Middletown edge extra time thriller

Middletown 3-19 Eire Og 2-20

Middletown booked their place in the Ulster Intermediate Hurling final with a thrilling win over Tyrone opponents Eire Og.

A last-minute Dean Gaffney free dragged the game to extra time and Middletown pushed on to win by two in the end.

Gaffney opened the scoring but saw his effort cancelled out by Liam Armstrong before Carrickmore shot ahead through Cormac Munroe.

Bryan McGurk traded scores with Cahal Carvill before Munroe raised the first green flag of the game.

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Scores from Nathan Curry (2) and Gaffney (free) narrowed the gap to one while Armstrong and Conor Grogan traded points with Gaffney and Sean Og McGuinness.

Dermot Begley and Gaffney both raised white flags from frees before Grogan claimed the final score of the half. Eire Og led at the break 1-7 to 0-8.

All square

Ryan Gaffney powered home a goal at the start of the second half, but Armstrong soon levelled the game once again.

Dean Gaffney and Armstrong notched on frees before Sean Og Grogan hit the net for the visiting side.

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Ruairi Slane and Begley stretched the margin out to five and just as they had to against Eoghan Rua, Middletown battled back.

Kieran McKernan exchanged efforts with Slane while Gaffney did likewise with Begley. Gaffney landed another before older brother Ryan netted for the second time.

Begley and Seamus Sweeney split the posts to extend Eire Og’s lead to three before a long range free from Dean Gaffney dropped short and fell to the net to level the score.

Aidan Kelly edged Eire Og ahead, but Middletown responded with a Gaffney free to force extra time. Eire Og 2-16 Middletown 3-13 at full time.

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Extra time

A brace from Begley and another from Slane put the Carrickmore men three to the good at the start of addition time.

Gaffney replied, followed by a Ben Toal double, but Begley had the final say of the half and Eire Og got their noses ahead at half time.

Gaffney levelled once again before Shea and Dean Gaffney, his first from play, put the Armagh side two up and they held on to secure their spot in the showpiece.

They’ll now face Down opponents Liatroim in the Ulster final, with that game set to take place in two weeks time.

Middletown Scorers: Dean Gaffney 1-11 (1-10f), Ryan Gaffney 2-0, Nathan Curry 0-2, Ben Toal 0-2, Cahal Carvill 0-1, Sean Og McGuinness 0-1, Kieran McKernan 0-1, Shea Gaffney 0-1.

Eire Og Scorers: Dermot Begley 0-7 (7f), Liam Armstrong 0-4 (3f), Cormac Munroe 1-1, Sean Og Grogan 1-0, Ruairi Slane 0-3, Conor Grogan 0-2, Bryan McGurk 0-1, Seamus Sweeney 0-1, Aidan Kelly 0-1.

Photo Credit: Richiespics