CAPTAIN Seaghan Duffy swung over a point four minutes into injury-time to save Ardnaree’s Intermediate championship status and relegate Lahardane to the Junior ranks in a dramatic finale at a sodden St Tiernan’s Park on Saturday afternoon.
Ardnaree conceded a goal in the opening attack of the game, but they fought back from being five points down in the 26th minute to lead by 1-6 to 1-5 at the interval.
They seemed to be in control of the contest early in the second period when they eased themselves two points clear, with scores from Shane and John Timlin, but three Lahardane points on the spin gave Paul Ginty’s men the narrowest of leads.
Cathal Noone converted a free to level for the Ardnaree men six minutes from time, but they were left staring at the relegation trapdoor when Shane Finnerty swung over a brilliant point in the final minute of normal time.
Ardnaree piled forward, feverishly looking for the score to send the game to extra-time, and they got that (and more) when, first, Noone converted a close-range free to draw them level in the second minute of injury time.
And when Lahardane needlessly turned over possession deep into stoppage-time, Duffy stepped up to land the winner and seal Ardnaree’s place in the Intermediate grade for 2023.
B Ginty; A McGinty, S Jackson, L Grant; C Burke (0-2), M Walsh, P Timlin; S Timlin (0-2), R O’Malley; C Walsh, J Timlin (1-2), H Regan; N Beattie, J Doherty, S Duffy (0-3,1f).
Subs used: J Crean for Beattie; C Noone (0-2,2fs) for Walsh; E Convey for Doherty; M Rafter for Grant.
J Queenan; K Lynn, B Leonard, M Murphy; K Loftus, Jarlath Maughan, D Walsh; M Noone, S Finnerty (0-5,4fs); S Loftus, James Maughan (1-0), K Jordan (0-2); C Reilly, A Leonard (0-1), M Maughan (0-1).
Subs used: J Mulhern for Queenan; J McHale (0-1) for S Loftus; C Finnerty for M Maughan.
Referee: G McMahon (Davitts)