Farragher points Medtronic to another county success

Medtronic regained the Galway interfirms senior hurling title with just a single point to spare, 0-20 to 3-10, over a gallant Supermac's/Boston amalgamation team in the Connacht Centre of Excellence on Saturday.

In a keenly-contested final played in ideal conditions, both sides were evenly matched - level on eight occasions throughout the hour.

Playing in their first senior decider, last season’s All Ireland junior champions were on top for long stages of the match, and it was not until the final quarter that Medtronic took the lead for the first time. Similar to last season’s All Ireland journey, Supermac's had the knack of scoring crucial goals, hitting the back of the Medtronic net on three occasions with Eanna Murphy, John McDonagh and Ronan Murphy all on target, but the more experienced Medtronic never panicked. And with the accurate Ger Farragher in form, the city side prevailed in an exciting finish.

The Supermac's amalgamation side enjoyed a dream start when indecision in the Medtronic defence led to the two Murphys combining, with Eanna firing home in the opening minute.

Despite the early goal, and former Galway minor Evan Niland causing all sorts of problems, Medtronic hit back with a Niall Healy free and a fine effort from Dean Higgins to reduce the arrears to the minimum after six minutes.

Supermac's/Boston continued to dominate, winning a lot of the individual battles, and points from Evan Niland, Ronan Murphy and Niall Forde stretched their advantage to four with 11 minutes gone.

The pendulum then swung Medtronic's way. A brace of points each from Ger Farragher and Niall Healy all from placed balls, including a 65, had the sides level for the first time on 20 minutes.

Niland, with an excellent effort, and Damien Joyce then traded points before a brace from Niland again had Supermac's/Boston two clear with four minutes remaining in the opening half.

Farragher, from a 65, and Niland exchanged further scores with Farragher bringing an exciting first half to a close with Supermacs/Boston just ahead at the interval by 1-7 - 0-9.

Ger Farragher with his fifth point levelled the contest once more in the opening minute before Supermac's struck for goal number two. A long delivery from Niland caused the Medtronic rearguard all sorts of problems with John McDonagh poking home to put Supermac's/Boston three clear in the 34th minute.

However, Medtronic got on top around the centre and half back line. Five points on the bounce put them two in front early in the final quarter, but two pointed frees from Farragher and an excellent effort from Dean Higgins had the sides level again in the 42nd minute.

Farragher, from another free, edged Medtronic in front just as the match entered the final quarter, and Dean Higgins fired over from distance to stretch it to two.

Supermac's/Boston, however, were not finished. Niall Forde pulled one back before they struck the back of the net for a third time. Good work inside found Ronan Murphy who made no mistake to put his side back in front by two in the 48th minute.

Medtronic quickly replied with three Farragher points to edge in front by one with nine minutes remaining, and exchanges fast and furious during the closing stages, neither side would yield in a tight match.

Again Supermac's/Boston replied - Niland's two frees pushing them in front before Farragher, with his 12th point of the contest, had the sides level with four minutes remaining.

With extra time looming in a compelling contest, Man of the Match Ger Farragher had the final say with two minutes remaining.

Supermac's/Boston continued to battle until the final whistle, and they had a late chance to force extra time, but Evan Niland was unlucky to see his free drift wide of the posts - Medtronic holding on to qualify for an All Ireland semi-final clash with Carey Glass from Nenagh in the coming weeks.

Medtronic: J Downey, F O Grady, J Collins, E Cleary, C Raftery, M Corcoran, M Horan, D Earls, G Farragher (0-13, 4f, 2 65’ ), D Higgins(0-3 ), D Joyce(0-1 ), K Briscoe, S McInerney, N Healy(0-3, 2f ), K Kelly. Subs: A Bellow, T Kenny, S Hardiman.

Supermacs/Boston: P Daly, P Monaghan, C Daly, C McDonagh, A Daly, J Shields, D Skehill, C Caulfield, N Forde(0-2 ), G Dervin, J McDonagh(1-0 ), T Hoban, E Murphy(1-0 ), E Niland(0-7, 4f ), R Murphy(1-1 ). Subs: C Earls, A Wade, C Jones.

Referee: Paul Fahy.

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