In the opening 60 minutes, both Críost Rí and Tralee CBS had comebacks from five points down. The Cork city school had to equalise at the end of normal time and extra- time, with joint-manager Paul Kerrigan paying tribute to his side.
“Our lads are going in with a smile,” he said. “It’s a pity it had to take going down by a couple of points — twice — to drive on and play like we did in the first half, but we’ll take the replay, it’ll stand to us. If there had been another kick-out at the end of normal time or extra-time, we might have won it.”
Críost Rí went in at the break leading by 0-8 to 0-5 after a strong finish to the half, and they seemed set to push on when Mark Cronin and Mark Brosnan extended that lead on the resumption.
Instead, Tralee drew level before surging clear. Tom Hoare and Gearóid Fitzgerald were central as Tralee ate into the Críost Rí lead and sub Jason Mortimer put them 0-11 to 0-10 ahead in the 44th minute. While a good Cronin free levelled, Fitzgerald pushed Tralee ahead before wing-back Michael Scanlon netted, his initial shot having been saved by Darragh Moran.
Hoare made it 1-13 to 0-11 with five minutes left as Críost Rí wasted chances, but Darragh Kelly’s goal brought them back into the tie and Ronan Dalton and Cronin sent the game to extra time.
Tralee led by two at the turnaround and then Tomás O’Connor made it 1-18 to 1-14 with a pair of points.
Críost Rí wouldn’t wilt, and three Cillian Myers-Murray points, and one from Cronin, tied the game.
“We had a few chances that we could have taken,” said Tralee manager Mike Tim O’Sullivan. “When you draw after being five points up, that is disappointing, but a draw was a fair result. It was a great game and both teams will be looking forward to going again. One thing this year is that we never panic. We know there are going to be periods when teams dominate and we’ve learned to ride that out. We’ve faith in our fellas and we trusted they were going to claw it back, but Críost Rí were the same.”
M Cronin (0-6, 4 frees), C Myers Murray (0-5, 3 frees), D Kelly (1-1), M Brosnan (0-3), R Dalton (0-2), D Lucey (0-1).
M Kelliher (0-6, 3 frees), G Fitzgerald (0-4), M Scanlon (1-1), T Hoare (0-3), T O’Connor (0-2), J Walsh, J Mortimer (0-1 each).
D Moran (St Finbarr’s); A McGowan (Nemo Rangers), B Cripps (Nemo Rangers), J Corcoran (Nemo Rangers); M Hitchmough (Shamrocks), P Cummins (St Michael’s), D Kelly (Douglas); J Ryan (Sliabh Rua), K Forde (Nemo Rangers); J Coughlan (Nemo Rangers), D Lucey (Mayfield), Jack O’Brien (St Finbarr’s); M Cronin (Nemo Rangers), M Brosnan (Carrigaline), C Myers Murray (St Finbarr’s).
Jack O’Brien (Nemo) for Cummins (36), R Dalton (Nemo) for Coughlan (38), E Varian (St Finbarr’s) for Jack O’Brien (St Finbarr’s) (69).
S Foley (Kerins O’Rahillys); J Myres (John Mitchels), T Lynch (St Pat’s, Blennerville), B Patterson (Austin Stacks); J Walsh (Knocknagoshel), K Dwyer (St Pat’s, Blennerville), M Scanlon (Castlegregory); J O’Connor (Austin Stacks), T O’Connor (Ballymacelligott); S Donnellan (Churchill), T Hoare (Kerins O’Rahillys), D Fitzmaurice (Austin Stacks); E Greaney (St Pat’s, Blennerville), G Fitzgerald (Austin Stacks), M Kelliher (John Mitchels).
J Mortimer (Churchill) for Greaney (38), N O’Mahoney (Na Gaeil) for Donnellan (39), Donnellan for Fitzmaurice (37), A Roche (Kerins O’Rahillys) for Scanlon (62), S Hamilton for Myres (75).
R Moloney (Limerick)
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