Leinster come good in extra time
A GREAT second-half rally by Leinster, spiced with a spectacular D J Carey goal, brought this Railway Cup hurling semi-final at Ballinasloe yesterday to extra time.
The sides were deadlocked at the end of the first half, 0-8 to 1-5, and at full-time it was 0-15 to 2-9 after Liam Burke had Connacht's equalising point seconds before the final whistle.
In the first period of extra time Connacht went into an early lead, but a brace of points by Carey and one from John Troy left Leinster ahead by the narrowest of margins at the interval. Leinster goalkeeper David Hughes brought off a great save from Mattie Kenny in this spell.
Kilkenny's Denis Byrne, who didn't even figure on the official programme, turned out to be the match-winner when his three points in the final period of extra time were decisive.
The all-Galway Connacht side were a completely different team to the one which annihilated Offaly at the same venue a week ago. This time their finishing was poorer, their determination not as great and they seemed a very tired outfit at the end.
Still, five of their six forwards figured on the scoresheet and their half back line of Nigel Shaughnessy, Gerry McInerney, (a late call-up) and Michael Donoghue have seldom had better games.
Leinster had great strength in the full back line of Bill Ma her, Kevin Kinahan and Martin Hanamy, while half back Niall Rigney emerged as the man of the match. Up front D J Carey and John Troy were most conspicuous in an attack that seldom worked as a unit and found the going heavy.