Ballyduff held, but in last eight

Neighbours Ballyduff Upper and Tallow couldn’t be separated last night in the fourth round of the Waterford SHC in a contest that picked up real pace in the final quarter.

The sides were level 11 times before it finished 19 points apiece at Lismore.

Ballyduff nudged the first half exchanges by 0-9 to 0-8, with Waterford minor Mikey Kearney contributing five placed balls. It was a tactical battle all through as former inter-county defenders Tom Feeney and James Murray acted as effective sweepers at either end.

Thomas Ryan exploded into life at the start of the second half and he scored three eye-catching points as Tallow took over. The 2011 finalists surged 0-16 to 0-12 ahead with ten minutes to play. Ballyduff didn’t flinch, however, and, spurred on by Feeney, they battled back. Kevin Casey chipped in with two on the trot and then Mikey Kearney hit two more to restore parity.

The nippy Kearney took a heavy knock in the first half but grabbed ten points in all. The game moved briskly from end to end as Ballyduff took the lead on three separate occasions in the closing five minutes but Tallow replied each time. Paul Kearney equalised for the 11th and final time in the last minute. The result sees Ballyduff secure a quarter-final spot and Tallow remain in contention entering the final round.

Elsewhere in Group 1, Fourmilewater also progressed to the last eight but they had to fight every inch of the way against An Rinn.

The Gaeltacht side deservedly held a 0-6 to 0-4 lead after a dour opening 30 minutes. Despite losing key forward Donie Breathnach at half time, they still led by a point (0-12 to 0-11) with ten minutes left. Fourmile held their composure and, inspired by Liam Lawlor and Jamie Barron, they shot seven without reply to run out 0-18 to 0-12 winners.

De La Salle consolidated top spot in the group with a 4-12 to 2-12 success against Lismore at Walsh Park. They cruised into a 2-6 to 0-6 interval lead, with Adam Farrell and John Mullane rippling the net. Eoin Madigan registered Salle’s third major on 41 minutes but Lismore rallied. Maurice Shanahan’s goal on 46 minutes left only three points in it.

Subs Conan Watt and Dave Bennett then traded green flags before the holders made a dash for the line. With only one win thus far, Lismore must win their final fixture against An Rinn.

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