Buffers Alley tripped at final hurdle!

Report from the Irish Independent

A stunning last-minute Ciaran Ryan point broke Buffers Alley hearts and gave Rower-Inistioge their first Leinster hurling title in Bellefield.Buffers Alley v Kilmessan

The 39th-minute substitute, who missed a much easier effort moments before the winner, sent over an incredible score from the left touchline to send the Kilkenny side’s fans into delirium.

The sublime winner, which broke a 1-7 to 0-10 deadlock, was immediately followed by a Sean Lyster clincher to send the title back to Kilkenny for the second year in succession.

Buffers Alley – who were All-Ireland senior club champions in 1989 – were aiming to become the first Wexford club side since 1998 to win a Leinster title. Initial signs proved positive for the Monamolin men as they breezed into the lead.

Keith Burke and Tomas Dempsey both found the target in the opening quarter to give the hosts a 0-6 to 0-2 lead. But it was county U-21 star Andrew Kenny who shone brightest, scoring an array of excellent points.

Shane Grannell missed Buffers Alley’s best chance of a major breakthrough in the last minute of the opening half but the Slaneysiders led 0-8 to 0-5 at the break.

Rower Inistioge hit the front in the 35th minute when Sean Grace found David Lyng in acres of space close to goal and the towering forward converted to make it 1-6 to 0-8.

It remained nip and tuck until the end, with both sides missing chances to take the lead, until Ryan held his nerve late on to give Rower-Inistioge the title.

Scorers – Rower-Inistioge: D Lyng 1-0, C Bolger 0-2, S Lyster, C Joyce, J Lyng, C Ryan, K Joyce (f), M Grace (f), P Sheehan (f) 0-1 each. Buffers Alley: A Kenny 0-5, K Burke 0-2 (f), T Dempsey, S Grannell, T O’Leary 0-1 each.

Rower Inistioge – L Tierney; E Doyle, S Cummins, J Doyle; R Galavan, K Joyce, S Lyster; S Grace, P Tierney; M Grace, D Lyng, C Joyce; C Bolger, J Lyng, J Cassin. Subs: P Sheehan for Cassin (h-t), C Ryan for P Tierney (39), T Murphy for D Lyng (41).

Buffers Alley – S Kavanagh; R Kirwan, Bobby Kenny, P Reidy; K Roche, C Kenny, Barry Kenny; T Dempsey, S Og Whelan; K Burke, W Doran, S Grannell; A Kenny, T O’Leary, P Roche. Subs: R O’Leary for P Roche (42).

Ref – A Stapleton (Laois)