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Brian Dillons are City Division Junior (1) League Champions for 2013.

posted 17 Nov 2013, 12:07 by Willie Horgan   [ updated 17 Nov 2013, 12:13 ]
               The Brian Dillons Junior (A) Hurlers regained the City Division Junior (1) Hurling League title when they had an exciting, 2-18 to 2-13, victory over Blackrock in the final which was played in Ballinlough on  Sunday morning, 17th November, 2013. In a game that was closely contested all through, it was the stronger finish by Brian Dillons that brought them victory in a most entertaining and exciting tussle.
             Brian Dillons were forced to lineout without regular defenders, Niall Fahy, Maurice Carey (both unavailable due to work commitments), Michael Noonan and Dylan O"Donoghue, both out injured, and just before the game , Kieran O"Mahony and his fellow selectors, were forced to make another change when half forward, Brian Barrett was unable to start due to a niggling back injury.  In the reshuffle Brian Dillons moved Daniel McCormick back to left corner back and regular half forward , Cillian Brosnan, was switched back to the half-back line.. Despite all these problems, Brian Dillons opened brightly and were two points to the good ,after four minutes, thanks to scores from John Horgan (free) and John Noonan.   Blackrock were on level terms after seven minutes with two points, one from a free but,then, Brian Dillons went four points up with a Tomas Lawrence point and a beauty of a goal from dynamic centre half forward, Cian McCarthy.  Another point from Cian McCarthy, who was absolutely flying at this stage had Brian Dillons ahead, 1-4 to 0-2, after fourteen minutes play.. A point , from a placed ball, for Blackrock left four points between the teams after sixteen minutes play but, it was back to five, almost immediately, when Tomas Lawrence slotted over his second point.. Blackrock upped their game ,at this stage, and with three back-to back points , they only trailed by two, 1-5 to 0-6. with four minutes to go to the break. Philip O"Briens tremendous workrate was rewarded when he put over a fine point for Brian Dillons with the first half going into additional time. With the game four minutes over regulation time, Keith McCormick, who was outstanding for the entire game, won the ball at midfield and was unlucky to see his intended pass to John Horgan, being intercepted by one of the Blackrock half backs who, duly lofted over a magnificent point to leave the half-time score reading, 1-6 to 0-7, in Brian Dillons favour.
            The second half began with Blackrock winning a 20 metre free in the first minute,with most people expecting it to be tapped over the bar for a point. However, the Blackrock freetaker opted to go for a goal and his low shot was parried by the Brian Dillons defence ,only to have the rebound finished to the net for a most fortuitous goal,.which put Blackrock in the lead,1-7 to 1-6, for the first time in the game.  Another beauty of a point by Philip O"Brien ,from long range, had Brian Dillons back on level terms but, then Blackrock had another stroke of good fortune in the fourth minute of the second half. A free was awarded to them about twenty five metres out, which looked to be going wide and then struck the upright and rolled along the Brian Dillons goalline which was eventually cleared to safety by the defence  However, one of the umpires deemed that the ball had crossed the goalline and a goal was awarded to Blackrock...2-7 to 1-7 in favour of Blackrock. Brian Dillons response to this setback was instant and they were back on level terms one minute later. A free out around midfield was lobbed into the Blackrock goalmouth by John Horgan, and was finished to the net by the vigilant Dave Coughlan to tie the scores, 2-7 each. Blackrock were hurling well at this stage, however, and they went two points ahead, 2-9 to 2-7, after seven minutes of the second half. Brian Dillons, refusing to panic, struck back with points from Cian McCarthy and Dave Coughlan to tie the scores, once again, with the game providing plenty of entertaining hurling..In the thirteenth minute of the second half, Blackrock went ahead,again, with another pointed free, but , however this was to be the last time in the game that they would be leading. A marked improvement in the Brian Dillons performance saw them in control of the game in the final fifteen minutes . Three splendid back to back points from play by Tomas Lawrence, John Horgan and Cian McCarthy, plus two more pointed efforts by Horgan pushed Brian Dillons ahead, 2-14 to 2-10, with ten minutes remaining. There was still some fight in Blackrock and two further pointed frees, had them only two points behind, 2-14 to 2-12, with eight minutes left in the game. Cian McCarthy had Brian Dillons three points to the good with another fine effort, with three minutes of normal time remaining.. Blackrock had it back to two with another pointed free and it seemed that the Brian Dillons followers were in for a nail-biting final few minutes. They did not need to worry, however, as the Brian Dillons team closed out the game in style  Another John Horgan pointed free pushed them three points ahead ,again, with one minute of normal time remaining and, in the three minutes of additional time allowed, John Horgan, with a superb point from out near the sideline, and an equally exquisite point from Keith McCormick ,closed the scoring to leave Brian Dillons champions on a 2-18 to 2-13 scoreline at the end of a tremendously exciting and sportingly contested final .
          The entire Brian Dillons team are to be congratulated on this triumph and the victory is some consolation for their surprise exit from this years Championship, to Nemo Rangers, at the semi-final stage, back in August. They can also, now look forward ,with added confidence, to the forthcoming final of the County Junior (A) Hurling League, in which they will meet the winners of the Cloughduv/ Sarsfields semi-final clash.  Andrew Murphy , in goal, never put a foot wrong and was not to blame for the two Blackrock goals., while he got splendid cover from the full-back trio of James Murphy, who had an outstanding game, Danny Murphy and Daniel McCormick. Team Captain,Mark White, gave a masterful performance of centre half back play with the Brosnan brothers, Darragh and Cillian, also giving strong displays in the half back line. At midfield, Tomas Lawrence put in his usual good shift , beside contributing to three points on the scoreboard, while Keith McCormick continues to  give really consistent  performances with his skill and workrate. . Cian McCarthy has got a new lease of life at centre half forward, and , once again, showed what a lethal scorer he is. Philip O"Brien worked tirelessly at wing forward and was rewarded with two splendid points from play, while Kevin Coughlan also worked tremendously hard in the half forward line. John Noonan was his usual self in the corner, scoring a fine point and causing the Blackrock defence many problems with his constant probing and running while, in the other corner, Dave Coughlan, had his best game,in a while , contributing a valuable goal and a point. John Horgan, still not fully recovered from his recent groin injury, proved he can still be a valuable player, with some terrific scores in the second half, while the introduction of Brian Barrett, in the final ten minutes of the game, was another master move by the team management. Barrett won valuable possession in those closing minutes with his fielding of the high ball., time and time  again. Finally, a word of praise to Team Manager, Kieran O"Mahony and his selectors, Dave Downey, Ger White, Martin McSweeney, Anthony O"Sullivan and Ken Cotter on a job well done. Scorers for Brian Dillons were; Cian McCarthy,1-4; John Horgan , 0-6 (0-4 frees); Dave Coughlan, 1-1; Tomas Lawrence,0-3; Philip O"Brien,0-2; John Noonan and Keith McCormick, 0-1 each. The Brian Dillons team lined out as follows; Andrew Murphy; James Murphy; Danny Murphy; Daniel McCormick; Darragh Brosnan; Mark White (Capt.); Cillian Brosnan; Tomas Lawrence; Keith McCormick; Kevin Coughlan; Cian McCarthy; Philip O"Brien; John Noonan; John Horgan; Dave Coughlan     Sub; Brian Barrett for Kevin Coughlan (54 mins.)