Mountmellick 3-12 Trumera 2-15
Laois Shopping Centre IHC Quarter-final
Hilliard’s free two minutes into added-on time brought his tally to 1-9 for the evening and meant that sides must meet again after what was an enjoyable contest that swung one way and then the other over the course of the 60 minutes.
It continues a busy season for Mountmellick and the replay, whenever secretary Niall Handy can fit it in to the busy schedule, will be their fifth game of the championship having already had to go through two games with Ballypickas.
Hilliard’s eighth minute goal from a close-range free put Mountmellick into an early lead though Trumera instantly replied with the long-serving Cathal Brophy flicking to the net at the opposite end on the next attack.
Conor Madden’s early points and the excellent free-taking of Niall Sinnott kept Trumera ahead for most of the first half though points from Redmond McEvoy, Donnacha Hartnett (free), Karl Donoher and Hilliard ensured Mountmellick remained in touch.
Dylan Lalor, Joe Coogan and Sinnott (two frees) all found the range to have Trumera 1-8 to 1-4 up after 20 minutes.
But a good run from Donnacha Hartnett sliced a gap through the Trumera defence and he set up McEvoy who finished well for their second goal. A long-range free from Hilliard shortly after had the sides level.
Trumera responded in style, though, with Eddie O’Connor firing to the net after a great run from Dylan Lalor but two frees from Hilliard brought the gap back to a point and Trumera led 2-8 to 2-7 at the break.
Rhys Murphy extended Trumera’s lead shortly after the re-start but two Hilliard points in a row (from play and ’65) had the sides level.
Cathal Brophy and Niall Sinnott (free) either side of another Hilliard free had Trumera back in the lead but Mountmellick struck for their third goal when John Connolly won a long ball into the square and passed off to Nigel Murphy who fired past Ronan Kavanagh.
That put Mountmellick two up and though Sinnott and Hilliard swapped frees, Mountmellick then went the best part of 15 minutes without a score as three frees from Sinnott had Trumera one up as the game ticked towards full-time.
But Donnacha Hartnett earned a free after running at the Trumera defence and Hilliard held his nerve to point.
There was no time for any more play and extra-time wasn’t allowed for in the fixture so they’ll have to reconvene to decide who goes forward to meet Borris-Kilcotton in the semi-final.
SCORERS – Trumera: Niall Sinnott 0-8 (all frees), Cathal Brophy 1-1, Eddie O’Connor 1-0, Conor Madden 0-2 (one free), Joe Coogan 0-2, Rhys Murphy 0-1, Dylan Lalor 0-1. Mountmellick: James Hilliard 1-9 (0-5 frees, 0-1 ’65), Redmond McEvoy 1-1, Nigel Murphy 1-0, Karl Donoher 0-1 and Donnacha Hartnett 0-1 (free)
MOUNTMELLICK: Cathal Flynn; David Fennelly, Peter Dunne, Eddie Melia; Mick Bermingham, Ian Fennelly, Bernard Rochford; Donnacha Hartnett, Sean O’Neill; John Connolly, Barry Mangan, Karl Donoher; Redmond McEvoy, James Hilliard, Nigel Murphy
TRUMERA: Ronan Kavanagh; Gearoid O’Neill, Paul McSpadden, Conor Mason; Paddy O’Callaghan, Donnacha Dowling, Niall Sinnott; Cathal Brophy, Conor Madden; Joe Coogan, Caolan Murphy, Dylan Lalor; Shane Murphy, Eddie O’Connor, Rhys Murphy.
REFEREE: Eoin Scully (Camross)
SEE ALSO – Check out all our Laois IHC coverage here