JEFF Reidy’s 59th minute point booked Castlemahon’s place in the Munster junior football semi-final as they overcome Tipperary’s Drom-Inch in The Ragg on Saturday, 2-10 to 3-6.
Roared on by their travelling army of supporters, they gave as good as they got despite conceding inches in most of the one-on-one contests and got into the faces of theiropponents at every opportunity.
A goal seconds before the break and another within seconds of the restart might have downed them but, inspired by human dynamo Tossie Butler, they finally ran the Premier side into the ground at the end of a rip-roaring contest that went right to the wire. When it came to eyeball time in the tense closing minutes, the Premier side blinked first and lost control of a gunfight that had been going their way when they regained the lead going into the final quarter.
James Guina opened with a free before Johnny Ryan and David Collins shot Drom into the lead. A second Guina free had the sides level and, after Mike Fitzgibbon dinked to the net off Alan Roche’s long pass and Donal Mullane and Patrick Carroll followed up, Castlemahon were five to the good.
Drom were back with a shout after classy points from distance from Jamie Moloney and James Woodlock and, after Guina struck back with his third free, a flowing move from the back ended with corner-back Michael Purcell rifling to the top corner to reduce the Premier side’s deficit to 1-5 to 1-4.
Within seconds of the restart, they were in front as Keith Nolan drilled past past the Barry Noonan. Mattie O’Sullivan’s reply was met by David Butler’s free, Fitzgibbon sent over a ‘45’, Reidy levelled off the resulting kickout but the visitors then shipped another body blow as Brian Noonan failed to hold a speculative shot for Nolan to flick home his second goal.
The response was immediate. Tossie Butler slotted hom the penalty after Roche was pulled down but Limerickmen failed to regain the lead and were were punished by a David Butler free. As their efforts ran into a wall and a Tossie Butler effort was deflected for a ‘45’, it looked as if the Tipp champions would hold on but Fitzgibbon found the opening to equalise and Reidy glided through for the jackpot score before Castlemahon played down the clock through the two added minutes.
SCORERS: CASTLEMAHON: Mike Fitzgibbon 1-2 (0-1 ‘45’), Tossie Butler 1-0 (penalty), James Guina 0-3 (3 frees), Jeff Reidy 0-2, Patrick Carroll, Donal Mullane, Mattie O’Sullivan 0-1 each; DROM-INCH: Keith Nolan 2-0, Michael Purcell 1-0, David Butler 0-3 (2 frees), Johnny Ryan, Jamie Moloney, James Woodlock 0-1 each.
CASTLEMAHON: Barry Noonan; Noel Corbett, Seán Downey, Mike O’Mahony; Niall Kennedy, Patrick Lomasney, Donal Mullane; Willie Lomasney, Tossie Butler; Paddy Carroll, Mattie O’Sullivan, Alan Roche; James Guina, Mike Fitzgibbon Fitzgibbon, Jeff Reidy. Subs: Seán Flanagan for Donal Mullane (25 mins), Conor Noonan for James Guina (40 mins), Timmy Dore for Patrick Carroll (48 mins).
DROM-INCH: Shane Hassett; Michael Purcell, Michael Butler, Eddie Costello; Declan Ryan, Séamus Callanan. Johnny Ryan; Joe Lupton, Jamie Moloney; Éamonnn Buckley, David Collins, James Woodlock; Keith Nolan, David Butler, Liam Ryan. Subs: Michael Everard for Joe Lupton (23 mins), Jerome Ryan for Declan Ryan (half-time), Kevin Butler for Johnny Ryan (34 mins), Robbie Long for Éamonn Buckley (47 mins), Enda Walsh for David Collins (57 mins).
REFEREE: Kevin Murphy (Cork).