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Cruel Defeat for Junior (A) Hurlers in Championship Semi-final.

posted 12 Sept 2014, 16:23 by Willie Horgan
                  The Brian Dillons Junior (A) Hurlers have suffered many heartbreaking Championship defeats in recent years, but, none was as heartbreaking as the semi-final of this years City Division Junior (A) Hurling Championship ,which was played in Pairc Ui Rinn ,on Tuesday evening, 9th September, 2014.  Picture the scene, Brian Dillons . who had played the most impressive hurling, from the beginning, were ahead of Nemo Rangers, 1-15 to 1-13, as the game entered the fifth minute of additional time when Nemo forced the Brian Dillons defence into conceding a "65. As the Brian Dillons defenders crowded into their goalmouth to face the "65, the large attendance held their breath as the ball dropped into the square. Surely, it would be successfully defended and the game would be over. But, however, Lady Luck, once again kicked Brian Dillons into the face, and the ball ended up in the net ,after deflecting off a Brian Dillons player"s hurley and Nemo were ahead by a point. The final whistle sounded on the puckout and Nemo Rangers were winners on a 2-13 to 1-15 scoreline.  Cruel luck on Brian Dillons.
              Before the game began, Brian Dillons were dealt another slice of bad luck, when experienced centre half-back, Mark White,was unable to play due to a sudden illness.  However, the opening five minutes saw Brian Dillons in control and ,when full-forward, Tomas Lawrence, was fouled in the second minute, John Horgan pointed the free. The same player added a point from play, after receiving a pass from Cillian Brosnan, a minute later and Brian Dillons had got off to a bright start.. However, as had happened in most of our games this year,three more scoring opportunities were wasted with three bad wides from scoring positions in front of goal. After seven minutes play, Nemo opened their account with a point ,from a free and, one minute later,another point had them on level terms.. In the tenth minute, John Horgan ,whose accuracy , once again, was unerring, pushed Brian Dillons ahead ,when he nailed a "65. Nemo were back on level terms, two minutes later,. The closeness of this tense game continued with both sides converting frees in the 16th and 17th minute, John Horgan scoring the Brian Dillons point....0-4 each. The doggedness of the Nemo hurling , which prevented Brian Dillons from displaying their usual flamboyant style, saw them take the lead, for the first time,,with another pointed free and, thirty seconds later, they were two up, 0-6 to 0-4. Brian Dillons then, struck a purple patch with four points in a row. In the twentieth minute, Cillian Brosnan, whose fetching of the high ball was brilliant, stroked over a fine point, which was followed by a similar score from Cian McCarthy, who had received a pass from John Horgan... sides level again, 0-6 each, after twenty one minutes play.  Brian Dillons went two points clear, in the next five minutes, when John Horgan converted a free and scored another beauty from play.... 0-8 to 0-6, with four minutes remaining in the first half. Nemo Rangers, to their credit, refused to buckle, and were unlucky to be deprived of a goal by a brilliant save by the Brian Dillons netminder, Andrew Murphy, after 27 minutes. However, they were back on level terms, at half-time, when they scored two late first half points, one from a free and the other, a delightful score, direct from a sideline cut....0-8 each at half -time.
              Brian Dillons were first off the mark, in the second half, when John Horgan scored a point from play, after two minutes, but, Nemo replied with a similar effort, four minutes later.  Another John Horgan point ,from play, had Brian Dillons back in the lead , but, it was shortlived as Nemo struck a deadly blow, after eleven minutes of the second half. A ground strike from 21 metres out seemed to deceive the Brian Dillons defence, and ended up in the net, for a goal which pushed Nemo ahead,, 1-9 to 0-10.  Nemo increased their lead when they pointed, from the puck out and Brian Dillons looked in trouble, trailing, 1-10 to 0-10 after twelve minutes of the second half. However, the response from Brian Dillons was positive and ,one minute later, Cian McCarthy, who was really looking very dangerous , at this stage, scored a beauty of a point and followed up with a bullet of  a goal, which had Brian Dillons ahead, again..1-11 to 1-10. Scoring was at a premium , at this stage of the game, with both sets of defenders playing brilliantly.   With nine minutes left, in normal time, Tomas Lawrence, after receiving a pass from John Horgan, pushed Brian Dillons two points ahead, but, Nemo refused to give way and they reduced the deficit to the minimum,with a point, a minute later. Dillons went two ahead again with a Cillian Brosnan point, with just six minutes of normal time left ,but, Nemo had it down to the minimum, once again, with a point, a minute later. The same pattern of play continued , with Brian Dillons going two points up with a fabulous strke, from a long distance free ,out near the sideline, from John Horgan, in the 58th minute to which Nemo replied with a similar score,one minute later.. From the puckout, Cian McCarthy, gained possession and rifled over another of his trademark points to put Brian Dillons ahead, 1-15 to 1-13, with the game entering additional time. Nemo, to their credit, never gave up the fight and were awarded a 21-metre free ,three minutes into the additional time. They had to try for a goal from the free, which was saved by the Brian Dillons defence, and was cleared out over the sideline.  From the resultant sideline puck,the Brian Dillons defence conceded a "65, and with the game entering the fifth minute of additional time, the ball ended up in the net, from the "65, giving Nemo victory and Brian Dillons suffering their first defeat of the 2014 season.  The Brian Dillons scorers were; John Horgan,0-9 (0-4 frees, 0-1 "65); Cian McCarthy,1-3; Cillian Brosnan, 0-2; and Tomas Lawrence,0-1. The Brian Dillons team lined out as follows; Andrew Murphy; Niall Fahy; Danny Murphy; Michael Noonan; Dave Cremin; Darragh Rodgers; Darragh Brosnan; Daniel McCormick; Keith McCormick; Cillian Brosnan; Cian McCarthy; Shane Maher; Philip O"Brien; Tomas Lawrence; and John Horgan;   Subs; John Noonan for Dave Cremin (injured, Half -time); Mark Buckley for Shane Maher and Kevin Varian for Niall Fahy (both, second half);