On a fine evening for hurling on Friday last the 19th of June, Brian Dillons 'A' hurlers drew with local rivals Mayfield in a fiercely contested tie at times on a scoreline of 1-18 to 1-18. This game had everything a hurling spectator could have wanted, a great pitch, a sunny evening and two quality hurling teams eager to battle it out however the flow the game deserved did not come due to an unusually high free count that at times seemed to be called for indiscretions that had not occurred. This was reflected on the scoreboard with eight Dillons scores coming from placed balls and nine of Mayfields.
Both sides started the game at a frantic pace but it was Dillons who settled faster and began to slot over a few points, two frees from John Horgan and scores from Murphy, McCarthy and Lynch, the latter came after a neat interchange of tight passing between Noonan and Horgan before Lynch pointed, had Dillons ahead 0-5 to 0-2 after the opening 15 minutes. However instead of capitalizing on their ascendancy in the game it was Mayfield who began to take control and struck over a few points to draw level before pouncing for an important goal with a few minutes left in the half. At this point it looked with Mayfield winning key battles around the park that they may extend their lead before half time and leave Dillons chasing the game, this was not to be as the Dillons lads responded with key scores from Buckley, Horgan and Lynch to ensure they went in only one point behind at half time instead of four. The half time score was Brian Dillons 0-09; Mayfield 1-07.
Into the second period and after a few positional switches Dillons continued to work hard and pick off scores, with the forward unit working as a tight unit together, no easy ball was escaping the Mayfield back line whilst quality ball was continuing to be delivered by the midfield and half back line. Early frees and and a point from play for Murphy had Dillons level after exchanging scores with Mayfield, before they pulled away again. In this period Dillons were guilty of missing good opportunities for scores by taking the wrong option when the easy pass inside was on, this is an area where improvement will be needed before their next championship outing. Tomas Lawrence had Dillons ahead with eight minutes to go when he buried the ball in the bottom corner of the Mayfield goal from all of 25 yards, this lead was not to be relinquished by Dillons, who added further scores from placed balls and from play, until the equalizing point in the last puck of the game.
Although a frustrating game due to the high numbers of frees given, when the game was allowed to flow we saw some great hurling from both sides. Dillons will be disappointed to not come away with the win but still learned a lot from the game and give themselves a good insight on the areas of improvement before their championship outing against St.Finbarrs.
There were strong performances all over the park for Dillons, but two of note were Phil O'Brien at half back and Tomas Lawrence at midfield who gave vital contributions at key points in the game.
Scorers: J Horgan, 0-10 (0-8f); T Lawrence, 1-1; C Lynch, 0-3; R Murphy, 0-2; M Buckley and C McCarthy 0-1 each.
Team: 1. T Triggs; 2. E Hennessy; 3. D Rodgers; 4. M Noonan; 5. P O'Brien; 6. D O'Donoghue; 7. M White; 8. T Lawrence; 9. D Cremin; 10. C McCarthy; 11. J Horgan; 12. C Lynch; 13. J Noonan; 14. R Murphy; 15. M Buckley.
Subs used: N Fahy, K Varian and K Coughlan.
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