Salthill Hotel Senior Hurling Relegation Final – Saturday, 20th October 2018
Beagh 1-19 Moycullen 0-20
Darren Kelly in Loughrea
Nobody could question the desire of these two teams on Saturday as this contest had all the hallmarks of what spectators crave in a county final. There was relentless endeavour but both teams, twists and turns aplenty, and still hung on the very last chance.
Beagh led 1-12 to 0-14 on 41 minutes after Joe Gantley split the posts before Anraoi Whyte levelled for the ninth time. However, it kickstarted a Moycullen purple patch that looked enough to extend their seven-year stay in senior hurling.
Niall Mannion put them ahead on the three-quarter mark before an Eanna Noone double (including his third sideline cut) and substitute Fionn Mac Donnacha made it 0-19 to 1-12 entering the final 10 minutes.
SHC Relegation Final Latest in #Loughrea
— Galway Daily (@GalwayDaily) October 20, 2018
Beagh hadn’t won a game all year – league or championship! And with county star Adrian Tuohey injured, their 12th fixture looked doomed but they dug deep down to deliver a breathtaking spell that altered the club’s immediate future.
John Moylan began the comeback on 51 minutes before Rory Gantley rolled back the years with two stunning shots. When wing back Tommy McKeown stepped up on 56 minutes to point from distance, the sides were level for the 10th time.
Beagh kept going as Evan Hunt set up Rory Gantley for the lead; then Hunt converted himself; before Moylan bookended this seven-point sequence making it 1-19 to 0-19. A late 20-metre free seemed destined for the inevitable equaliser but Noone fell to his knees as his shot drifted over the crossbar.
Moycullen led 0-10 to 0-9 at half-time but when Keehan got in for Beagh’s goal on 32 minutes, it set the south Galway team up leading 1-10 to 0-11. However, Moycullen responded quickly through Niall Mannion and a Noone sideline.
Rory Gantley and Conneely traded again before Joe Gantley gave Beagh their 1-12 to 0-14 lead. In a finish like high stakes poker, Moycullen hit five on the spin. But Beagh saw their five and raised them two! That was enough to ensure they survived.
Scorers – Beagh: Rory Gantley 0-11 (six frees), Kevin Keehan 1-0, Tommy McKeown 0-2, Evan Hunt 0-2, Joe Gantley 0-2, John Moylan 0-2.
Scorers – Moycullen: Eanna Noone 0-11 (five frees, three sidelines), Anraoi Whyte 0-2, Seamus O Conghaile 0-2, Niall Mannion 0-2, Danny Gleeson 0-1, Gary Bohan 0-1, Fionn Mac Donnacha 0-1.
Beagh: Stephen Diviney; Cormac Neilan, Adrian Diviney, Michael Geaghan; Enda Tuohey, Eoin Mahon, Tommy McKeown; Brian McGuane, Evan Hunt; Joe Gantley, Kevin Keehan, John Moylan; Padraic Landers, Jonathan Morris, Rory Gantley.
Subs used: Kieran Diviney for McGuane (53 mins).
Moycullen: Micheal Bohan; Sean McDermott, Vincent Faherty, Seosamh O Fatharta; Kevin Donovan, Mark Lydon, Matthew Donohue; Eanna Noone, Danny Gleeson; Pat Lydon, Christopher Hurney, Anraoi Whyte; Gary Bohan, Seamus O Conghaile, Niall Mannion.
Subs used: Tom O’Connor for G Bohan (41 mins), Fionn Mac Donnacha for Mannion (48 mins).
Referee: Liam Gordon (Killimor)