Fintan Cox, Delvin, challenges Ryan McAuley (Ringtown) in Sunday’s Senior ‘B’ hurling game.

Delvin brought to their Nea

Ringtown 2-15, Delvin 1-17

Anthony Nea managed to find the time and space in the final seconds of injury-time to nail the winning score for Ringtown as they took the spoils in a game which ended in dramatic fashion at Lakepoint Park on Sunday.

The sides were relatively close throughout and although gaps in the scoreline did emerge from time to time, it always had the makings of a game which was going to be close. Under the beaming sunshine and in front of a strong crowd in the stands, Delvin got the better of the opening minutes before succumbing to a Ringtown spate of scores. However, the game would ultimately come down to the vision of the pass to substitute Nea, and the forwards ability to pick his score under the pressure.

Clinton, almost unmarkable from beginning to end, got the ball rolling with a fine long-ranger. Ringtown levelled but two further scores from Josh Coll and Clinton were rewards for the Delvin pressure. Nigel Mannion’s green and gold soon found their rhythm and a quickfire 1-2 helped matters greatly. Good interplay and movement ended with Conor O’Grady striking past Stephen Reilly on six minutes. A monster-catch by Ryan McAuley from Pat Burke’s puckout allowed him turn and shoot from 45 yards, before Mark Cunningham notched his first of the afternoon to make it 1-3 to 0-3. Ringtown looked livelier in most facets but that Delvin ability to break through the middle was a cause for concern. Jason Moran saw his chance for goal blocked down by Aaron Fenlon before Clinton added another at the far end. When the Ringtown backline was breached again, it was Puc Fada kingpin Pat Burke who needed all his experience to keep out Eoin Carolan’s point-blank strike on goal. When Dean Ennis struck his only point on 20-minutes it was a two-point game – Ringtown leading 1-5 to 0-6.

Approaching the half-hour, Clinton went on a cameo of his own, hitting three in as many minutes from various angles and distances to give Delvin the lead again. Despite Luke Moore’s fine 65’, Delvin tagged on another point from Patrick Farrington to go with Ross Gaffney’s green flag as he tapped in the rebound from Seán Hoctor’s goal-bound effort. At the interval, it was Delvin who were ahead by four – 1-11 to 1-7

Farrington wasted little time after the restart in taking control of possession and setting up Clinton to fire over right in the middle of the goals. From the resulting puck-out, Josh Coll added another before a quick double at the other end from Luke Moore and McAuley kept the gap between the sides low. Patrick Poynton was shown a second yellow by Jimmy Greville and the maroon would play the remaining 25 a man light. Ringtown tried to take advantage as Cunningham scored from a central spot. But Clinton, determined to drag his side across the winning line, added a simple free before his athletic catch created a chance to point, which he obliged with. At the far goals, a fantastic run by Darren Kilcoyne teed up McAuley and suddenly it was a one-score game – 1-15 to 1-12.

Heading into the final ten minutes, Ringtown were still within touching distance but needed that break. It soon came from Johnny Hardiman as the full-forward got on the end of Charles Flynn’s high-ball to take possession and pass to Seán Boylan, all in the blink, before the substitute smashed home. 2-12 to 1-15 and suddenly it was game-on again.

Clinton fired two more frees as Ringtown hit two of their own from Hardiman and Cunningham (free). As a result, matters were level with seconds to go in stoppage time. Delvin, marking well all day at the back, just drifted away at the vital moment as Anthony Nea found plenty of space near the touchline and struck cleanly to win the day for Ringtown.

Scorers - Ringtown: M Cunningham 0-6 (3 frees), R McAuley 0-4, C O'Grady, S Boylan 1-0 each, L Moore 0-3 (2 frees, 1 65'), J Hardiman, A Nea 0-1 each.

Delvin: D Clinton 0-13 (7 frees), R Gaffney 1-0, J Coll 0-2, P Farrington, D Ennis 0-1 each.

Ringtown: Pat Burke; Seán Cunningham, Niall Moran, Ciarán Moran; Ryan Moore, Charles Flynn, Dominic Flynn; Mark Cunningham, Darren Kilcoyne; Conor O'Grady, Luke Moore, Ryan McAuley; Jeff Nea, Johnny Hardiman, Jason Moran. Subs used: Paul Nangle for D Flynn (21), Anthony Nea for J Nea (39), Seán Boylan for J Moran.

Delvin: Stephen Reilly; Aaron Fenlon, Patrick Clune, Francis McGrath; Liam Carolan, Adam Ennis, Fintan Cox; Patrick Poynton, Patrick Farrington; Darragh Clinton, Killian Murphy, Josh Coll; Seán Hoctor, Eoin Carolan, Dean Ennis. Subs used: Ross Gaffney for E Carolan (inj., 22), Jack Forde for Cox (29), Oliver Cassidy for D Ennis (56).

Referee: Jimmy Greville (Raharney).

Examiner's Eye on game

Man of the match

Darragh Clinton (Delvin): The impressive Clinton probably did not deserve to end up on the losing side but such is the drama of sport. Cunningham, Kilcoyne, McAuley all particularly impressive for Ringtown also.

Score of the match

The Boylan goal for the deftest of touches from Hardiman to set him up for the chance.

What it means

Delvin head into a relegation play-off against Brownstown with the two sides level at the basement on two-points apiece.