Not even a venture into the throes of extra time could carve a divide between Knockavilla Kickhams and Drom/Inch on Sunday afternoon last in a highly competitive and entertaining County Junior A Hurling Championship quarter-final in Drombane.
The balance of this contest tilted to and fro throughout, with the final adjournment providing no conclusive outcome. Drom held the advantage by 5 points in the final moments of regulation time but a spirited finish from Knockavilla closed the game in dramatic fashion. Kickhams’ most influential force, Shane Morrissey, came up with the all-important equalising score to draw the teams level for the final time.
The match started at great pace with points going over tit for tat in the early stages but at the midway stage of the half a flurry of goals ensued.
Drom were in the ascendancy at half time by the narrowest of margins, 3-8 to 2-10. As the second period began an early goal from the very impressive Michael Cantwell gave the men from The Ragg an advantage they would hold until the closing moments when Tommy Comerford found the range with his 65’ and the game finished 4-11 to 3-14.
Kickhams substitute John O’Brien superbly collected a delivery from Aidan Butler in the 6th minute of extra time and stepping to his left evaded his marker before firing home to give the West champions the lead in extra time. This was cancelled out the other side of the mini break as Drom replacement Joey Maher scored a soft goal.
All seemed lost for Kickhams but they refused to throw in the towel and secured a deserved equaliser.
Knockavilla Kickhams: T. Ryan; D. Horgan, R. O Dwyer, D. Shannahan; P. Morrissey, T. Comerford (1-2, 1-1 65s), B. Farrell; S. Morrissey (0-4), O. O Meara; G. Farrell, D. Breen (0-1), P. Comerford (0-1); K. Loughman (2-1), K. Farrell, B. Ryan (0-8, 6F). Subs: C. Horan for R. O Dwyer (41), A. Butler for G. Farrell (46), J. O Brien (1-0) for K. Farrell (50).
Drom/Inch: C. Hassett; M. Hicks, L. Kennedy, T. Cantwell; K. Aherne, P. Looby, M. McGrath (0-1); P. Stapleton, K. Young (0-2); P. Ryan, C. Ryan (0-1), T. Ryan; J. Lillis (2-2), R. Hicks (1-3, 3F), M. Cantwell (1-5, 1-65). Subs: J. Butler for T. Ryan (29), J. Maher (1-0) for P. Stapleton (50), P. Stapleton for K. Young (73).
Referee: Philip Kelly.