Blacks and Whites 0-10
It wasn’t a classic, but it was exactly the outcome every single Commercials supporter would have dreamed of as they made their way down the motorway on Saturday as their team advanced to the AIB Leinster Club Junior Hurling Championship final.
They can look forward to the decider after a hard-fought victory over Blacks and Whites in tough conditions at the home of Kilkenny GAA.
Senan Doyle opened the scoring for the home side with little more than a minute on the clock and a free from Ryan Murphy edged them into a 0-03 to 0-00 lead.
The game was level soon after that early onslaught from Blacks and Whites as Commercials forward Diarmaid O’Dulaing dispatched of a penalty after a non-stop opening five minutes.
The Kilkenny club moved back into the lead as a result of well-taken scores from Murphy and Jamie Byrne.
While they were able to withstand the majority of the pressure that their opponents applied throughout the first half, Blacks and Whites manager Eddie Scally would have been concerned at his side’s lack of potency with the scoreboard reading 0-05 to 1-00 with ten minutes remaining until the interval.
The goal rippled once more for Colm Martin’s men as they made up for missed opportunities with an excellent finish from centre forward Gearoid Keogh who gave his team the lead for the first time.
As they have done so all year, Blacks and Whites responded and turned a deficit into a lead following points from Sam Byrne and his namesake Jamie.
A third free of the half from the highly reliable Murphy gave the hosts a deserved 0-08 to 2-00 lead at half-time.
The second half began as the first half did with Ryan Murphy converting a close-range free.
The away team scored five of the next six points in a fruitful fifteen-minute spell that saw them move into a 2-05 to 0-10 lead with five minutes of normal time left.
Having come out on top in close encounters with Emeralds, Piltown, Windgap and Ringtown earlier in the season, Blacks and Whites needed another late turnaround to make the final but it wasn’t to be as O’Dulaing pointed two more frees to seal a three-point win.
Commercials will now take on Wexford’s Horeswood in the provincial decider in two weeks after they got the better of St Fechins on a scoreline of 1-08 to 1-04 on Saturday afternoon.
While their provincial journey has come to a heart-breaking conclusion, Blacks and Whites and their manager Eddie Scally can reflect on an historic year that brought with it three trophies including a first county title since 2009.