Full-forward Laurence Hickey scored a memorable first half hat-trick for Boherlahan-Dualla who saw off a dramatic second-half revival from Carrick Davins to emerge six point winners of the Seamus O’Riain Cup semi-final Fethard, 4-15 to 3-12.
Boherlahan recovered from early body blows to stamp their class on the opening period and looked set to record a runaway victory when they shot into a 3-13 to 1-4 half time lead. Davins seemed destined for a complete drubbing when classy corner-forward Seamie Leahy whipped home the leaders fourth goal a minute after the restart.
To their eternal credit they set about restoring their badly dented pride. They seized the initiative by the scruff of the neck, and two goals from the eager-beaver centre-forward Ger Robinson inside the opening ten minutes catapulted them right back into contention. With seven minutes of normal time left on the clock the challengers had arrears cut to a very respectable six points.
Boherlahan’s scoring power had all but dried up (they hit only 1-2 in the second-half) but to their credit they held their nerve in the face of the vigorous challenge and the loss of hard-working Paul Ryan to a second yellow card. Davins had 1-2 on the board in less than four minutes, the goal arrived in 2nd minute after a long delivery by impressive JJ Butler and flashed to the net. Butler and Ger Robinson followed up quickly with nice points and the side was in full flight.
Boherlahan held their composure, however, and following beautiful scores from ultra-skilful attackers Darragh Hickey and Seamie Leahy, the trend of the game took a dramatic turn. In fact, the Mid men went on the rampage. In the remaining twenty three minutes of normal time, they outscored their rivals by a whopping 3-11 to 0-2. Darragh Hickey, Laurence Hickey and Seamie Leahy, between them accounted for a massive 4-9 of their side’s overall tally -4-7 from play.
Seamie Leahy’s goal shortly on the turnover (4-13 to 1-5) suggested a facile victory in prospect for the leaders. Far from it, Davins set about restoring their battered pride, and their display over the next ten minutes stunned their dominant rivals. Ger Robinson, who finished the game with 2-2 from play, Pa Harris, JJ Butler who scored 1-5 over the hour (some of his points from play were gems) and the excellent Jim Walsh at left full back, led the revival that saw the south men hit 2-4 without reply to leave the board reading 4-13 to 3-9 at the three quarter mark. Robinson’s two well-taken goals in 35th and 40th minutes came as Davins hurled up a storm. Mick Hackett kept a safe goal, while Willie O’Dwyer, Mikie Ryan, Eoghan Power, Steven Cronin and Keith Condon powered ball to their attack. Pa Harris, Richie McGrath, and Shane Butler caused problems for the Boherlahan defence, and Michael Coady, Steven Moroney and Mickey Whelan were also busy as the team played out of their skins as a unit. They were well within striking distance of the leaders entering the last ten minutes of normal time. However, while Boherlahan’s scoring touch had deserted them they remained sufficiently in control in the closing stages while a man short.
Boherlahan-Dualla-J Ryan (0-1); J Maher, J O’Dwyer, AJ Maher; D Kennedy, F McCullagh, A Maher; G Crowe, D Patterson (0-1); B Maher, P Ryan (0-2), D Devane (0-1); D Hickey (0-5), L Hickey (3-1), S Leahy (1-3). Sub introduced- M Murphy (0-1).
Carrick Davins- M Hackett; S Cronin, K Condon, J Walsh; M Ryan (0-1), W O’Dwyer, E Power; P Harris (0-2), M Coady; S Moroney, G Robinson (2-2), R McGrath; M Whelan, S Butler, JJ Butler (1-6). Sub introduced- J Power (0-1).