This was a game which Fourmilewater should have won comfortably, but a combination of poor shooting and poor second half tactics allowed county and Munster champions De La Salle to come from behind to snatch a late draw. Hurling, apparently, has been given much more emphasis this year in the eternal tug-of-war between FMW and the Nire, and it showed, as the Ballymacarbry-based outfit got stuck in from the off and, combining well, they repeatedly tore holes in the De La Salle defence.
They got a tonic of a start when corner forward and county minor star Jamie Barron flicked cleverly to the net in the second minute after full forward Shane Walsh had created the opening. Despite playing against a stiff breeze, FMW dominated the first half exchanges and went in at half time 1-8 to 1-5 ahead, De La Salle’s goal having been scored half way through the half by Eoin Madigan who was put in by Jake Dillon.
De La Salle raised their game on the restart and quickly restored scoring parity before FMW came back strongly, but some terrible shooting from out the field with the wind at their back meant they made little impression on the scoreboard. Amazingly, FMW left both Jamie Barron and Shane Walsh in the full forward line where they watched shot after shot from out the field sail over their heads. In all, FMW had ten second half wides to De La Salle’s three. FMW persisted with their interpassing game right to the end, and while they did create enough scoring chances to win the game handily, either they should have mixed it by sending in more ball to the full forward line or should have brought Barron out the field where his shooting accuracy could have been put the better use.
It was nip and tuck for the last ten minutes with both sides trading points and, with time running out and FMW a single point ahead, Kevin Moran came up the field to win a free which Brian Phelan converted to tie up the game at the final whistle.
FMW: Conor Ryan; Tomás O’Gorman; Rory Rice; Liam Walsh; Maurice O’Gorman; Liam Lawlor; Shane Lawlor; Seamus Lawlor (0-1); Brian Wall; Michael O’Gorman (0-1); Alan Lawlor (0-3); Craig Guiry; Shane Ryan; Shane Walsh (0-3); Jamie Barron (1-5, 3 frees). Subs used: Justin Walsh; Richie Fenton.
De La Salle: John Coady; Kenneth Byrne; Ian Flynn; Michael Doherty; Brian Phelan (0-4, all frees); Kevin Moran; Conan Watt; Eddie Barrett; Dean Twomey; Páidí Nevin (0-1); Jake Dillon (0-2); David Greene (0-1); Eoin Madigan (1-1); John Mullane (0-4, one free), Lee Hayes. Subs used: Stephen Daniels; Shane McNulty.