Clonad 1-13 Park-Ratheniska/Timahoe 1-10
Laois IHC Group A Round 3
Clonad will play in the Intermediate Hurling Championship in 2022 after David O’Brien’s charges defeated Park-Ratheniska-Timahoe this afternoon.
Led by Laois U-20 dual player Fionn Holland, Clonad outfought their visitors over the course of the hour.
Park-Ratheniska-Timahoe now face their second consecutive relegation playoff since their promotion in 2019 – having managed to save themselves against Ballypickas last year.
They will now face Mountrath in the relegation playoff in two weeks time.
Park-Ratheniska-Timahoe made a good start as Darragh Nolan landed a 65 and followed that with a point from play.
Fionn Holland and Gary Geoghegan got Clonad off the mark but PRT were firmly on top as Nolan added two more points before a Ciaran Lennon score moved them 0-5 to 0-2 ahead at the first water break.
But the game completely changed on the restart when a long ball caused chaos in the PRT full back line and Sean Egan raced through for a goal.
Fionn Holland followed that with two frees to give the home team the lead for the first time.
The half ended with Nolan and Holland trading a succession of frees to leave Clonad up 1-7 to 0-7 at half time.
The third quarter was intense stuff with Darragh Nolan initially cutting the gap back to two – before two more Holland frees pushed Clonad 1-9 to 0-8 ahead at the water break.
Darragh Nolan converted a 65 when play resumed and then PRT scored what looked to be a crucial goal when Ciaran Lennon combined with Marc Ramsbottom and kicked the ball to the net.
That levelled the match but two excellent points from Kilkenny native Gary Geoghegan from tight angles swung the momentum back Clonad’s way.
Darragh Nolan hit back from play but Clonad were awarded a penalty after 58 minutes when Cathal Kelliher fouled sub Daniel O’Sullivan en-route to goal.
Clonad keeper Shane Cahill was sent up to take it and he wisely decided to pop the sliotar over over the bar.
Fionn Holland followed that with his ninth point as we entered injury time and PRT then went in search of an equalising goal in the time that remained.
The closest they got was a 21 metre free from Darragh Nolan but that was blocked and Clonad held on.
SCORERS – Clonad: Fionn Holland 0-9 (seven frees), Gary Geoghegan 0-3, Sean Egan 1-0, Shane Cahill 0-1 (0-1 pen) Park-Ratheniska/Timahoe: Darragh Nolan 0-9 (four frees, two 65s), Ciaran Lennon 1-1
CLONAD: Shane Cahill; David McEvoy, Dinny Sheeran, Daniel Goode; John Noonan, Dean Delaney, James Whelan; David O’Brien, Gareth O’Brien; Fionn Holland, Sean Egan, Colin Delaney; Micheal Kerr, Ray Killeen, Gary Geoghegan. Subs: Daniel O’Sullivan for M Kerr (37), Niall Kirby for Goode (59, inj)
PARK-RATHENISKA/TIMAHOE: Benny Dowling; Cathal Kelliher, Brian Fingleton, Sean Drennan; Danny Brennan, Michael Brennan, Colm Lalor; Marc Ramsbottom, Simon Fingleton; Gavin Tynan, Ciaran Lennon, Robbie Foyle; Sean Tynan, Darragh Nolan, James Connolly. Subs: Jimmy O’Connor for Drennan (20), Paddy Kelly for S Tynan (37), Jack Shortall for S Ramsbottom (45)
REFEREE: Jamie McDonald (Rosenallis)
Clough-Ballacolla 3-19 Borris-Kilcotton 1-20
Laois IHC Group A Round 3
Clough-Ballacolla finished the group in pole position following a five point win over Borris-Kilcotton.
They will now face the losers of Trumera and The Harps in one semi final while Borris-Kilcotton will play the winners of that game in the other.
Shane Hyland grabbed a first half goal for the victors but Borris-Kilcotton took a 1-9 to 1-6 lead at half time.
But second half goals from Joe Corby and Chris Rafter led Clough-Ballacolla to victory.