takers John Forrest and Denis O’Riordan were on target. However, Walsh and Brian Hennessy chipped in for Meelin to cut the arrears to one.
Meelin then hit a purple patch, pulling away 0-8 to 0-3 with corner-back O’Riordan converting from distance. The Carbery side cut the gap to two points but excellent points from John Forrest and William Buckley made it a four-point game at the break — 0-10 to 0-6 in favour of Meelin.
Referee Brian Coniry got struck by a sliotar during the half-time puck around, but fortunately was able to restart as Argideen Rangers took the game to Meelin. Three Walsh frees cut the deficit to one point and only for a sublime catch from Stephen M O’Sullivan in the Meelin goal, Argideen Rangers could have gone ahead.
John Forrest extended the Meelin lead to 0-11 to 0-9 but driven by corner-back Dan Connolly, Argideen had a priceless point from Johnny Deasy on 50 minutes. The pendulum swung back Meelin’s way through a Liam Collins point and as full-time beckoned, and with the nerves fraying, Meelin led 0-12 to 0-10.
Argideen hit back to level with points from sub Mark Coomey and John Michael O’Callaghan. But, from an incredible angle, Curtin fired what looked to be the winner for Meelin.
However, resilient Argideen went upfield on one last foray — the result was Walsh’s winning goal.
There was time for one more Meelin attack but DJ O’Sullivan’s could not fashion a score.
Scorers for Argideen Rangers: M Walsh 1-6 (0-6f), J M O’Callaghan 0-2, M Coomey, B Hennessy, J Sheehan, J Deasy 0-1 each.
Scorers for Meelin: John Forrest 0-5 (4f), D O’Riordan 0-3 (2 frees, 1 65), J Curtin 0-2, L Collins, J O’Callaghan, W Buckley 0-1 each.
ARGIDEEN RANGERS: N Coomey; D Connolly, P Butler, R Smith; D Sutton, M O’Callaghan, E O’Brien; J Deasy, C O’Brien; J Sheehan, J Murphy, J M O’Callaghan; M Walsh, B Hennessy, F Butler.
Subs: M Coomey for F Butler (49).
MEELIN: S M O’Sullivan; D O’Riordan, K Collins, TJ Brosnan; J O’Doherty, B O’Sullivan, Jerry Forrest; C Murphy, L Collins; John Forrest, B Collins, J O’Callaghan; J Curtin, W Buckley, DJ O’Sullivan.
Subs: D Linehan for John Forrest (blood 38-43).
Referee: B Coniry (Crosshaven).