Mountmellick 3-11 Ballypickas 2-14
Laois Shopping Centre IHC Round 2
A last gasp equaliser from midfielder Paddy Boggan earned a draw for Ballypickas in a dogfight from start to finish against Mountmellick in Ratheniska.
Right from the start both sides went at it, with Mountmellick getting off the mark with a point from Redmond McEvoy in the first minute.
John Connolly added another one after that to push the gap to two, and a wonderful move from Mountmellick’s forwards was finished to the net by Nigel Murphy, to give his side a five point lead after five minutes.
Ballypickas opened their account with a free from MJ Lalor, and a point from Noel Leech and another free from Lalor shortened the gap to two.
Despite Ian Fennelly being shown yellow, Mountmellick responded with a free from Michael Birmingham, and Karl Donoher was also on target to keep his side four points in front.
Lalor converted his third free of the day, and Noel Leech found the net in the fifteenth minute to bring Ballypickas back on level terms.
Murphy grabbed another point for Mountmellick, and Ballypickas midfielder Paddy Boggan was then shown yellow for a high challenge, but Ballypickas bounced back just two minutes before half-time, when Boggan fired one past Aidan Challoner in the Mountmellick goal to give his side a two point lead.
That lead was cut to one with the last action of the first-half, Birmingham on target again for Mountmellick to make it a one point game at the halfway point, Ballypickas leading 2-4 to 1-6.
The second-half began where the first-half had left off, Sean O’Dea in the Ballypickas goal making a brilliant save to deny Michael Birmingham.
Karl Donoher brought the sides back level three minutes after the restart, and a free from James Hillard edged Mountmellick in front.
A point from Jim Leech make it a level game once again, and Lalor put another two frees over to put Ballypickas ahead by two, Daire McWey hit the target and a spectacular long range effort from Paddy Boggan gave Ballypickas a four point cushion heading into the final quarter.
Noel Leech picked up a yellow for Ballypickas, but they were still in the driving seat with another point from Lalor.
Mountmellick came back, when Laois star Donnacha Hartnett was brought down through on goal. James Hillard blasted it to the back of the net to bring it back to a two point game.
Seconds later, Barry Mangan broke away from the Ballypickas defence and finished it past O’Dea to raise another green flag, and to put Mountmellick ahead by one with five minutes remaining.
They extended that lead to two when Hartnett converted a 65′ a minute later, Lalor converted another free to bring it back to one, but Hillard grabbed another for Mountmellick to extend it back to two.
Boggan managed to get Ballypickas back to one again, but when Hartnett hit over another free, Mountmellick were two ahead with less than two minutes remaining.
But Ballypickas fought back once again, Lalor was on target with his seventh free of the day, and with the very last play, Boggan fired one over from just inside his own 65 to secure a replay.
SCORERS – Mountmellick: James Hillard 1-2 (1-0 penalty, 0-1 free) Nigel Murphy 1-1, Barry Mangan 1-0, Karl Donoher 0-2, Michael Birmingham 0-2 (1f), Donnacha Hartnett 0-2 (1f, 1 65′) Ballypickas: MJ Lalor 0-8 (7f), Paddy Boggan 1-3, Noel Leech 1-1, Jim Leech 0-1, Daire McWey 0-1
MOUNTMELLICK: Aidan Challoner, Eddie Melia, Peter Dunne, David Fennelly, Ian Fennelly, Laurence Kenny, Bernard Rochford, Karl Donoher, John Connolly, Seamus Stapleton, Barry Mangan, Michael Birmingham, Nigel Murphy, Redmond McEvoy, James Hillard Subs: Donnacha Hartnett for Seamus Stapleton, Ian Moore for Bernard Rochford
BALLYPICKAS: Sean O’Dea, William McDonald, Paddy Gorman, Eoin McEvoy, Declan Cahill, Liam Lalor, Tim Cass, Paddy Boggan, Jim Leech, Colin Kinsella, MJ Lalor, Daire McWey, Brian Lalor, Noel Concannon, Noel Leech. Subs: Roghan Headen for Brian Lalor, Matt Boggan for Noel Concannon