Naomh Moninne's Feidhelm Joyce and Conor Kerrigan of Knockbridge during Thursday night's Senior Hurling Championship clash at Dowdallshill. (Pic: Arthur Kinahan)
Senior Hurling Championship
Knockbridge 3-15 Naomh Moninne 3-13
Knockbridge qualified for the Senior Hurling Championship final on Thursday night after a late scoring burst saw them over Naomh Moninne in Dowdallshill.
Holders Moninne looked on course for the victory which would have sent St. Fechin’s automatically into the decider, and Knockbridge into a semi-final with the Black and Amber.
However, two goals in a minute entering the dying embers of a topsy-turvy contest saw the Reds reach the decider for the second time in three years. Last year’s final pair, Moninne and Fechin’s, will meet to determine the other showpiece contender.
The first of Ronan Geoghegan’s three goals installed Moninne with a 1-3 to 0-4 lead after 10 minutes following a start which saw Knockbridge open the scoring through Gareth Hall.
And the gap was bridged when the younger Geoghegan sibling, Darren, knocked over another point to put Moninne 1-6 to 0-5 in front.
But, defiant, the Reds closed the opening half the stronger and through points from Ronan Byrne and Shane Fennell (2), reduced their deficit to the minimum at the break; 0-8 to 1-6.
Feidhelm Joyce put Brian Brady’s side two ahead with the first score of the second half; however, five of the next six minors would go to Knockbridge, with Fennell and Hall among the registrars, as they took a 0-13 to 1-8 advantage.
Darren Geoghegan cut the Reds’ lead to one before Ronan buried his second goal past James King with 19 minutes to play.
Knockbridge responded with a goal of their own from David Kettle, but four points out of five followed for Moninne who led 2-13 to 1-14 with three minutes to play.
Then came Knockbridge’s power play. Hall and Peter Brennan goaled inside 60 seconds, forcing the winners four in front.
Ronan Geoghegan’s third major came in injury time to close Moninne to within a point, but Gerry McKeown completed the scoring, with a point for the ‘Bridge, as the champions finished with 13 players following the dismissals of Paul Challoner (second yellow) and John Martin.
Knockbridge: James King; Stephen Hoey, Ronan Byrne (0-1, free), Stephen Kettle; Mark Wallace, Conor Kerrigan, Andrew Smyth; Gerry McKeown (0-2), Shane Kerrigan; David Kettle (1-2), Gareth Hall (1-2), Seán Marry; Shane Fennell (0-7, six frees), Peter Brennan (1-1), Ciarán Deane
Subs: Conor Deane for Ciarán Deane, Robert Wallace for Marry
Naomh Moninne: Donal Connolly; Donal Lee, Chris Lennon, Paul Challoner; Matthew Fee, Diarmuid Murphy, Stephen Rafferty; Darren O’Hanrahan (0-1), Feidhelm Joyce (0-1); Pádraig Fallon, Johnny Carter, Darren Geoghegan (0-10, seven frees); Ronan Geoghegan (3-0), Óisín Drumm, Dáire Flanagan
Subs: John Martin (0-1) for Carter, Ultan McEnaney for O’Hanrahan, Ciarán McGlynn for Flanagan, Stephen Ryan for Drumm
Referee: Jim O’Rourke (Monaghan)