There was heartbreak for Arravale Rovers as their quest for County Senior Football Championship glory came up marginally short after a thrilling quarter final with Loughmore-Castleiney that went to extra time at Clonoulty on Friday evening.
Arravale gave a quality performance but having forced the contest into extra time with Shane Leahy’s point they were edged out by 0-16 to 1-12 in extra time of a contest that would have done justice to any county final.
Both sides played at a high tempo and while Arravale will feel they deserved at least a draw, and can point to some chances spurned to support that assertion. Loughmore too will argue about “the ones that got away”, foremost among which was a John McGrath penalty in extra time that rattled the crossbar. The win keeps the Mid men’s hopes of a unique county senior double alive as they face into Sunday’s county senior hurling final against Nenagh.
The calibre of Arravale’s play was top-class and would surely have taken their championship challenge a stage further against any other opposition. Paddy Dalton was an inspiring figure with Ger Mulhair, Shane and Donagh Leahy, John Hayes and Robbie Kiely also to the fore.
John McGrath was the leading light for Loughmore, scoring 6 points and popping up all over the place. John Meagher, Lorcan Egan, David Kennedy, Noel McGrath, Tommy Long and Miceal Webster, late on, were others to shine while goalie Dominic Brennan also made a big contribution.
Loughmore-Castleiney – D Brennan; L Egan(0-1), J Meagher, T Long; T King, C McGrath, J Ryan; N McGrath(0-1), W Eviston; J McGrath(0-6, 4fs), A McGrath (0-1), C Hennessy (0-1); D Kennedy (0-2), M Webster (0-2), E Sweeney(0-1) Subs- L McGrath(0-1) for W Eviston; T McGrath for Hennessy.
Arravale Rovers - E Higgins; P Dalton(0-1), J Hayes, P Richardson(1-0); D Leahy, G ulhair, S Leahy(0-1); R Kiely, D Lowry(0-4,3fs); P Mulhair, P Bourke(0-1), B Jones; M O Dwyer, T Dalton(0-4, 4fs), B Lowry. Subs- J Bourke(0-1) for P Bourke; D Kiely for Hayes; S Quinn for P Mulhair; S O Meara for M O Dwyer; A Lacey for Jones; M O Dwyer for G Mulhair; B Jones for Lowry.