Three late goals deny Monaleen a Munster Junior B hurling title:

By John Keogh Limerick Leader Sport

MONALEEN fell to a heartbreaking loss in their Munster Junior B Hurling Final after three added time goals saw Drom & Inch clinch a stunning 3-8 to 1-13 victory in Raheenagh.

The Limerick champions were seven points to the good heading into the closing stages but a hat-trick from Paul Kennedy turned defeat into victory for Drom & Inch. Monaleen still advance to the All-Ireland semi-final where they will play Ballinasloe in Raheenagh once more next Saturday.

Monaleen were the dominant team throughout the contest outside of the late drama. Eamonn O’Connell’s charges made a fine start with two Max Ivory frees and a strike from play by Dylan Crowe seeing them 0-3 to 0-1 ahead after 10 minutes.

Ivory stretched that advantage to three points with another place ball and then Monaleen took full control with Crowe latching onto Tom D’Arcy’s delivery.

Crowe turned for goal and flicked the ball beyond the onrushing Drom & Inch goalkeeper David Kinnane and into the net. Ivory then fired over his first from play to see his side 1-5 to 0-1 clear.

Kennedy was the big threat for the Tipperary side and landed two points to bring Drom & Inch to within five points with 20 minutes on the clock.

The same man had a great chance to bring Monaleen back to within two points moments later when Micheál Butler was fouled by Damien Cosgrove but was denied a goal from the resultant penalty by a smart Muiris Ó Dálaigh save.

Ivory and Harry Gleeson then responded for Monaleen to put them seven to the good but a Kennedy free saw the score at 1-7 to 0-4 at the break.

Monaleen were quick out of the blocks in the second half with Ivory finding his range with his sixth of the game. Joey Maher replied for Drom & Inch.

It was Ivory that was the star of the show for Monaleen and two further strikes after a fifth for Kennedy had Monaleen seven points clear with 44 minutes on the clock.

Kennedy gave hope of a comeback with two frees but Ivory had the answer for his side with a free and a superb strike from play seeing the score at 1-12 to 0-8 ahead heading into added time.

Nobody could foresee what was in store as referee Joe Mullins gave the signal that a minimum of two minutes would be played.

Kennedy, now operating at full forward, got his first goal after flicking Kevin Butler’s to the net from close range and then made it a one point game after slipping a shot under Ó Dalaigh moments later.

Ivory calmed Monaleen nerves with a ’65 with four minutes of additional time played but there was still time for Kennedy to deliver the most dramatic of finishes.

The Drom & Inch joint captain was in the right place at the right time to hit the back of the net once more after a slick team move to give his side a sensational one-point victory.

SCORERS – MONALEEN: Max Ivory 0-11 (0-7 frees, ’65), Dylan Crowe 1-1, Harry Gleeson 0-1.

SCORERS – DROM & INCH: Paul Kennedy 3-7 (0-6 frees), Joey Maher 0-1.

MONALEEN: Muiris Ó Dálaigh; Darragh Clifford, Damien Cosgrove, Conor Carew; Noel Clancy, Conor Nicholas, Tom D’Arcy; Ben Murnane, Conall ÓDuinn; Harry Gleeson, Cian O’Dwyer, Diarmuid Lehane; Max Ivory, Robbie O’Sullivan, Dylan Crowe.

SUBS: Ben Hayes for Gleeson (34 mins), Jack Ryan for Lehane (44 mins), Nicky O’Dwyer for D’Arcy (60 mins), Ben Mansfield for O’Sullivan (64 mins).

DROM & INCH: David Kinnane; Cathal O’Flynn, Andy Mullen, Jamie Ryan; Martin McGrath, Enda Walsh, Diarmuid Brennan; Jimmy Mullne, Jack Johnson; Joe Lupton, Joey Maher, Paul Kennedy; Kevin Butler, Micheál Butler, Daniel McAllister;

SUBS: Liam Harty for Lupton (42 mins), Rory O’Dwyer for McGrath (44 mins), Sean Duffe for Ryan (53 mins).

REFEREE: Joe Mullins (Clare.)