Moloney the Effin hero

A LAST-minute point from Damien Moloney snatched a 1-9 to 1-8 win for Effin over Ballybrown in the intermediate hurling county final on Sunday.

A LAST-minute point from Damien Moloney snatched a 1-9 to 1-8 win for Effin over Ballybrown in the intermediate hurling county final on Sunday.

The dramatic win ensures a remarkable two years for the south-Limerick club as they claim the intermediate title just 12 months after coming up from junior.

With time ticking away, Moloney embarked on a surging solo run, and sent a looping shot over the bar to seal victory, after trailing to Ballybrown for the entire game.

There was still time for more drama after Moloney’s score, as Ballybrown forward Alan O’Connor sent an injury-time free wide, spurning the chance to equalise.

Ballybrown were fancied to win the tie, having come close to promotion the last two years; making it to the semi-final last year and losing the decider in 2009. And they lived up to their favourites tag early on, with full-forward Richie Kenny scoring a goal and a point and two points from O’Connor sending them 1-3 to 0-0 in front after 10 minutes.

Slowly, Effin began to get a foothold in the game, with full-forward Tommy Quaid getting their first score with a well taken point in the 14th minute. Quaid then slotted over a free on 19 minutes to further reduce the deficit.

Effin began to see more possession, but failed to create any clear chances, and the impressive O’Connor tacked on a further two scores for Ballybrown. Effin were then awarded a close range free, but Quaid took the sensible option and took the point, making the score at half time 1-5 to 0-3 in favour of Ballybrown.

The second half started in similar fashion to the first, with the first score upon the restart rippling the back of the net. This time, it was Effin who raised the green flag, with Tommy Quaid now single-handedly taking the charge to Ballybrown.

After picking up the ball in the half-forward line, Quaid raced past his man, before deftly finishing past David Lyons in the Ballybrown goal.

Another Quaid point brought Effin to within a point of Ballybrown, and O’Connor and Quaid then traded points, to bring the score to 1-6 to 1-5.

A score from Timmy Rea with 12 minutes to go then brought the sides level for the first time, and points from O’Connor and Moloney ensured parity with five minutes left.

Ballybrown sub Patrick Hartigan then pointed, before Quaid pointed another free. Just as a draw was looking on the cards, up popped Moloney to steal it at the death.

SCORERS – Ballybrown: Alan O’ Connor 0-6 (0-3 frees), Richie Kenny 1-1, Patrick Hartigan 0-1. Effin: Tommy Quaid 1-6 (0-4 frees), Damien Moloney 0-2, Timmy Rea 0-1.

BALLYBROWN - David Lyons; Richie Quinn, Des Kenny, Roddy Burke; Stevie O’Reilly, David Hartnett, James Kennedy; Kyle Loftus, Stephen Foster; Alan O’ Connor, Patrick McCarthy, Brian Quinn; Mikey Kiely, Richie Kenny, Evan Loftus. Subs: Patrick Hartigan for Evan Loftus (40mins), James Hall for Patrick McCarthy (49mins).

EFFIN - James O’ Leary; John P O’ Donnell, John Dillon, Andrew Dillon; Michael O’ Donnell, Nickie Quaid, Michael Rea; James O’ Donnell, Patrick Carroll; Darren Sheehy, Damien Moloney; Conor Kearney; Enda Kelly, Tommy Quaid, John Manning. Subs: Timmy Rea for Darren Sheehy (40 mins).

REFEREE – Brendan Stack (Newcastle West).

For more on this game - including reaction and some great photos - see this weekend’s print edition of the Limerick Leader