MEEGAN MAGIC INCHES INNISKEEN TO SENIOR HURLING CHAMPIONSHIP REDEMPTION AFTER THRILLER

16 August 2013 No Comments by The Northern Standard

True grit from the Grattans reclaims the Mick Quigley Cup … while Harps command performance captures the Championship Shield. by COLM SHALVEY

Last Saturday’s Silver Hill Foods Senior Hurling Championship Final will live long in the memory after Inniskeen produced a storming finish to edge out Castleblayney by a single point.

It may have been a game dominated by frees, with Inniskeen captain Ronan Meegan hitting ten of his team’s 13 points from placed balls, but that won’t matter to the Grattans, who have now shared the last four county titles with Blayney.

Having trailed by 0-5 to 0-4 at the end of a tense, low-scoring first half, Inniskeen fell four points down when they conceded the only goal of the game to Stephen Forde just after the restart, but they dominated the following 15 minutes and drew level by the 50-minute mark, which was the least they deserved at that stage. It looked like Inniskeen were going to be left to regret some missed chances when Blayney goalkeeper Mickey McHugh went forward to hit two points from frees inside the final five minutes, but the 2010 champions held their nerve.

Despite being two points down with as many minutes left, Inniskeen didn’t panic and go for goals. Instead, they tapped over their points, with Ronan Meegan levelling it up from a brace of frees after fouls on himself and hard-working midfielder Trevor Hilliard. There was still time, in the second added minute, for Inniskeen to win another free when young Dónal Meegan was grounded and again Ronan Meegan made no mistake to ensure that he would lift the Mick Quigley Cup.

Match-winner Meegan paid tribute to many hurling men who have kept the sport alive in Inniskeen, most notably …

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