/ GAA

Rower Inistioge 1-16 Kilnadeema 1-09 (aet)

Updated: Sunday, 09 Feb 2014 12:10 | Comments

Kilnadeema-Leitrim's Michael Donohue and Kieran Joyce of Rower Inistioge in action
Kilnadeema-Leitrim's Michael Donohue and Kieran Joyce of Rower Inistioge in action

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Rower-Inistioge became the fourth Kilkenny club to claim AIB All-Ireland Intermediate Hurling honours, thanks to a 1-16 to 1-09 win over Galway's Kilnadeema-Leitrim after extra-time at Croke Park.

But the Junior final is set for a replay, after Creggan Kickhams of Antrim and Waterford's Ballysaggart played out a 2-21 to 5-12 draw after extra-time in the curtain raiser.

4,310 watched on as Rower put a poor first-half display in normal time behind them to lift silverware.

The Kilkenny and Leinster champions fired 11 wides inside the opening half hour, in a first half that was played with driving wind and heavy rain throughout.

A 30th-minute point from captain Michael Grace handed Kilkenny a 0-04 to 0-03 interval lead, with Grace, Tom Murphy and Ruairí Galavan getting Rower Inistioge's other scores.

Tom Tierney and Brian Molloy kept Kilnadeema-Leitrim in touch, but Rower began the second half in impressive fashion.

David Lyng fired their 12th wide, before the opening goal of this game arrived in the 32nd minute.

Ciarán Ryan cut loose from the Kilnadeema-Leitrim defence and burst forward with great pace, before despatching the ball past Kevin Boyle.

Ryan's goal handed Rower-Inistioge a 1-04 to 0-03 lead, before Molloy and Joe Lyng traded points.

Rower were unlucky not to add a second goal from Grace, while at the opposite end 30 seconds later a Liam Geraghty goal cut the gap to a point in the 42nd minute.

Both sides were guilty of some missed chances, before Molloy equalised for Kilnadeema with 13 minutes of normal time remaining.

Rower and Kilnadeema continued to trade points, but it looked like the Kilkenny side would be crowned champions as they moved 1-08 to 1-07 ahead on the stroke of injury-time.

However Molloy claimed his fifth point late on to force extra-time.

Kilnadeema moved ahead 90 seconds into injury-time following a Geraghty point, but they wouldn't score again, as Rower registered eight points without reply to take the title.

After the game Rower-Inistioge captain Michael Grace accepted the cup from GAA President Liam Ó Neill, while their goalkeeper Liam Tierney claimed the AIB Man of the Match award, following some fine saves throughout.

Earlier, Creggan Kickhams and Ballysaggart were inseparable in the Junior decider after extra-time.

The sides were level on three occasions inside the opening five minutes, but once Stephen Bennett bagged a speculative goal in the eighth minute, it put Ballysaggart on the front foot for large periods of normal time.

Goals from Shane Bennett and Ronan Walsh helped Ballysaggart to a 3-06 to 0-06 interval advantage, and they moved ten points ahead early on the restart.

This was the biggest gap between the sides, with Creggan Kickhams launching a firm comeback.

A Conor Small goal helped bring the Antrim and Ulster champions back into contention, with Oran and Conor McCann causing the Ballysaggart defence huge problems.

The latter bagged Kickhams second goal from a 50th-minute penalty, and although Ballysaggart led by 3-10 to 2-12 for the closing eight minutes, the UUJ student again stepped up under pressure to convert a free from midfield deep in injury-time to force extra-time.

A brace of Oran McCann points pushed Creggan ahead in extra-time, before Shane Bennett netted for Ballysaggart.

Creggan were reduced to 14 men following the dismissal of midfielder Sam Maguire on a second yellow card, but four points in a row, two either side of the break saw them moved 2-19 to 4-10 in front.

Both teams traded points on two occasions, before Shane Bennett's last-minute goal forced a replay.

After the game Conor McCann was awarded the AIB Man of the Match.

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