Keary edges it for Loughrea

Loughrea 0-14 Padraig Pearses 1-10

Neil Keary was the hero for last year’s runners-up as he landed two late frees at Athenry just when it seemed that Tomas Flannery’s fifth free was going to secure a surprise win for Padraig Pearses.

The sides were level nine times, turning round at 0-6 each, with Cormac Ward levelling the match again after he goaled on 50 minutes.

Ronan Bellew then edged Pearses in front with a point before Keary struck two frees to put Loughrea ahead. Flannery equalised before Loughrea full-forward Johnny Maher was sent off for a second yellow card, but while Flannery put Pearses in front, Keary saved the day.

Scorers for Loughrea: N Keary (0-6, 0-6 frees); J Maher (0-3, 0-1 free); J Coen (0-2), S Sweeney, J O’Loughlin, P Hoban (0-1 each).

Scorers for Padraig Pearses: C Ward (1-2); T Flannery (0-5, 0-5 frees); F Flannery (0-2, 0-2 frees); R Bellew (0-1).

LOUGHREA: N Murray; T Regan, D McClearn, E Mahony; V Maher, B Mahony, S Sweeney; E Mahony, G Keary; N Keary, J Coen, P Hoban; J O’Loughlin, J Maher, J Ryan.

Sub: T Hoban for Ryan (35).

PADRAIG PEARSES: F Flannery; A Kenny, T Kenny, P Raftery; S Raftery, C Donnellan, K Hardiman; R Bellew, J Gelston; S Hardiman, C Ward, C Raftery; G Lally, E Ward, T Flannery.

Subs: R Lally for G Lally (30), A Kilkenny for C Raftery (44).

Referee: L Fay.

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