AHANE and Emmets will have to do it all over again in this semi-final of the Limerick’s Live 95FM sponsored county senior hurling championship.
After a most disappointing game, both sides will know that they can only do better when they replay next Sunday evening (7.45) under the floodlights of the Gaelic Grounds.
Emmets led 2-5 to 1-5 after the opening half, which was played in a constant wind and driving rain. And at the end of 60 minutes the sides were still level - Emmets 2-7 Ahane 1-10.
But it was 19-times champions Ahane that had played with the wind in the opening half, when they failed to find the form that saw them dump out Adare in the quarter-finals.
At the interval it was the two early goals from Emmets that were key. Both came inside a 60-second period in the sixth and seventh minutes.
Eoin Walsh scored the first and with the full back line in disarray, Dermot McCarthy scored the second.
McCarthy had opened the scoring after just 12 seconds but it was at the other end that the opening goal almost arrived when Dan Morrissey’s shot was saved by Chris Farrell at his near post. Farrell was deputising for Tommy Quaid, who played on the CIT team that defeated Newtownshandrum in the Cork SHC semi-fina.
Ollie Moran and John Meskell did score for Ahane but then came the two-goal blast for Emmets as they led 2-1 to 0-2 after seven minutes.
Despite the advantage of the wind, Ahane went 16 minutes without a score, but Emmets were just as inefficent in front of goal at the other end.
Finally in the last 10 minutes, the half came to life with Brian Healy leading the charge and his return of 1-2 was vital to Ahane.
But just before the half time whistle Emmets restored their lead when Paul Neenan scored from a free and from play for a one goal interval lead.
On the change of ends, it should have been all Emmets.
But 12 of the divisional side’s starting team were in action the previous day and it appeared to take its toll as they visibly tired.
Inside three minutes of the restart the teams were level with Ollie Moran, Morrissey and Meskell firing over for the men in green and gold.
Niall Moran had been key in their quarter-final win but was well patrolled by Dave Moloney but his older brother Ollie came up trumps with another point to snatch the lead in the 45th minute, 1-9 to 2-5.
Finally Emmets reopened their account in the 49th minute when John Dillon scored.
A Neenan free put the amalgamtion side back in front but the last say with to John Meskell and his 52nd minute free was to be the final score.
SCORERS – Ahane: Brian Healy 1-2, Ollie Moran 0-4, John Meskell 0-3 (1free, 1 lineball), Daniel Morrissey 0-1. Emmets: Paul Neenan 0-4 (3frees), Dermot McCarthy 1-1, Eoin Walsh 1-0, Paudie Leahy and Mike Keane 0-1 each.
AHANE – Tadgh Flynn; Alan Doherty, Daragh Madden, John Doheny; Cathal O’Reilly, Mike Carr, Padraic Treacy; John Meskell, Fergus Ahern; Daniel Morrissey, Niall Moran, Sean Madden; Brian Healy, Ollie Moran, Richard Ryan. Subs: David Laing for Fergus Ahern (36mins), Killian Enright for Richard Ryan (44mins), Sean O’Connor for Brian Healy (49mins), Paul O’Connor for Sean Madden (60mins).
EMMETS – Chris Farrell; Jimmy Barry Murphy, Richie McCarthy, Gearoid O’Leary; John Dillon, David Moloney, Mike Keane; Nicky Quaid, Stephen Walsh; Damien Moloney, Eoin O’Leary, Paudie Leahy; Dermot McCarthy, Paul Neenan, Eoin Walsh. Subs: Mike O’Brien for Dermot McCarthy (42mins), David Reidy for Paudie Leahy (51mins).
REFEREE – Jason O’Mahony (Kildimo)