Stradbally and Nire battle ends in another stalemate

Stradbally 2-02 Nire 0-08

Remarkably, it was the fourth time in a decade that the decider involving these clubs ended in stalemate, and they get the chance to do it all again next Saturday at the same venue .

The Nire looked the better side for most of an opening half, yet they failed to translate that dominance onto the scoreboard. Their 0-6 to 1-1 half-time lead looked very precarious given they had to face the stiff breeze on the resumption.

Their start was promising with Shane Walsh and Jamie Barron, twice, finding the range for quality points inside the opening seven minutes.

It got even better for them as their most effective forward, county hurling star Liam Lawlor, rifled over a super score in the 13th minute with Stradbally still scoreless.

However, the game turning moments soon followed with The Nire inexplicably missing two gilt-edged chances from frees.

First Shane Walsh was off the mark in the 14th minute, but then Brian Wall sent his effort wide from literally in front of the posts.

Seven minutes later they were made to pay when Robert Ahearne got on to the end of a well flighted Ger Power centre and his fisted effort wormed its way into the Nire net.

The sides were now level for the first time, but Nire finished the half on top and fine points from Shane Ryan and an outstanding one from ace attacker Liam Lawlor gave them an unflattering 0-6 to 1-1 advantage at the break.

Another fine Lawlor point stretched the Nire’s advantage to three in the 36th minute, but with hurler Michael ‘Brick’ Walsh beginning to dominate at midfield, Stradbally enjoyed a spell of dominance.

Niall Curran’s pointed free again narrowed the deficit in the 39th minute, and 60 seconds later they were in front for the first time when t the ever dangerous Robert Ahearne deftly finished the ball to the net.

Amazingly however they failed to score again, and with the closing 21 minutes yielding just one further point — a Seamas Lawlor effort in the 55th minute — the game ended in stalemate.

Scorers for Stradbally: R. Ahearne (2-0); N. Curran(0-2, frees).

Scorers for Nire: L. Lawlor (0-3); J. Barron (0-2); S. Walsh, S. Ryan, S. Lawlor (0-1) each.

STRADBALLY: O. Costelloe; T. Grey. K. Coffey. T. Costelloe; S. Lannon. E. Rockett. A. Doyle; M. Walsh. J. Hearne; P. Kiely. G. Power. J. Coffey; N. Curran. S. Ahearne. R. Ahearne; Subs; S. Cunningham for Hearne(41 mins); T. Curran for Coffey(54); D. Grey for Power(54); T. Connors for Kiely(59).

NIRE: T. Wall; J. McGrath. Mce. O’Gorman. J. Walsh; J. Moore. M. Walsh. S. Lawlor; Ml. O’Gorman. T. O’Gorman; D. Guiry. S. Walsh. J. Barron; B. Wall. L. Lawlor. S. Ryan; Subs; R. Fenton for Guiry(41); C. Guiry for B. Wall(46); D. Wall for Ryan(55); I. Coffey for Moore(57).

Referee: Maurice Condon, Clashmore.

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