Traction qualified for the 2022 Co-Op Superstores Cork PJHC county final following a pulsating extra-time win over Kilbrittain on Saturday.
Ronan Walsh was Tracton’s hero, scoring twelve frees and netting the only goal, in extra-time, of an evenly-fought encounter.
“This means everything for Tracton,” Tracton manager Frank Hickey said.
“People were laughing at me last year when I said hurling is like a religion in Tracton. It literally is. This (win) is for the parish. We love our hurling in Tracton.
“This (game) will stand to us. We will have a right good go at the final.” A semi-final that was level on fifteen occasions saw the sides change ends tied 0-10 to 0-10. The tempo didn’t relent throughout the second period.
Kilbrittain’s Mark Hickey and Tracton’s Ronan Walsh exchanged numerous frees and it was 0-18 apiece close to the final whistle. Walsh edged his side back in front but an injury-time Ross Cashman free sent a cracking semi-final to extra-time.
The scores kept coming before Sam Shorten’s point made it 0-24 to 0-21 in the West Cork club’s favour. At that juncture, it looked like Kilbrittain would surge to victory.
Instead, Tracton, as they had done all afternoon, refused to yield and Mark Byrne and Ronan Walsh (free) scores preceded another Shorten effort.
Then, a long ball floated towards the Kilbrittain square broke loose. Ronan Walsh gathered the rebound and instantly billowed the net. From there, Tracton held off a late Kilbrittain fight back to edge an epic semi-final 1-25 to 0-27.
Ballygiblin await Tracton in the PJHC county decider after they overcame Russell Rovers on a score line of 0-25 to 0-19.
R Walsh 1-12 (0-12 frees), D O’Flaherty 0-4, J Good 0-3, M O’Sullivan 0-2, D Harrington, D Byrne, M Byrne and K Webb 0-1 each.
M Hickey 0-12 (0-12 frees), R Cashman 0-4 (0-4 frees) and C Sheehan 0-3, P Wall and S Shorten 0-2 each, M Sexton, B Butler, T Harrington, and C Moloney 0-1 each.
K Lyons; D Good, T McGuiness (joint-captain), R Sinclair; K Webb, G Webb, C McGuinness; J Good, D O’Flaherty; D Byrne, M O’Sullivan (joint-captain), K Kingston; D Harrington, P O’Riordan, R Walsh.
C Quinn for J Kingston (ht), M Byrne for C Quinn (et).
A Holland; I Burke, T Sheehan, J Hurley; R Cashman, M Sexton (captain), C Ustinowski; B Butler, N O’Donovan; M Hickey, C Sheehan, T Harrington; P Wall, S Sexton, S Shorten.
D Harrington for I Burke (38), C Moloney for B Butler (38), C Hogan for C Ustinowski (46), C Ustinowski for M Sexton (et), S Crowley for T Harrington (et), T Harrington for M Hickey (et).
Brian Sweeney (Erin’s Own).