Extra-time unable to produce hurling winner

Although the score-line may have more in common with a football game, extra-time was unable to separate Manorhamilton and Gortletteragh in last Saturday’s Leitrim Senior Hurling Championship Final in Pairc Sean Mac Diarmada, favourites Manorhamilton rescuing the draw in extra-time.

Although the score-line may have more in common with a football game, extra-time was unable to separate Manorhamilton and Gortletteragh in last Saturday’s Leitrim Senior Hurling Championship Final in Pairc Sean Mac Diarmada, favourites Manorhamilton rescuing the draw in extra-time.

By John Connnolly

Gortletteragh 1-7

Manorhamilton 2-4

With Gortletteragh pressing and pressing in the second period of extra-time, it took the composed David Poniard and the solid Rossa O’Snodaigh to ensure that the favourites would live to see another day as Gortletteragh almost turned the form-book upside down.

There was a feeling in the air that Manorhamilton may have felt the job was done after their last gasp victory over Carrick but there was nothing normal that you would expect from this encounter.

Going into the game, you’d expect that Manor’s Gary Hickey and Micheal Dolan and Gortletteragh’s Tomas Beirne would dominate the scoring charts as they had in the semi-finals and while Hickey did score three points, none of the trio dominated in the way you’d expect.

Instead it was David Poniard and Conor Beirne and keepers Tommy McLoughlin and Rossa O’Snodaigh who were the dominant personalities in a game that didn’t live up the high standards of the semi-finals but lacked none of the intensity, nor the excitement of those games.

With Gortletteragh hitting some awful wides in the closing stages of normal time, two Gary Hickey frees looked to have done enough to sneak a fortunate Manorhamilton over the line before Cathal McCrann scored a wonderful 50 yard free from the right sideline to send the game to extra-time.

Extra time was woefully short on scores, just one point apiece, but it was far from short of excitement as both teams missed frees and saw their keepers make vital clearances as the difficult and wet conditions took their toll on the technical abilities of both teams.

To read the full story see this week’s Leitrim Observer.