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Heartbreaking Defeat in County final Replay.

posted 4 Nov 2012, 16:18 by Willie Horgan
                    Sport can be so cruel. The Brian Dillons Junior (A) Hurlers were in sight of an historic County final triumph , in Pairc Ui Rinn on Sunday, 4th November, only to see victory snatched from their grasp and to go under to Kildorrery by a solitary point. The final score was; Kildorrery,2-8; Brian Dillons,0-13;  Heartbreaking !
                   Playing out of their skin for the entire game, it is extremely difficult to understand how Brian Dillons lost this game.  Without doubt the better side by a mile ,even more pronounced than the drawn encounter, you could not see Brian Dillons losing, as the game entered its dying embers.. However, as in the drawn game, Kildorrery pounced for a late goal, which came in the second minute of injury time,  which was to prove decisive in their narrow victory.     Also, inaccuracy on the part of the Brian Dillons attack was to prove costly as they chalked up a total of twelve wides, five more than Kildorrery. and most of them from scoreable positions.
                  Kildorrery had the advantage of the stiffish breeze in the opening half and they opened the scoring with a point in the third minute.
 Brian Dillons were hurling confidently,though, and John Horgan levelled the scores with a point from play, two minutes later. The same player put Brian Dillons ahead,one minute later, when he pointed a free after Darragh Rodgers, who was causing all sorts of problems for the Kildorrery defence, was fouled.  Brian Dillons were in complete control at this stage but, after eight minutes of sustained pressure on the Kildorrery rearguard, they failed to add any further scores.
 Instead, Killdorrery in a rear attack at the other end, created an opening which brought them their first goal after fourteen minutes. Undetterred by this setback, the Brian Dillons side continued to play determined hurling and points by John Horgan (free) and Tomas Lawrence had them back on level terms after twenty two minutes play. It was at this stage of the game that the Brian Dillons centre half forward ,Brian Barrett, who was having a powerful game, received a nasty hand injury which forced him to leave the field for medical attention on two occasions  before the interval and resulted in him not resuming for the second half.. A huge loss to Brian Dillons. Kildorrery, in the meantime, put over three points (two from frees) to go in to the half-time break leading by 1-4 to 0-4.
               Now playing with the wind advantage, Brian Dillons began the second half in confident mood and a massive strike from John Horgan
,from almost seventy metres ,went over the bar for a powerful point. Further points followed from Mark White, the excellent Tomas Lawrence and John Horgan (free) to put Brian Dillons ahead, 0-8 to 1-4, after eleven minutes of the second half.  Kildorrery were back on level terms when they had their first point of the second half, three minutes later. John Horgan, again pushed Brian Dillons ahead with a pointed free ,after eighteen minutes of the second half but, Kildorrery were level again with another pointed free, four minutes later. Rivetting stuff ! Then followed a sustained period of Brian Dillons dominance which saw them race into a three point lead with scores from Cian McCarthy (two) and John Noonan after thirty one minutes of the second half.  An injury to a Kildorrery player led to a long delay which resulted in the referee playing seven minutes of added time. Unfortunately , for Brian Dillons, it was during this period of added time that the game was lost.
          Kildorrery pounced for the levelling goal, which definitely had a hint of "square ball" about it, in the second minute of injury time, and worse was to follow for Brian Dillons when Kildorrery surged into the lead with points in the fifth and sixth minute of added time. John Horgan got one back for Brian Dillons almost immediately and constant pressure on the Kildorrery goalmouth ,in the closing minute of play, failed to bring another score and the full time whistle sounded with Kildorrery ahead by the minimum of margins. One of the cruelist defeats ever for Brian Dillons.
         Although they suffered defeat, the performance of the Brian Dillons team was ,without doubt, the best of the season.  The defence played heroically with all six outstanding.   Tomas Lawrence was the best player on the field with his midfield partner,Cian McCarthy, blossoming as the game pregressed.  Brian Barrett was a huge loss in the second half with Cillian Brosnan and Darragh Rodgers working like trogans but, one concern was that only John Horgan and John Noonan were the only forwards to contribute to the scoring
       The Brian Dillons scorers were; John Horgan, 0-7 (0-5 frees); Tomas Lawrence,0-2; Cian McCarthy,0-2; Mark White,0-1; and John Noonan,0-1;
       Team; (1), Tom Triggs; (2) Michael Noonan;(3) Danny Murphy; (4) Maurice Carey;(5) Daniel McCormick; (6) Mark White: (7) Darragh Brosnan ; (8) Tomas Lawrence; (9) Cian McCarthy; (10) John Horgan; (11) Brian Barrett; (12) Cillian Brosnan; (13) John Noonan; (14) Darragh Rodgers; (15) Philip O"Brien;   Subs;  Keith McCormick for Brian Barrett (half-time); Kevin Coughlan for Philip O"Brien (49 mins.);