Medtronic hurlers have regained the All Ireland Senior Hurling title for the first time since the 2013 season with a dramatic last-gasp victory over reigning champions Banagher Concrete in the final at Duggan Park, Ballinasloe during the week.
Castlegars’ Ger Farragher, was the hero of the hour with a sideline cut deep in injury time to seal a 0-16 to 1-12 victory.
After opening the scoring, in the first minute, Medtronic trailed thereafter until the 54th minute. After being pulled back twice in the closing stages, and with extra time on the cards, Ger Farragher stepped up to slot over a sideline cut.
The Offaly side had dominated the opening half and with the aid of an Oisin Kelly goal in the fourth minute, had led by five at the end of the opening quarter. Medtronic, however, battled their way back into the contest to trail by two at the interval.
Medtronic enjoyed a lot of possession in the second half, but wayward shooting was proving costly, while Banagher Concrete were doing just enough to keep Medtronic at bay.
However the Galway champions levelled the contest level twice in the closing stages before Farragher’s winning score.
Dean Higgins had opened the scoring when he ran through the heart of the Banagher defence in the opening minute. Banagher quickly levelled when Aaron Kenny pointed before a long delivery from Shane Kinsella found Oisin Kelly inside. He turned and fired home to put Banagher in front.
Sean Hardiman reduced the arrears after good work from Mark Horan, while a Ger Farragher free inside his own half narrowed the gap to the minimum by the eighth minute.
Two Matthew Maloney frees left three between the sides by the ninth minute, and it could have been worse but for Andrew Fahy's super save from Oisin Kelly.
Banagher had stretched the lead to five at the end of the opening quarter, but a brace of Niall Healy frees early in the second quarter kept Medtronic in touch.
Banagher bagged another brace of Maloney frees before Medtronic finished the half with frees from Farragher and Healy, and an excellent effort from Damien Joyce.
Half time: Banagher Concrete 1-07 0-08 Medtronic
Niall Healy quickly reduced the deficit to the minimum with a fine effort from play in the 34th minute, but the Galway side could not shake off Banagher, who led by three once more.
Although Healy narrowed the gap, the Offaly side went two clear as the match entered the final quarter.
Medtronic, however, were beginning to find their range and three unanswered points put them in front through Niall Healy, with his seventh point, and two Farragher points.
Ger Farragher levelled the contest for the first time since the opening minutes with a free from distance in the 52th minuteThe comeback was complete when Farragher split the posts from a ’65 with six minutes remaining.
In an exciting finish, Maloney twice tied the scores, and as the match entered the final added minute, Medtronic won a side line cut about 50 metres out, and Ger Farragher held his cool.
Medtronic: A Fahy, F O’Grady, J Collins, E.Cleary, G Grealish, M Corcoran, M Horan, G Farragher (0-6, 3f, ’65, sideline cut ), K Lee, D Dolan, D Joyce(0-1 ), D Higgins (0-1 ), D Earls, N Healy (0-7 5f ), S Hardiman (0-1 ) Subs: S Cooney, P McHugo, K Briscoe, T Kenny, C Hurney
Referee: Donnacha O’Callaghan(Limerick )