Colt-Shanahoe 1-13 Slieve Bloom 1-14
Laois Premier IHC Relegation Final
There was heartbreak for Colt-Shanahoe in the Centre of Excellence tonight as Slieve Bloom struck deep in injury time to relegate them to Intermediate for 2022.
Despite being reduced to 14 men after 50 minutes, it looked like Colt-Shanahoe would hold on to win when they led by two points with the game in injury time.
But when a high ball was dropped in around their goalmouth, referee Anthony Stapleton spotted a foul on Ben Conroy and spread his arms for a penalty.
Colt-Shanahoe keeper Darragh Hiney made a brilliant save to deny the aforementioned Conroy in the one-on-one contest but his younger brother Ciaran pounced on the loose ball and slammed it into the net.
Colt-Shanahoe went in search of the score that would send the game to extra time but it failed to come and they drop down a tier.
Colt-Shanahoe played against a stiff breeze in the first half but made a good start as Cian Moffit slotted a point and Robbie Delaney tested Gavin Conroy in the Slieve Bloom goals with a stinging shot which required saving.
Slieve Bloom eventually got going with points from Ben Conroy, Fergal Burke and Taidhg Cuddy.
But Colt-Shanahoe stayed in the game as two Brian McDermott frees left it 0-6 to 0-3 at the first water break.
Slieve Bloom struggled to break down a stubborn Colt-Shanahoe defence and only managed points from John Lowry and Ross Holmes in the third quarter.
Sean O’Callaghan and Brian McDermott replied for Colt-Shanahoe and, despite playing against the wind, they only trailed by 0-8 to 0-4 at half time.
Colt-Shanahoe began to eat into Slieve Bloom’s lead in the third quarter and took the lead by the second water break.
Anthony Dunne, Brian McDermott and two from Sean O’Callaghan cancelled out efforts from Ben Conroy and Evan Power before the excellent O’Callaghan smashed home a goal.
Brian McDermott converted a 65 and Colt-Shanahoe now led 1-10 to 0-12 at the second water break.
Ben Conroy levelled it up when play resumed and Colt-Shanahoe were dealt a further blow when Anthony Dunne was sent off after receiving a second yellow card.
But a Brian McDermott free and a point from Cian Moffitt rubished the numerical disadvantage for Colt-Shanahoe.
Ben Conroy replied with a point but a score from Robbie Delaney and an excellent save from Darragh Hiney kept Colt-Shanahoe ahead as we entered injury time.
But the late drama swung the game Slieve Bloom’s way and they will play at Premier Intermediate level once again in 2022.
SCORERS – Colt-Shanahoe: Brian McDermott 0-6 (four frees, one 65), Sean O’Callaghan 1-3, Cian Moffitt 0-2, Anthony Dunne and Robbie Delaney 0-1 each Slieve Bloom: Ben Conroy 0-8 (seven frees), Ciaran Conroy 1-1, Fergal Burke, Taidgh Cuddy, John Lowry, Ross Holmes and Evan Power 0-1 each
COLT-SHANAHOE: Darragh Hiney; Ger Dolan, Brian Guilfoyle, Darren Brennan; Arran McGowan, Dayle Bergin, Daniel Butler; Cian Moffitt, Robert Delaney; Shane Bowe, Sean O’Callaghan, Owen Joyce; Anthony Dunne, Paul Kerwin, Brian McDermott. Subs: Gearoid Parkinson for Joyce (55), Martin Kirwan for McDermott (57, inj)
SLIEVE BLOOM: Gavin Conroy; Ben Shore, Tom Delaney, Sean Nolan; John Lowry, Enda Conroy, Robbie Burke; Gearoid Lowry, Fergal Burke; Ross Holmes, Ciaran Conroy, Darragh Delaney; Taidgh Cuddy, Ben Conroy, Evan Power. Subs: Dylan Collins for Lowry (38)
REFEREE: Anthony Stapleton (Rathdowney-Errill)