Extra time was required today at the Fraher Field in Dungarvan before Dunnamaggin booked their place in the AIB All Ireland club junior hurling championship final.
Watched by an attendance of 1,394, two evenly matched teams slogged it out with neither side deserving to lose. However, the Kilkenny side edged it in extra-time with an overall contribution of 10 points from Thomas Maher helping them on their way.
The sides were level 0-2 apiece after four minutes. But, Dunnamaggin – relegated from intermediate in 2017 - put daylight between the teams when they outscored Cloughduv nine points to one over the next 19 minutes. Some excellent link-play resulted in a run of points including three each from Jim Fitzpatrick and Maher.
Staunch defending led by the legendary Noel Hickey and captain William Phelan meant very little headway for the Munster champions who had the aid of the wind. They tried their best to mount a revival and finished the half strong with points from Joe Ryan and James Moynihan. However, they trailed on the scoreboard, 0-11 to 0-5.
Cloughduv had the perfect restart with a point from free-taker Brian Verling and the goal they badly needed came from Mark Walsh who finished Brian Verling’s free low to the net. The Kilkenny representatives answered through Maher and Darren Fitzpatrick. By the end of the third quarter, the gap was just one, 1-9 to 0-13.
With five minutes remaining, Cloughduv drew level through a Mark Verling point. Dunnamaggin fought back to take a two-point lead with time running out, but with at least three minutes of stoppage time announced there was still for late drama. Substitute Kevin Barry Murphy rattling the net on 61 minutes, 2-12 to 0-17. Jim Fitzpatrick’s fourth point ensured parity (2-12 to 0-18).
Extra-time followed. Still, it was deadlock after the first period, 2-14 to 0-20. Maher put Dunnamaggin two clear with time running out. Barry Murphy pulled a point back. But time was not on their side.
Scorers for Dunnamaggin: T Maher (0-10, 0-4 frees, 0-1 65m), J Fitzpatrick (0-6), R Cody and R Coffey (0-2 each), M Cody, D Fitzpatrick and D O’Keeffe (0-1 each).
Scorers for Clougduv: M Walsh (1-4), B Verling (0-6, 0-4 frees), K Barry Murphy (1-1), M Verling (0-2), A Ahern, J Moynihan and J Ryan (0-1 each).
Dunnamaggin: S O’Neill; M Heffernan, N Hickey, V Costello; M Cody, W Phelan (Capt), A Fitzpatrick; D Fitzpatrick, E Kearney; T Maher, R Cody, D O’Keeffe; R Coffey, J Fitzpatrick, I Walsh.
Subs: L Fitzpatrick for I Walsh (52), C Hoban for R Cody (58), L Fitzpatrick for R Cody (half-time et), P Kirwan for C Hoban (76),
Cloughduv: J Buckley; P Buckley, B Ahern, P O’Sullivan; G Ahern, D O’Leary, E Clifford; M Walsh, A Murphy; M Verling (Capt), A Cronin, D Corkery; B Verling, J Ryan, J Moynihan.
Subs: D Sullivan for G Ahern (half-time), A Twomey for P O’Sullivan (52), K Barry Murphy for D Corkery (55), A Aherne for J Ryan (55), K Walsh for J Moynihan (62), B Hinchion for D O’Leary (60 + 6), J Ryan for A Cronin (half-time et),
Referee: Thomas Walsh (Waterford).