Saturday 20th April, 7PM
Breaffy fought back from behind to snatch a dramatic late draw against Claremorris on Saturday night. The home side lead throughout the tie before a last-gasp Tommy O’Reilly goal levelled the scores to earn Breaffy their second draw of this season’s League. O’Reilly broke through at the death and his scuffed shot somehow found its way to goal following some goalmouth pinball. This was to be the last action of the game, with the referee immediately blowing for full-time before the hosts had an opportunity to restart.
Claremorris roared out of the blocks and lead by four points to no score after the opening five minutes of play. Stephen McGreal registered a brace of points and his strong running from midfield was causing Breaffy early problems. The visitor’s first reply came from the boot of McGreal’s opposite number Robbie Fadden whose fine long-range strike split the posts.
Conor O’Shea added a further point from a free before a fine piece of quick thinking from James Shaughnessy saw Claremorris register the opening goal of the game. The corner forward struck a quick free kick into the back of the net before the Breaffy defence had time to set and a further Claremorris score extended the home side’s lead to six points after 15 minutes of play.
To their credit, Breaffy rallied and another Conor O’Shea pointed free and a fine fisted effort from Daire Morrin helped to reduce the deficit. In fact Breaffy were unlucky not to register a goal of their own soon after, when Colm Flynn got a flick to a high ball into the Claremorris area, only for a covering defender to clear.
Two further Claremorris scores, and a solitary reply from Breaffy’s Conor Beirne closed out the opening half, and Breaffy returned to the dressing rooms trailing by five points, 1-7 to 5.
The visitors started the second half brightly and Liam Irwin pointed from a free within the opening minute. The South Mayo men replied immediately before a fine point from Colm Flynn again reduced the deficit.
Breaffy were again unlucky not to raise a green flag when Tommy O’Reilly’s palmed effort was superbly deflected over the bar by the Claremorris goalkeeper. O’Reilly settled for the point and popped up to add another from play soon after to cut the gap to 2 points.
However, Claremorris once again took control and tagged on the next two scores through the impressive James Stretton and another from Shaughnessy with the clock ticking over 60 minutes.
However, due to an earlier injury to Colum Dravins, picked up when executing a fine block in defence, there was still ample time to play. A pointed free from Conor O’Shea and a second point of the game for Conor Beirne reduced the gap to two. Colin Gill put Claremorris back 3 points ahead and Claremorris may have felt they had done enough to secure victory. That assumption did not factor for O’Reilly’s intervention, however, and the Breaffy man’s late strike was enough to earn a valuable point for his side.
P. Walsh, D. Cannon, C. Kelly, M. Dervan, M. Hall, C. Beirne (0-2), D. Morrin (0-1), C. Flynn (0-1), R. Fadden (0-2), T. O’Reilly (1-2), R. Martyn, S. McDermott, L. Irwin(0-1), C. O’Shea (0-3), B. Murphy. Subs: G. Dunne, K. Mulchrone, P. McDermott, E. Morrin.