Late drama as Coolderry snatch Offaly senior hurling title

A last minute Joe Brady goal broke St Rynagh’s hearts in dramatic fashion

Sean Dolan of Saint Rynagh’s with Stephen Connolly of Coolderry. Photo: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Sean Dolan of Saint Rynagh’s with Stephen Connolly of Coolderry. Photo: Donall Farmer/Inpho

 

Coolderry 2-15 St Rynagh’s 1-16

Coolderry snatched victory from the jaws of defeat in a sensational finale to the Offaly senior hurling championship in Tullamore on Sunday.

St Rynagh’s, one of the great names of Offaly hurling, were within touching distance of a first title since 1993 when they led by 1-16 to 1-13 inside the last five minutes but it all unravelled badly for them.

A Damien Murray free cut the deficit to two points and then Joe Brady, moved from centre back to full forward in a desperate last throw of the dice by Coolderry, scored the all important goal, doing very well to catch a long ball, hold off a couple of challenges and drive a low shot to the net. Brian Carroll added a huge free in injury time and a devastated St Rynagh’s had no chance to respond.

It was a fantastic end to an enjoyable final that really sprung to life in the second half. Coolderry’s victory was a direct result of a refusal to give in when the game appeared to have slipped from them while they laid the foundations in the first half.

St Rynagh’s won’t have to analyse the reasons for their defeat for too long. They failed to score from play until Stephen Quirke got one a minute into first half injury time and you can’t do that in a county final. They suffered a shocking start with Kevin Connolly scoring a goal after thirty seconds and Coolderry were the sharper and dominant team for most of the first half.

They were full value for their half time lead of 1-9 to 0-7 and they quickly extended it to 1-11 to 0-7 on the resumption. After this, St Rynagh’s gained the upper hand in all sectors. Playing some fine hurling, a Ben Conneely goal gave them a 1-13 to 1-12 lead with fourteen minutes left and they looked set to record a famous victory before having their dreams dashed late on.

Coolderry: S Corcoran; S Connolly, T Corcoran, S Burke; A Corcoran (0-1), J Brady (1-0), K Brady (0-2); C Molloy, B Teehan; D King (0-1), M Corcoran, K Connolly (1-2); E Ryan, B Carroll (0-3, 1f), D Murray (0-6, 5f). Subs - A Connolly for S Connolly (50m), D Parlon for Ryan (60m).

St Rynagh’s: C Clancy; D Maloney, D Shortt, N Wynne; C Hernon (0-1), G Conneely, P Camon; S Dolan, N White; A Treacy, S Wynne (0-13, 12f), R Hughes (0-1); M Maloney, J O’Connor, S Quirke (0-1). Subs - P Quirke for White (20m), B Conneely (1-0) for M Maloney (H/t), S Og Lyons for Hernon (57m).

Referee: D Cooke.

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