Andrew Cagney’s goal entering the final quarter of the game was the crucial score as Charleville edged out Graigue-Ballycallan in this All-Ireland intermediate club hurling semi-final in Thurles.
Charleville defended the Town End in the first half but Graigue-Ballycallan struck early with an Aaron Brennan point. Cork star Darragh Fitzgibbon hit two points five minutes in as Charleville tried to exploit their pace.
A fine Conor Murphy brace restored Graigue-Ballycallan’s lead as Billy Ryan began to shine for the Kilkenny men, but Fitzgibbon (free) levelled the game on 11 minutes.
The impressive Fitzgibbon nudged his side two ahead after three consecutive Graigue-Ballycallan wides by the 19th minute, and Charleville midfielder Kevin O’Connor widened the gap to three before Murphy landed a free in response and then added a point from play.
A Jack Doyle point pushed the Cork side two ahead again, with Murphy responding with a free. Graigue-Ballycallan took over then - Murphy levelled matters again (free) as half-time loomed and then Sean Ryan and Murphy (free) pushed the Kilkenny side two ahead in injury time - 0-9 to 0-7 at the half.
Jack O’Callaghan and Fitzgibbon had early Charleville points on the resumption to level the game but Aaron Brennan pointed well for the Leinster champions.
Jack O’Callaghan tied the game up on 36 minutes and Doyle then gave Charleville the lead: Murphy (free) tied them up but Graigue-Ballycallan’s wide count began to climb.
Andrew Cagney gave Charleville the lead from a free and then he snapped up a goal from a rebound, pushing Charleville 1-12 to 0-11 up with 12 minutes left.
Billy Ryan cut the lead to a goal but Cagney struck for another point entering the last five minutes. Doyle pushed them five ahead and though Aaron Brennan cracked home a late goal for Graigue-Ballycallan, Charleville had enough done for the win.
Scorers for Charleville: D. Fitzgibbon (0-6, 2 frees); A. Cagney (1-2)(1 free); J. Doyle (0-4); J. O’Callaghan (0-2); K. O’Connor (0-1).
Scorers for Graigue-Ballycallan: C. Murphy (0-9, 7 frees); A. Brennan (1-2); S. Ryan, B. Ryan (0-1 each).
CHARLEVILLE: C. Collins, D. Butler, J. Meade, F. Cagney, J. Buckley, A. Dennehy, C. Carroll, J. O’Callaghan, K. O’Connor, D. Casey, D. Fitzgibbon, J. Doyle, A. Cagney, D. O’Flynn (c), C. Buckley.
Subs: T. Hawe for Fitzgibbon (blood)(44-6); T. Hawe for Fitzgibbon (inj)(53); M. Kavanagh for Doyle (61); PJ Copps for Casey (62)
GRAIGUE-BALLYCALLAN: C. Hoyne, D. Egan (c), B. Murphy, T. Ronan, C. Flynn, E. Egan, J. Ryall, S. Butler, G. Teehan, J. Roberts, B. Ryan, C. Murphy, A. Brennan, E. Brennan, S. Ryan.
Subs: K. Egan for C. Flynn (47); V. Teehan for E. Brennan (58); W. O’’Connor for Murphy (62).
Referee: L. Gordon (Galway).