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Junior (A) Hurlers Capture City Championship with great win over Mayfield.

posted 10 Sept 2012, 14:50 by Willie Horgan   [ updated 10 Sept 2012, 17:03 ]
                It was the Blue and White all the way out in Ballinlough on Sunday afternoon, 9th September,2012,when the Brian Dillons Junior (A) Hurlers captured the City Division Junior (A) Hurling Championship title with a thrilling, 1-14 to 1-10, victory over reigning champions, Mayfield.
                Right from the throw-in, the Brian Dillons team showed that they were determined not to lose a third consecutive final to Mayfield as they played with a desire and a passion that had Mayfield rattled for most of the game.  Playing against a stiffish breeze in the opening half, Brian Dillons were first to score when John Horgan put over a magnificent point with less than a minute played. Pressure on the Mayfield defence led to a "65 which John Horgan converted to put Dillons two points up after four minutes. A minute later, Mayfield opened their account with a pointed free but, a classy point by John Noonan restored Brian Dillons two point advantage after six minutes.
            Mayfield took the lead in the seventh minute when they goaled from a penalty but the lead was shortlived as Brian Dillons responded with a goal of their own when Kevin Coughlan billowed the back of the Mayfield net after receiving an excellent pass from John Horgan after nine minutes.   However,  it took another sixteen minutes before Brian Dillons were to score again, although Cillian Brosnan was most unlucky not to goal after his rasping first time effort just whizzed inches wide.  Mayfield, in the meantime,had added four more points, two from frees, which put them ahead, 1-5 to 1-3, after twenty three minutes. Two pointed frees by John Horgan had Brian Dillons back on level terms in the twenty -seventh minute and a minute later ,lively midfielder, Tomas Lawrence pointed to put Dillons back in the lead, 1-6 to 1-5.   Two further points from placed balls , scored in added time, left Mayfield leading, 1-7 to 1-6, at the interval.
              Brian Dillons could feel well pleased with their first -half performance as they now had the advantage of the breeze in the second- half.  However, it was Mayfield who had the opening score of the second -half with a point after three minutes... 1-8 to 1-6.. John Horgan opened Brian Dillons second-half account with a splendid point after five minutes. From that stage of the game, the Brian Dillons side proceeded to play some delightful hurling which mesmerised the Mayfield players.  With the defenders now playing out of their skins which cut out the threat of the Mayfield attack, Brian Dillons took control of the game ,scoring six points in a row to put them ahead, 1-13 to 1-8 after nineteen minutes of the second-half.      Brian Barrett was causing all sorts of problems for the Mayfield defence and he popped over a point after eleven minutes which was quickly followed by two points from John Horgan, one from a "65..  Further points from excellent sub., Philip O"Brien, John Horgan and Cian McCarthy followed before Mayfield had their second score of the second -half with a pointed free after twenty minutes. Cian McCarthy, who was now playing great hurling in the full-forward position, popped over another great point to restore the five point advantage for Brian Dillons with just eight minutes remaining in the game.    Opportunities were presented to go further ahead  but, the ever reliable John Horgan shot narrowly wide from three placed balls.  Mayfield  had the final point of the game in the closing minutes but , when the final whistle sounded, Brian Dillons were worthy champions on a 1-14 to 1-10 scoreline.
            There were many heroes in this great victory.  Team captain, Tommy Triggs, led by example, with a great performance between the posts with his massive puck outs putting the Mayfield defence under all sorts of pressure.   The full- back line of Niall Fahy, until his injury, Danny Murphy and young Michael Noonan were soundness personified with Murphy,in particular, producing a powerful second- half performance. With Niall Fahy forced to retire, with a back injury at half-time, he was replaced by the experienced Maurice Carey who gave his usual spirited performance in the second-half.     Daniel Mc Cormick gave his usual wholehearted display in the half-back line, managing to hold Mayfield danger man, Nicky Kelly, scoreless from play when he was marking him.. Mark White displayed all his experience in the centre-half- back position with an impeccable performance, while Darragh Brosnan was outstanding ,holding ,both Ian Looney and Nicky Kelly scoreless from play.   The Brian Dillons midfield pairing of Tomas Lawrence and Cian McCarthy were always in control ,with the latter picking up a slight injury, midway through the second -half, which forced him to move into the full-forward position ,from where he pilfered two excellent points.   Brian Barrett had one his best games in the Brian Dillons shirt at left- half - forward, with his fielding of Tommy Triggs deliveries being most beneficial. Youngster, Keith McCormick, eligible for the Minor grade again next year, worked extremely hard on the other wing and he can look back on his first Divisonal final with pride.  Cillian Brosnan played his best hurling when moved to mid-field when Cian McCarthy picked up the knock, and he was absolutely brilliant in the closing quarter of the game.  John Horgan ,both at full-forward  and centre- half forward , displayed all his experience in causing the Mayfield defence all sorts of problems, scoring four excellent points from play and setting up Kevin Coughlan for the Brian Dillons goal.   John Noonan worked like a beaver in the corner and was rewarded with a splendid point in the opening half while Kevin Coughlan showed all the coolness of a veteran when planting the ball in the net for the Brian Dillons goal.  Philip O"Brien, when introduced early in the second- half, gave a tremendous performance and scored an excellent point also.
                 Heartiest congratulations are extended to the Brian Dillons team on this great victory which has us back as City Premier Hurling champions for the first time since 2006. Bouquets ,also, to team Manager, Kieran O"Mahony,in his first season in charge ,and his selectors, Dave Downey , Alan O"Sullivan and Ken Cotter with team trainer, Martin McSweeney and Physio, Aoife Scally ,also valuable members of the backroom staff.. A word of praise also, for the lionhearted, Darragh Rodgers, who was forced to miss this final because of a cruel knee injury,  for his powerful ,motivating, dressing room speech to the team before the game.
            Brian Dillons are now through to the County Junior (A) Hurling Championship quarter -final in which they will meet the winners of the South -East final  between Ballinhassig and Kinsale.
            The Brian Dillons scorers against  Mayfield were; John Horgan,0-8,(0-2 frees, 0-2, 65"s); Kevin Coughlan,1-0; Cian McCarthy,0-2; Tomas Lawrence, Brian Barrett, John Noonan and Philip O"Brien ,0-1 each.
           Team;  (1) Tommy Triggs; (2) Niall Fahy; (3) Danny Murphy; (4) Michael Noonan; (5) Daniel McCormick;(6) Mark White; (7) Darragh Brosnan; (8) Tomas Lawrence; (9) Cian Mc Carthy; (10) Keith McCormick; (11) Cillian Brosnan; (12) Brian Barrett; (13) John Noonan; (14) John Horgan; (15) Kevin Coughlan;  Subs; Maurice Carey for Niall Fahy,injured,(half -time); Philip O"Brien for Kevin Coughlan (38 mins.) ; Dylan O"Donoghue for Keith McCormick (59 mins;) Andrew Murphy for John Noonan (59 mins.);
         Special congratulations to mid-fielder, Cian McCarthy , who won the " Man of the Match" award, which he fully deserved.