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Junior (A) Footballers Advance in Championship with Narrow Win over St. Michaels.

posted 13 May 2013, 16:15 by Willie Horgan   [ updated 8 Oct 2013, 14:57 ]
                      The Brian Dillons Junior (A) Footballers overcame their first obstacle in this years City Division Junior (A) Football Championship when they recorded a narrow, 2-6 to 1-8, victory over St.Michaels ,which was played in Ballinlough on Saturday evening, 11th May, 2013.
                     Brian Dillons will be relieved with this win as they move onto round three and avoid the dreaded round two Losers game. Also, it allows the Junior (A) Hurlers a clear uninterrupted three weeks to prepare for their opening Champinship game against Douglas, which is fixed for Tuesday,4th June,2013.
                    Saturday nights game was a dour, tense affair with never more than three points between the sides at any stage of the proceedings. Brian Dillons had the advantage of the strong breeze in the opening half but, it was St. Michaels who scored first when they gained possession from the throw-in and worked the ball into their inside forwards, and, without any of the Brian Dillons players touching the ball, the St. Michaels full-forward pointed in less than 30 seconds.  John Horgan had the sides level ,in the third minute, when he scored a point from a difficult angle but, St.Michaels responded with two points, one from a free, to leave them leading,0-3 to 0-1, after ten minutes play. At this stage of the game Brian Dillons were struggling to get to grips with the game, especially the full back line who were being given a torrid time by the lively St. Michaels inside forwards. However, after twelve minutes play, Brian Dillons were given a great boost when diminutive corner-forward, Mark Buckley, scored a great goal after receiving a splendid long range pass from Chris Daly. St.Michaels replied with a point after fourteen minutes to which Brian Dillons responded with a Shane Maher point ,two minutes later. A fifth St. Michaels point ,after seventeen minutes,  had the teams level again ,but, points by Philip O"Brien and John Horgan,pushed Brian Dillons ahead,1-4 to 0-5, after twenty minutes. Then, Brian Dillons were struck a body blow, three minutes later, when goalkeeper, James Kirbys attempted hand pass to a fellow defender was intercepted by the St. Michaels corner-forward who duly finished to the net, which put his side ahead , 1-5 to 1-4, as half-time loomed. A Mark Buckley point, in the 27th minute had the sides all square, once again, which left the score at 1-5 each when the half-time whistle sounded.
                     Brian Dillons could not have felt happy with the half-time score as they now had to face the extremely strong breeze in the second -half. However, some shrewd switches by the Brian Dillons Management produced a far superior performance during the second half hour. Cillian Brosnan went to midfield and his parnership with his brother, Darragh, and Tomas Lawrence, who played as a third midfielder, ensured that St. Michaels were struggling to win possession in this area of the park. Chris Daly went to centre half back and performed brillianty and the switch of Dylan O"Donoghue and Edmund Hussey benefitted both players as they defended stoutly during the second half. Particularly good was the performance of Dylan O"Donoghue who snuffed out the danger of the St.Michaels full-forward.
                 Brian Dillons began the second half in style when Tomas Lawrence received an astute pass from Philip O"Brien and finished the ball to the net for a great goal after two minutes. St. Michaels replied with a point , after four minutes of the second half, but they would have to wait until the 27th minute for their next score.  Exchanges were very keenly contested during this second half with scoring proving most difficult due to the swirling wind which made it extremely difficult for accurate shooting. With ten minutes remaining in the game,. John Horgan stretched Brian Dillons lead to three points when he pointed a free, after,untypically, missing quite a few earlier chances from placed balls
This was to be the last score for Brian Dillons and with St. Michaels scoring two points,one from a free, in the 27th and 28th minute, it was an anxious ending to the game for the winners.  However, when the final whistle sounded, Brian Dillons were one point victors and go into the hat for the third round draw. Victory also meant two League points for Brian Dillons as the game doubled up for the Junior (1) Football League meeting between the teams.
          Scorers for Brian Dillons were; Mark Buckley, 1-1; John Horgan, 0-3, (0-1 free); Tomas Lawrence, 1-0; Shane Maher and Philip O"Brien,0-1 each.  Team; (1) James Kirby; (2) Dylan O"Donoghue; (3) Edmund Hussey; (4) Michael Noonan; (5) Niall Fahy; (6) Cillian Brosnan (Captain); (7) Martin Corbett; (8) Tomas Lawrence; (9) Darragh Brosnan; (10) Cian McCarthy; (11) Philip O"Brien; (12) Shane Maher; (13) Mark Buckley; (14) John Horgan; (15) Chris Daly;    Subs; Dave O"Donoghue for Martin Corbett (48 mins.); .