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Late penalty drama as Cratloe just edge it

Cratloe 0-15   Wolfe Tones 0-14

THE big talking point at the end of this senior championship tie at Cusack Park on Saturday evening was whether or not Wolfe Tones made the right decision in going for a goal from a penalty in the final seconds of the game.
Gareth McPhillips’ effort for a goal rebounded off the crossbar and the final whistle sounded, leaving the Shannon side a point behind and now depending on other results to get them to the play-off stages of the championship.

Cratloe's Cathal McInerney strikes as John Guilfoyle tries to hook . Photograph Mike Mulcaire

A draw would have left both teams level on points with one game to play. For much of the game a draw looked the likely outcome.
They were level seven times in all before Seán Chaplin hit the winning score a minute from the end. It was a victory that Cratloe just about deserved as they had been the better balanced side on the day.
The early exchanges were even and it was 0-5 each with 22 minutes played. Wolfe Tones then hit a purple patch and scored four points without reply in a five-minute spell to go four clear.
Cratloe finished the half strongly with a brace of Damian Browne points and they started the second half with scores from Conor McGrath and Browne to level the game at 0-9 each.
The Shannon men went two clear again but by the end of the third quarter they were level at 0-12 each and a draw was increasingly likely.
Five minutes later they had added a point each to leave the game at 0-13 apiece with 10 minutes to play.
A Seán Chaplin point had the winners back in front with eight minutes left. Wolfe Tones piled on the pressure and both David Reidy from a free and substitute Gareth McPhillips came close to scoring. McPhillips saw his effort well saved by Cratloe goalkeeper Seán Hawes.
When Declan O’Rourke scored his third point of the evening, two minutes from time to level the tie for the seventh and final time, few would have bet against a share of the spoils being the final outcome.
However, Cratloe had other ideas and Seán Chaplin fired over an impressive point to put his team back into the lead with a minute still to play.
With the game in the first minute of injury time, McPhillips was fouled but his piledriver penalty came back off the crossbar leaving,
Cratloe a point in front and, in the view of most followers, a step closer to the quarter-finals.
Barry Duggan, Michael Hawes, Cathal McInerney, Liam Markham, Seán Collins and Conor McGrath made valuable contributions for Cratloe. John Coen, Frank Lohan, Barry Loughnane and Gary Leahy did well for the Shannon side

Cratloe: Seán Hawes; Philip Gleeson, Barry Duggan, David Ryan; Cathal McInerney, Michael Hawes, Liam Markham; Martin ‘Ogie’ Murphy, Damian Browne; Seán  Collins, Pádraig Chaplin, Seán  Chaplin; Gearoid Ryan, Aidan Browne, Conor McGrath.
Subs: Jonathon Reidy for G Ryan (inj) 30 minutes; James Enright for P Chaplin (58 minutes).
Scorers: Damian Browne (0-7), 6 frees; Seán  Collins, Conor McGrath, Seán Chaplin, Aidan Browne (0-2 each).
Frees: 13; Wides: 8
“The important thing today was to get a gritty performance and we did.” Mike Deegan, Cratloe.

Wolfe Tones: Ray Carley; Gary O’Connell, John Coen, Frank Lohan; Barry Loughnane, Bobby McPhillips, Stephen McInerney; Brian O’Connell, David Reidy; Brendan Hughes Patsy Keyes, Gary Leahy; John Leahy, Declan O’Rourke, Daithi O’Connell.
Subs: Alan Hehir for Guilfoyle( 40 minutes); Gareth McPhillips for McInerney (53 minutes).
Scorers: David Reidy (2 frees), Bobby McPhillips (3 fres), Declan O’Rourke (0-3) each; Gary Leahy (0-2); Gary O’Connell, Barry Loughnane, Daithi O’Connell (0-1) each
Frees: 12; Wides: 6
“It’s just one of those days. It’s out of our hands now but we live in hope.” John Markham, Wolfe Tones

Referee: Ger Hoey, Killanena

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