Ring stays cool to keep Youghal alive

Whitegate 0-18 Youghal 0-18
Whitegate and Youghal will meet again as extra-time couldn’t separate the two sides in what was a titanic battle at Sixmilebridge.

Damien Ring was Youghal’s hero when he struck a free over the bar two minutes into injury time in what was the last puck of regulation time. That sent the game into extra time but in remarkably similar fashion, Andrew Fahy’s free a minute into extra time’s added time levelled the game once again.

Whitegate, who had won the Clare county final on the previous day, showed no signs of fatigue and started the game much brighter.

George Waterstone put the Clare side in control early on with three frees before Ian Fahy’s spectacular sideline cut sailed straight between the posts.

Leigh Desmond put Youghal on the scoreboard after eight minutes but they went 10 minutes without scoring until Curtin scored a well-worked point before the break.

It sparked something in them and three frees from Desmond as well as points from Alan Frahill O’Connor and Curtin gave Youghal an 0-8 to 0-4 half-time lead.

Three early second-half points brought Whitegate back to within a single score but Curtin’s point kept Youghal ahead.

Goalkeeper Andrew Fahy’s 21-yard free midway through the second half was saved but he was quickest to react and fired over the rebound. And when Waterstone hit his fourth free, the sides were level for the first time in the match.

Colin Burke and Waterstone then scored two quick fire points as Whitegate opened up a two-point lead with a minute left on the clock. But Youghal showed tremendous character to bring the game into extra time after Brendan and Damien Ring both scored frees to level the score at 0-14 a piece.

To the credit of both sides, there was no let up in the blistering tempo and Brendan Ring brilliantly pointed from wide on the touchline before Whitegate thought they had levelled the game only for the referee to controversially overrule his umpire in deeming that Waterstone’s free went wide. The decision meant Youghal led 0-16 to 0-15 at half-time in extra-time.

Whitegate brought Fahy outfield for the second period of extra-time and that was to prove to be an inspired move as he scored three crucial points to earn a replay.

Youghal looked to have won it when Cooper and Brendan Ring scored two late points only for Fahy to be handed the opportunity to level the scores for the fifth and final time. And he duly obliged, sending the home support into raptures and the game into a replay.

Scorers for Whitegate: G Waterstone (0-7, 5fs), A Fahy (0-6, 4fs), I Fahy, C Burke (0-2 each), E Minogue (0-1).

Scorers for Youghal: L Desmond (4f), B Ring (3f) (0-5 each), A Curtin (0-3), B Cooper, D Ring (2f) (0-2 each), A Frahill O’Connor (0-1).

WHITEGATE: A Fahy; J Minogue, J Bugler, T McNamara; E Quirke, B Bugler (c), C Jones; R Cahill, P Minogue; N Hayes, G Waterstone, C Burke; P Burke, I Fahy, M O’Brien.

Subs: E Minogue for C Jones (27), P O’Rourke for N Hayes (41), T Kelly for M O’Brien (54), C Bleach for P Burke (58), E Durack for T McNamara (71).

YOUGHAL: R Cunningham; B O’Sullivan. B Ring, B Coleman; M Cronin, C Spillane, O Dempsey; L Desmond, D Ring; A Curtin, A Frahill O’Connor, B Cooper; J O’Mahony C O’Mahony, B Ring.

Subs: N Roche for C O’Mahony (40).

Referee: S Hourigan (Limerick).


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