The game itself was very disappointing – but the finish couldn’t have been any more dramatic.
As the Laois SHC semi-final ticked into injury time, Camross led Rathdowney-Errill by 0-17 to 0-15 and looked to be on their to a third county final in a row and a seventh this decade.
It was a game that came exactly a year after last year’s county final, one that saw Camross beat Rathdowney-Errill in a game that was overshadowed by a serious facial injury to Ross King and the social media antics that followed it – including images of three Camross players apparently jeering King’s misfortune during the celebrations.
It all contributed to a poisonous atmosphere around hurling in the county.
And when the sides were drawn to meet in this year’s semi-final, there was always going to be a tension to the fixture.
Camross were going for a third Laois SHC title in a row – and an eighth straight win over Rathdowney-Errill in league and championship.
The game was far from a classic – pock-marked with mistakes, misses and far too many frees for anyone’s liking. There was a couple of mini flashpoints but it never threatened to get out of control as referee Alan Doheny and his officials kept a tight rein on things.
It looked as if the black and amber had done enough when they hit three points in a row late on to go from one down to two up. It was the first time they had been in front since the opening minute of the game.
But there was one final twist – and it came in the shape of a winning Rathdowney-Errill goal, smashed to the net by Ross King from 20 metres out.
Brian O’Sullivan, who videos many of the games in O’Moore Park, captured it and the goal is as impressive and dramatic as it looked in real time. Jack Nolan’s commentary, which was live on Midlands 103, accompanies the footage of the goal that came in the 61st minute.
And it was to be the last score of the game. Camross’s next attack was intercepted and the final whistle sounded shortly after.
What a finish to a game.
Rathdowney-Errill now go forward to a final meeting against Borris-Kilcotton in two weeks time.
You can watch the goal here and read our match report here.