Ballyboden require extra-time to see off Clonkill in Leinster clash
Paul Ryan scores 0-15 as Westmeath champions very nearly pull off a shock
Ballyboden St Enda’s 2-25 Clonkill 2-19 AET
They required extra-time to finally advance on the night, but with Paul Ryan in sparkling form, Ballyboden St Enda’s eventually got the better of Clonkill in an engrossing Leinster hurling quarter-final clash at Parnell Park.
Originally set to take place on Sunday in the Donnycarney venue, this last-eight encounter was pushed back owing to the tragic death of Clonkill native Annabelle Loughlin.
A shock was on the cards for large stretches of the contest, as the Lake County men sought to defy expectations. Brendan Murtagh’s 64th-minute free prevented the Dublin champions from completing the job in 60 minutes, but with Ryan amassing a personal haul of 0-15, they finally overpowered their Midlands counterparts.
Despite facing into extraordinarily difficult circumstances, Clonkill enjoyed a whirlwind start to the contest. Points from Mark Keegan, Anthony Price and the vastly-experienced Murtagh placed the visitors into a surprise three-point lead, before ‘Boden eventually responded with a Conal Keaney brace.
Clonkill continued to establish an attacking foothold, as Murtagh found the target either side of a superb Eoin Price score.
Yet, following five points in the space of 11 minutes – by Paul Ryan (two), Aidan Mellett (two) and Niall Ryan – ‘Boden edged into the ascendancy for the first time.
Even though Price and Murtagh (0-2) ensured this cushion was a short-lived one, Paul Ryan’s dead-ball accuracy ensured ‘Boden were back on level terms.
Their prospects were further boosted when Niall Ryan flicked to the net from close-range, but there was enough time for Murtagh to register his sixth score – restricting Clonkill’s deficit to two points (1-9 to 0-10) as a result.
Murtagh converted a long-distance free to keep them in contention on the restart, but Paul Ryan’s 0-2 salvo looked set to herald a strong purple patch for ‘Boden.
It was Clonkill who made the next move, however – substitute Niall Mitchell setting up Luke Loughlin (cousin of Annabel) for a superb volleyed finish past rookie netminder Conor O’Donoghue (who was deputising for the suspended Gary Maguire).
During a nerve-jangling final-quarter, ‘Boden looked set to prevail when they developed a two-point cushion on 59 minutes. Back-to-back Loughlin points for Clonkill threw another spanner into the works, though, and Murtagh cancelled out an outstanding Niall McMorrow point to force the tie into the additional periods,
When Jordy Smyth was hauled down inside the square after the resumption, Murtagh was presented with a golden opportunity to put his name up in lights. However, the former county star fired his penalty past the left-hand post.
Having received a significant let-off, ‘Boden subsequently pushed ahead through Paul Doherty and Paul Ryan (‘65’). They then pulled further in front with contributions from Doherty, James Roche, Paul Ryan and Stephen O’Connor, and although Mitchell flicked to the net off a Murtagh ‘65’ late on, the impressive Doherty sealed Ballyboden’s passage with a clinical final-minute goal.
BALLYBODEN ST ENDA’S: C O’Donoghue; D Curran, L Corcoran, J Madden; S Durkin, S Lambert, D O’Connor; S O’Connor (0-1), F McGarry; C Keaney (0-2), C Dooley, N Ryan (1-1); A Mellett (0-2), C McCormack, P Ryan (0-15, 12f, 3 ‘65’). Subs: C Basquel for McCormack (44 mins); P Doherty (1-2) for Dooley and N McMorrow (0-1) for McGarry (both 52 mins); J Roche (0-1) for N Ryan (62 mins); N Ryan for Basquel (70 mins); M Travers for Lambert and C O’Neill for O’Connor (both 80 mins).
CLONKILL: A Mitchell; D Egerton, J Kenny, M McGrath; A McGrath, P Dowdall, L Folan; S Power, C Austin; L Laughlin (1-2), M Keegan (0-1), A Dowdall; A Price (0-1), E Price (0-4), B Murtagh (0-11, 7f). Subs: N Mitchell (1-0) for Folan (8 mins); J Smyth for A Dowdall (44 mins); A Dowdall for A Price (61 mins); J O’Brien for Power and J Fagan for McGrath (both 74 mins).
Referee: D Hughes (Carlow).