GAA | Controversial late penalty gives Knockbridge a last gasp win over Moninne

Louth Senior Hurling League | Knockbridge 1–11 Naomh Moninne 0–13


A Ronan Byrne penalty with the last puck of the game gave Knockbridge a dramatic victory over Naomh Moninne when these sides clashed on the new pitch at Clan na Gael on Thursday evening.

This victory, Knockbridge’s third of the campaign, also secures the village outfit a place in the Louth Senior Hurling League final in July.

County stalwarts Ronan Byrne and Diarmuid Murphy exchanged the opening two points from frees before Darren O’Hanrahan and Conor Deane did likewise to leave the sides tied after seven minutes.

Knockbridge then rolled off five points in a row from the sticks of Gareth Hall, Robert Wallace (0–2) and Byrne (0–2) to take command.

Despite accounting for 10 first half wides, Moninne struck back with three points of their own on the run into half time from Tadhg Moore and a Murphy brace to leave them trailing by 0–7 to 0–5 at the break.

The sides exchanged the opening two points on the resumption before Conor Deane extended his side’s lead to three with a good point from play.

That lead was cut to one thanks to a brace of points from Moninne centre half forward John Martin within 60 seconds of each other.

A pointed free from top scorer Byrne showed his side in front by 0–10 to 0–8 on 42 minutes but over the next 14 minutes the town outfit upped their game and four unanswered points from Ronan Geoghegan (0–3) and Darren O’Hanrahan saw them two in front, 0–12 to 0–10.

When Moninne substitute Donal Connolly pointed from play in reply to another pointed Byrne free on 60 minutes, the black and amber outfit looked set for a rare victory over their opponents but late drama was to follow.

Full forward Gareth Hall made a high catch before falling to the ground and as he was surrounded by several Moninne defenders, referee Noel Mullaney — much to the dismay of many — spread his arms to award a penalty.

Byrne duly dispatched past Moninne goalkeeper James Connolly who managed to get his stick to the sliotar to claim a slender, but important, win for Knockbridge.

KNOCKBRIDGE: James King; Ronan Mulholland, Brian Buckley, Andrew Smith; Mark Wallace, Ronan Byrne (1–5, all frees), Ricky McKeown; Conor Deane (0–2, 1), James Costello; David Kettle, Peter Brennan, Liam Molloy; Robert Wallace (0–2), Gareth Hall (0–1), Gavin Kane (0–1).

NAOMH MONINNE: James Connolly; James Murphy, Chris Lennon, Paul Challoner; Mattie Fee, Oisin Drumm, Diarmuid Murphy (0–3, 2f); Darren O’Hanrahan (0–2, 2f), Feidhelm Joyce; Collins Connolly, John Martin (0–2), Stephen Ryan; Ronan Geoghegan (0–4, 1f), Andrew Mackin, Tadhg Moore (0–1). Subs: Mark McGuinness for J Murphy, Donal Connolly (0–1) for S Ryan, Donal Griffin for C Connolly, Tommy McArdle for T Moore.

REFEREE: Noel Mullaney (Monaghan).

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