Borris-Kilcotton 1-18 Camross 1-15
Laois Shopping Centre SHC Round 1
Borris-Kilcotton have secured the opening victory of the 2020 Laois SHC, as a fortuitous late goal saw them edge past Camross in an entertaining encounter at O’Moore Park.
The 2016 champions were underdogs coming into this one, particularly with PJ Scully out of action, but they did just enough to claim the win. They were ahead for most of the first half, and even though they fell behind on a few occasions in the second, they battled back every time and were in the perfect position to take advantage of some good fortune when it came their way.
The only downside for them was an injury late in the game to Matthew Whelan, who had to be helped from the field after hurting his leg.
Eoin Gaughan got the opening score of what will be a historic Laois SHC regardless of who prevails, as he split the posts with a fine point from the right wing.
Borris-Kilcotton were playing into the wind and they took a few minutes to settle, but once they found their range then Dan Fitzpatrick and Colm Stapleton hit the target with seconds of each other to put them into the lead.
Aaron Dunphy quickly doubled their advantage as Borris-Kilcotton started to get the upper hand. Zane Keenan’s free kept Camross ticking over but Dan Fitzpatrick and Patrick Whelan quickly added to their team’s lead to see them move three clear.
Three quickly became four with one of the scores of the game, as Neil Foyle landed a brilliant point from way out on the left wing. Camross were getting their fair share of possession, but two attempts to pass their way through on goal failed to bear fruition, and they were taking their time to settle.
Emmett Jones and Zane Keenan traded frees before Camross really announced themselves in SHC 2020. Lorcan Burke made good ground coming in from the right wing before offloading to Mark Dowling. He slipped past a couple of challenges and then drilled a shot into the bottom corner of the net, leaving Eoin Fleming with no chance.
Emmett Jones (free) and Aaron Dunphy scored either side of the water break for Borris-Kilcotton, but Camross finally started to find some form after that. It started with a Zane Keenan point from a sideline cut, and two Mark Dowling points then drew them level.
Colm Stapleton replied with a wonderful individual score for Borris-Kilcotton but Keenan cancelled that out with a free before Eoin Gaughan put them ahead with another placed ball, this one from long-range.
Ciaran Collier and Aaron Dunphy then swapped scores before a lovely free from Eoin Fleming saw Borris-Kilcotton lead by the minimum at half time, 0-13 to 1-9.
Camross came out much stronger in the second half and would have had a goal through Mark Dowling only for a brilliant save from Eoin Fleming. Eoin Gaughan pointed the resulting 65.
Zane Keenan (free) and Joe Phelan, operating at full-forward instead of his usual haunt in the full-back line, pushed Camross two ahead, their biggest lead of the game, by the 35th minute. It could have been even more, but Phelan’s shot for a goal hit the underside of the crossbar and rebounded away from danger. Borris-Kilcotton made the most of their good fortune as they worked the ball to Aaron Dunphy on the right wing, and he sailed the ball between the posts.
Eoin Fleming then tied the scores again with a long-range free for Borris-Kilcotton, and Mark Dowling and Stephen Dunphy swapped scores to leave the teams level at the water break midway through the second half.
After that brief respite it was Camross who returned to action a bit sharper, as Mark Dowling and Joe Phelan hit the target to see them two clear with under ten minutes to play.
Credit to Borris-Kilcotton though, they dug in once more and Emmett Jones (free) and Aaron Dunphy hauled them back on level as normal time elapsed. There was then a break in play of a few minutes after nasty injury for Matthew Whelan, but when play resumed a long-range free from Emmett Jones somehow ended up in the Camross net.
There was still a few minutes of added time to play, but Camross would not score again, with Borris-Kilcotton holding on for the victory.
SCORERS – Camross: Mark Dowling 1-4, Zane Keenan 0-5 (0-4 frees, 0-1 sideline), Eoin Gaughan 0-3 (0-1 free, 0-1 65), Joe Phelan 0-2, Ciaran Collier 0-1. Borris-Kilcotton: Emmett Jones 1-3 (all frees), Aaron Dunphy 0-5, Eoin Fleming 0-3 (all frees), Colm Stapleton, Dan Fitzpatrick 0-2 each, Patrick Whelan, Stephen Dunphy, Neil Foyle 0-1 each.
CAMROSS: Thomas Dunphy; Dwane Palmer, Gearoid Burke, Andrew Mortimer; Lorcan Burke, Andrew Collier, Darrell Dooley; Eoin Gaughan, Craig Carroll; Ciaran Collier, Dean Delaney, Zane Keenan; Oisín Bennett, Joe Phelan, Mark Dowling. Subs: Eoin Dowling for L Burke (half-time), Liam Delaney for Bennett (57 mins)
BORRIS-KILCOTTON: Eoin Fleming; Steven Finan, Stephen Phelan, Enda Parlon; Patrick Whelan, Matthew Whelan, Jim Fitzpatrick; Dan Fitzpatrick, Conor Kilbane; Colm Stapleton, Joe Campion, Aaron Dunphy; Emmett Jones, Stephen Dunphy, Neil Foyle. Subs: Brian Stapleton for Kilbane (60 mins), Dean Carey for M Whelan (62 mins, inj)
REFEREE: Anthony Stapleton (Rathdowney-Errill)
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