THE Limerick junior A hurling championship final ended in drama this Saturday evening under the floodlights of the Gaelic Grounds.
As city side Na Piarsaigh celebrated, what they believed was a historic county final victory, Limerick GAA chairman Oliver Mann took to the microphone in the presentation area of the Mackey Stand to announce that “on count back” the final had actually finished level, Na Piarsaigh 0-15 Feohanagh 2-9.
At the final whistle the scoreboard had read Na Piarsaigh 0-16 Feohanagh 2-9.
And, it is understood that the referee Paddy Lyons of Staker Wallace GAA club, had also confirmed that he scoreboard was correct as he departed to his dressing room beneath the Mackey Stand.
However, then came the announcement from the County Board chairman.
It was an announcement that did not come as a surprise to all at the game, including his reporter.
According to my notes, midway through the second half the Na Piarsaigh score on the scoreboard to the City End of the grounds moved incorrectly from 0-10 to 0-12.
Some minutes later, and as the game moved into the final 10-minutes, it is understood that a mentor from Feohanagh checked with the referee if the scoreboard was correct and he was informed it was.
At this stage Na Piarsaigh hit four successive scores in the final 10-minutes. By my notes the run of scores secured a draw but the scoreboard and the referee said that Na Piarsaigh were champions and they duly celebrated as Feohanagh players dropped to the ground in despair.
Then came the clarification and confirmation that a replay was necessary.
Regardless of the result Feohanagh are due to represent Limerick in the Munster junior club championship next weekend against Tipperary’s Skeheenarinky - Na Piarsaigh can’t play in the provincial championship as they are their club’s second string.
The replay is now expected to take place on the weekend of November 8/9.
In the exciting final, Feohanagh led 1-5 to 0-7 at half time with Alan Roche getting a third minute goal for the west Limerick men.
When Jeff Reidy’s long range effort went straight to the within seconds of the restart they had a 2-6 to 0-7 advantage.
Midway through the half they were 2-7 to 0-10 clear until the late scores from the city side.