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Five Pieces of Silverware Captured by Brian Dillons Hurling and Football Teams in 2013

posted 30 Jan 2014, 18:24 by Willie Horgan
               I posted this column on the website on the 12th of December,2013, but our website was derailed for the last few weeks and the column never went public. However, I am happy to relate that the site is back in working order and I have posted the above column again .The following was what was posted, originally on12th December, 2013.
              The 2013 season proved to be a most successful one for the Brian Dillons Hurling and Football teams with no fewer than five trophies captured the year.  In Hurling, the Brian Dillons Junior (A) team finished the season in style when capturing both the County and City Junior (A) Hurling titles which was some consolation for their surprise exit from the Championship, at the hands of Nemo Rangers, in the semi-final of the City Division Championsip. Not to be outdone, the Brian Dillons Junior (A) Footballers also, had a most rewarding season, capturing the City Junior (A) League title as well as becoming McSwiney Cup Champions.  The Minor Footballers completed what was a great year for the Club by becoming Rebel Og Minor Football (Eastern Section ) Champions.
               After becoming agonizingly close to winning the County Junior (A) Hurling Championship in 2012 when losing to Kildorrery, by a point, in the final replay, the Brian Dillons Junior (A) Hurlers were determined to make amends for that disappointment, by going all the way to the Promised Land in 2013,  However, things did not go according to plan, with their first setback at the beginning of the season when they discovered they would be without long serving goalkeeper, Tom Triggs, who emigrated to Australia, and stalwart defender, Darragh Rodgers,, who would be out for the season, recovering from a second cruciate operation.  The League campaign began in March and the early results definitely showed that the team was shaping well with Andrew Murphy settling in as a adequate replacement for Tom Triggs, between the posts, and wins were recorded over Delanys, Glen Rovers,Passage and St.Vincents. Their next League outing resulted in a loss to Na Piarsaigh, when not at full strength, but, we bounced back with an easy win over Whites Cross which put us on top of the League table with five wins from six games played.   Then, came the  first round of the City Division Junior (A) Hurling Championship, which we won in 2012, and the Douglas obstacle was surmounted on a 3-15 to 4-10 scoreline. League points were,also, up for grabs in this game, and another two points were garnered with another win over St.Finbarrs, shortily after. The second round of the Championship resulted in an easy, 2-16 to 0-6, win over Delanys while another two League points points were collected when Nemo Rangers conceded the game to us.. Our team  received a huge scare in the quarter final of the Championship when St.Vincents put  up a trojan battle before Brian Dillons advanced to the semi-final on a 2-17 to 0-22 scoreline.  Too close for comfort.  A week later, we were pitted against Nemo Rangers in the semi-final of the City Division Championship and it was in this game that Lady Luck turned her back on us. Competing well in the opening quarter of the game, we were reduced to fourteen players when defender, Niall Fahy, was ,harshly, sidelined for a second  yellow card offence, after just 17 minutes of the first half had elapsed.  The extra man was to prove a huge asset to Nemo in the second half , and even though we were still on level terms, with five minutes remaining, we collapsed in the run in with the Southsiders adding a goal and four points to run out, 1-18 to 1-11, winners. A huge setback and the spirit and resolve of the team was tested, three days later, when we had to line out in a League tie against Bishopstown. A big win was recorded and, even though out of the Championship, we were guaranteed a place in the knock out stages of the League.,  As we topped the table at the end of the ordinary rounds of the League, we had qualified to represent Seandun in the County Junior (A) Hurling League.  Firstly, the Top Four of the City League had to be completed and in the semi-final we had an easy, 2-20 to 0-3, win over Mayfield, which put us in the final against Championship winners, Blackrock.. In a game which produced an exceptionally high standard of quality hurling, Brian Dillons won their fourth City League title in six years, with an exciting, 2-18 to 2-13, win over the "Rockies.  The County League followed and wins over Ballymartle and Freemount gave Brian Dillons their ticket to the final.  Cloughduv were our opponents in the decider and, on a memorable night out in Ballincollig, Brian Dillons displayed sparkling form when emerging comfortable winners on a 0-20 to 1-10 scoreline and thus, became County Junior (A) Hurling League Champions for 2013.
                                  2013 was another extremely busy season for the Brian Dillons Junior (A) Footballers and, in the end, a most rewarding one with two trophies brought back to the Tank Field Pavilion.  The season, also, began in March with a 3-12 to 0-10 away League victory over St.Vincents, which was followed by three point defeat to Delanys. Three consecutive League victories followed with wins over Whitechurch, Na Piarsaigh and Bishopstown before we faced into our opening game in the City Division Junior (A) Football Championship.  St.Michaels provided the opposition, which was for League points,also, and in a tense game, Brian Dillons advanced on a 2-6 to 1-8 scoreline. Further League points were gained at the expense of Passage and Nemo Rangers before we faced Bishopstown in the second round of the Championship.  Steadily, displaying a marked improvement in their performances, Brian Dillons disposed of Bishopstown, 0-11 to 1-5. to reach the semi -final of the City Championship for the third consecutive year. Whites Cross were our semi-final opponents and in a game, which was also for League points, Brian Dillons produced a terrific performance which gave them a 1-12 to 1-7 victory and their ticket to the final for the first time since 1999. The final against St.Finbarrs provided plenty of drama and controversy before the sides were deadlocked, Brian Dillons,0-10; St.Finbarrs,1-7,at the finish. This game,also, doubled up as a League encounter, with both sides earning a point each.  The Championship final replay took place one week later and when St.Finbarrs held a 1-9 to 0-5 interval lead  and increased it with three further points in the opening five minutes of the second half, it looked like Brian Dillons were in for a drubbing. However, the spirit of this Brian Dillons team surfaced for the remainder of the game and with three minutes remaining , they were only behind by two points, 1-12 to 1-10. Sadly, the effort made to reduce the huge deficit had taken its toll and St.Finbarrs closed the game with a late point which gave them a 1-13 to 1-10 victory.  A heartbreaking end to the Championship for Brian Dillons but, however, there were still to be rewards for their efforts before the conclusion of the playing season.  Firsty, a big, 3-15 to 0-3, win was recorded over Delanys in the quarter-final of the McSwiney Cup competition before they were pitted, once again, against their Championship victims, Whites Cross in the semi-final of the City Division Junior (A) Football League. This game proved to be much closer than the Championship encounter between the sides with Brian Dillons advancing to the League final on a 1-7 to 1-6 scoreline.   The League final was a repeat of the Championship final with Brian Dillons and St.Finbarrs, again, in opposition.  Brian Dillons turned the tables on their southside rivals, on this occasion, with a thrilling 0-11 to 1-7 victory , to become City League Champions for the first time since 2004.  This game, also, doubled up for the McSwiney Cup semi-final and Brian Dillons found themselves in another final before the season end. For the third time in the 2013 season, Whites Cross, who were attempting to win the McSwiney Cup for the 11th consecutive season, were Brian Dillons opponents in the final.  Brian Dillons proved , in this game. that they are a seriously good footballing side with a comfortable, 1-6 to 0-4, victory, to capture the McSwiney Cup for the first time since 1991.  Two trophies won and contesting all three City Division Football competitions........not a bad year for the Brian Dillons Footballers, after all.
                             The Brian Dillons Minor Footballers enjoyed their own little piece of glory in 2013 when they became Rebel Og (Eastern Section) Minor Football League Champions and were County Minor Football League finalists.  Victories over Ballyphehane, Cobh, Crosshaven, Whites Cross, Bride Rovers and Shamrocks saw them gain maximum points to become Eastern Section Football League winners. In the County Football League final, Brian Dillons faced the Western Section Champions, Goleen, and were well beaten, 5-9 to 1-6, by an extremely polished opposing side.  However, a great effort by a mainly young Brian Dillons team.