Birr attacker Luke Nolan.
Belmont secured the most unlikely of wins in terrible conditions in O’Connor Park this evening with a dramatic long-range free in injury time.
Molloy Environmental Systems Senior Hurling Championship Round 3
The game burst to life in the final five minutes when David Nally equalised in the low-scoring affair with two minutes to go.
Paddy Clancy popped up to put Belmont in front for the first time after 61 minutes. Birr looked to have snatched a draw when Eoghan Cahill converted a free a minute later.
However, with seconds left Belmont won a free around half way, very close to the sideline. David Nally then stepped up to send over an unbelievable score to seal the winning point.
Birr had time for one final attack but Belmont held firm for a memorable win.
They also had Barry Egan to thank for an amazing penalty save from Eoghan Cahill with 47 minutes played. He dived brilliantly down to his right to save the shot at the expense of a 65.
Playing with the breeze in heavy showers, Birr were 0-4 to 0-1 in front by the first water break with pointed frees from Eoghan Cahill and a well worked score from play by Luke Nolan.
Belmont’s only score in that period was a great effort from David Nally from distance.
Conditions continued their atrocious nature and by the break, Birr led by 0-6 to 0-3. The pick of the points in that half came from Eoghan Cahill out by the sideline just before the break.
Belmont did have a goal chance in that period when Damien Egan pulled first time on a ball in mid air, but his shot flashed just wide.
There was also a worrying moment when Lochlann Nolan took a heavy knock, with Belmont players reacting quickly to put him in the recovery position, but thankfully he was able to continue.
The opening quarter of the second half was pretty unremarkable with the most action being for those running on with towels to help dry hurley grips, with Belmont scoring three points before Birr finally converted that 65.
Birr – Eoghan Cahill 0-7 (3 frees, 1 65), Luke Nolan, Brendan Murphy and Colm Mulrooney 0-1.
Belmont- David Nally 0-8 (6 frees, 1 65), Paddy Clancy, Leon Fox (free) and Colin Egan 0-1 each.
Birr: Brian Mullins; Jimmy Irwin, Brian Watkins, Padraic Watkins; Sean Ryan, Rory Carty, Eoin Pilkington; Colm Mulrooney, Barry Harding; Brendan Murphy, Dylan Quegan, Luke Nolan; Lochlann Quinn, Morgan Watkins, Eoghan Cahill. Subs: Stephen Lonergan for Brian Watkins, Paddy Mullins for Lochlan Quinn (both 34 mins), Niall Lyons for Morgan Watkins (55 mins)
Belmont: Barry Egan; Shane Nally, Conor Butler, Liam Browne; Paddy Clancy, Leon Fox, Ronan Butler; Alan Egan, Jack Egan; Adam Egan, Damien Egan, Colin Egan; Cathal Flynn, David Nally, Mark Egan. Sub: Jack Clancy for Adam Egan, Mark Cahill for Ronan Butler (48 mins)
Referee: Brian Gavin (Clara).
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