Stephen O’Keeffe rescues draw for Ballygunner

Stephen O’Keeffe saved a last minute penalty from Shane Ryan to salvage a draw for holders Ballygunner against 14-man De La Salle at Walsh Park on Saturday evening.

Stephen O’Keeffe rescues draw for Ballygunner

Gunners boss Denis Walsh was grateful for the late intervention from the Waterford shot-stopper. “We were lucky to get something out of the game to be truthful. We had a great start but we faded badly.”

Pauric Mahony played the full hour on his first competitive start in over twelve months. The 24 year old chipped in with ten points. “It was like he was never away,” Walsh remarked.

Déise full back Barry Coughlan didn’t line out after shipping a knee injury against Clare, but Walsh expects it to clear up within the next week. “He got a fair knock against Clare and the knee was damaged. He had a MRI during the week and thankfully it’s good enough but he wouldn’t have been able for that tonight.”

In a free-ridden encounter, Ballygunner enjoyed a purple patch of six consecutive points to stretch 0-8 to 0-2 clear after 13 minutes but their short game disintegrated for the remainder of the half.

“In the second quarter of the game, we lost our way completely,” Walsh conceded.

Shane Ryan’s accuracy allowed Salle recover and reach the break only one point down (0-10 to 0-9). Jack Fagan, Paidi Nevin and Ryan pushed them two points up on the restart. On 34 minutes, Alan Kissane flashed a red card to John Mullane after his linesman alerted him to an off the ball incident.

“It was a big turning point in the game,” said De La Salle manager Ray Murphy. “We thought that it was a very harsh sending off.”

A wasteful Ballygunner couldn’t capitalise as they drove ten second half wides and thirteen overall. In the final minute, substitute Eddie Meaney was dragged down by Eddie Hayden. O’Keeffe dived to his right and parried away Ryan’s low drive.

He also batted away an injury time point attempt from Eddie Barrett as the teams finished level at fifteen points apiece.

Cappoquin delivered a comprehensive 0-18 to 1-6 win over neighbours Tallow at Ballyduff last night. The sides were on equal terms at halfway (0-7 to (1-4), with Thomas Ryan finding the net, but the Cornerstone boys owned the second period.

Shane O’Rourke rifled over eleven points while Paul Murray, Keith Landers and Andy Molumby controlled the middle. Ryan cried off with a hand injury at half time for Tallow. Ken Kearney and Jake Neville saw red late on.

2013 champions Passage shot 4-17 from play in Fraher Field yesterday as they routed Ballyduff Upper by 23 points and avenged last year’s quarter final loss (4-24 to 1-10). John Whitty scored 2-2 in the opening half as Peter Queally’s side raced 2-12 to 0-6 in front. Eoin Kelly and Thomas Connors added second half goals while Seamus Hannon registered a Ballyduff consolation.

In the curtain-raiser, Fourmilewater repelled a late fightback from Mount Sion to emerge 2-11 to 0-16 victors. Kenny Brazil whipped to the net on eight minutes and Craig Guiry fired Fourmile’s second after 23 minutes to give them a 2-4 to 0-8 interval cushion.

Benji Whelan’s team reeled off six points in a row during the third quarter to jump eight clear. Sion hit the last six points, three from Martin F O’Neill, but the Ballymacarbry outfit stood firm.

Abbeyside defeated Roanmore by 1-16 to 0-13 on Friday. Mark Ferncombe netted on 23 minutes and Patrick Hurney claimed four first half points for the Villagers.

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