A REPLAY is needed after the scarcely believable AIB All-Ireland Club Junior Hurling Championship final ended in a draw at Croke Park today.
Creggan Kickhams of Antrim forced extra-time when Conor McCann fired over a pressure free with the last stroke.
They were reduced to 14 men after Sam Maguire’s second yellow card of the day with ten minutes of extra-time left, but managed to push three points ahead.
And then, with time almost up, Ballysaggart’s Shane Bennett completed his hat-trick with a goal that leveled the scores so that the sides have to do it all again.
Extra-time was the least that Kickhams deserved, having come back from ten points down early in the second half to level with the last puck of the hour.
Waterford side Ballysaggart went in at the break leading by nine, 3-6 to 0-6. They got a real lucky break just before half-time when Stephen Bennett’s mis-hit free squirted into the net off a defender’s hurl.
Waterford were inspired by the twin threat posed up front by Bennett brothers Shane and Stephen. The pair were part of the Deise County side that won last year’s All-Ireland minor title and got 5-7 between them today.
Scorers for Ballysaggart: Stephen Bennett 2-7, (2-5f), Shane Bennett 3-0, K Cashell 0-2, R Walsh, K Bennett, D Devine 0-1 each.
Scorers for Creggan Kickhams: C McCann 1-6 (1-0 pen, 0-2f), O McCann 0-8 (0-5f), K Rice 0-4 (0-1f), C Small 1-0, R McCann 0-2 (0-1f) J Carey 0-1.
BALLYSAGGART: Matty Meagher; Bobby Ryan, Kieran Fennessy, Daniel Devine; Barry Murphy, Eugene O’Brien, Cailean O’Gorman; Christy Murphy, Kieran Bennett; Shane Bennett, Darren Meagher, Kenneth Cashell; Ronan Walsh, Stephen Bennett, Tom Bennett.
Subs: Michael Kearney for Walsh (34); Stephen Hale for Kearney (66); S Meagher for T Bennett 70 mins; Cathal Fitzgerald for Devine 78 mins.
CREGGAN KICKHAMS: Brendan Penter; Declan McCann, Aidan Maguire, Donal Carey; Brendan Maguire, Thomas McCann, Martin Johnson; Sam Maguire, Aidan McKeown; Kevin Rice, Oran McCann, Ruairi McCann; Conor Small, James Dougan, Conor McCann.
Subs: James Carey for Dougan (27), Matthew Nelson for D McCann (36).
Referee: C Browne (Galway)