The grand old local rivals of the small ball game could not be separated in Tooreen last Sunday and they will have to do it all over again this Sunday in Ballyhanuis with the Mayo Senior Hurling Championship title still up for grabs. Tooreen will feel that they should have won this game leading by seven with less than a quarter of the game to go last Sunday, but it was not to be as a three-in-a-row chasing Ballyhaunis battled back to grab a draw at the death.
It was the visitors who hit the ground running with a Stephen Hoban goal putting them into a 1-2 to 0-1 lead, but Tooreen bounced back with points from David Kenny and Cathal Freeman to get them moving. They kept the foot down until the end of the first half and went in leading by 0-8 t0 1-4, with Kenny Feeney hitting four out of a five point run and Sean Regan landing the other to edge themsleves in front after half-an-hour.
The hosts were the more impressive side after the restart and led 1-14 to 1-7 with 12 minutes to go with Cathal Freeman finding the back of the net, but Ballyhaunis dug deep and outscored Tooreen 1-5 to 0-1 down the home stretch, with Tadgh Butler grabbing the three pointer and Keith Higgins holding his nerve to send over an equalising free in injury time.
The sides will do it all again this Sunday at 1.30pm in Ballyhaunis, but there will not be any time to celebrate as they will be back in action again on Bank Holiday Monday, when they face the Roscommon champions in the Connacht Intermediate Hurling Championship semi-final in Athleague. The Roscommon decider also ended in draw between Oran and Four Roads and they will meet again on Saturday in their replay.