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Junior (A) Hurlers Impress in Championship Win over Na Piarsaigh.

posted 6 Aug 2014, 17:39 by Willie Horgan
                              For the fifth consecutive year, the Brian Dillons Junior (A) Hurlers have qualified for the semi-final of the City Division Junior (A) Hurling Championship when they recorded an impressive, 3-17 to 1-10, victory over Na Piarsaigh in a quarter-final game, which was played in Ballinlough on Wednesday evening, 6th August, 2014.         
                             Brian Dillons gave a polished performance as they brushed aside the challenge of Na Piarsaigh, which must have pleased the gaffer, Billy Cashman,and his Management team. Na Piarsaigh were aided by the stiff breeze in the opening half and they opened brightly with two quick points, in less than two minutes while at the other end of the field the Brian Dillons forwards wasted three scoring opportunities, through wayward shooting.  John Horgan got Brian Dillons off the mark with a point, from a difficult angle after five minutes, but Na Piarsaigh, with two further points, one from a free,stretched their lead, 0-4 to 0-1, after eleven minutes play. John Horgans second point from play, one minute later, brought Brian Dillons closer but, a resilient Na Piarsaigh side replied with a similar score, almost immediately. John Horgan, again, nailed two more points from placed balls for Brian Dillons before Na Piarsaigh were two ahead ,again, with another point after twenty minutes. From the puckout, Cian McCarthy slotted over the first of his three points ,for Brian Dillons, which left just a point between the teams.before Na Piarsaigh went two ahead again when they scored from a free, with five minutes remaining in the first half. It was at this stage of the game that Na Piarsaigh"s discipline deserted them and they had one of their players sent off when he was shown a straight red card.. Brian Dillons finished the first half in complete control with John Horgan billowing the back of the net, for a great goal, after receiving a peach of a pass from Shane Maher after 26 minutes, which was followed by another Cian McCarthy point, three minutes later. The final act of the first half saw Brian Dillons scoring their second goal, when Cillian Brosnan,who was playing splendidly, soloed along the end line before crossing the ball to John Horgan, who , in turn, slipped inside his marker  and planted the ball in the net.,2-6 to 0-7 ,at half -time. The solid performance of the Brian Dillons defence was the main reason that Na Piarsaigh could only muster 0-7, in the first half, when they were playing with the advantage of a fairly strong breeze.
                         The second half saw Brian Dillons consolidate their superiority, with the wind behind them and their opponents a man down.  Tomas Lawrence and Cian McCarthy added two further points , in the opening five minutes, before Shane Maher got a great third goal ,after receiving the ball from Cian McCarthy. Another  John Horgan point , from a free, pushed Brian Dillons ahead, 3-9 to 0-7, after just seven minutes of the second half had elapsed.. However, there was still a fight in Na Piarsaigh, when, one minute later, they breached the Brian Dillons defence to score their goal...3-9 to 1-7. Brian Dillons played some delightful hurling for the remainder of the game, scoring a litany of points, with Tomas Lawrence and Keith McCormick adding a few beauties ,while ,at the other end of the park, the Na Piarsaigh forwards never rarely threatened  the outstanding Dillons defence. The only blemish in this victory for Brian Dillons was the amount of wide balls they accumulated which amounted to a total of eighteen, eleven in the second half.
                     As already stated the entire Brian Dillons defence of Andrew Murphy (goalkeeper), Dave Cremin, Danny Murphy, Michael Noonan, Daniel McCormick, Mark White and Darragh Rodgers, who seems to be back to his best, were all in outstanding form, Darragh Brosnan put in a good defensive midfield shift while his partner, young Keith McCormick, gave a polished performance, particularly in the second half when he slipped over three marvelous points. Cillian Brosnan won plenty of vital possession with  his catching of several high balls and his general workrate was immense while he had a major assist in John Horgans second goal,  Tomas Lawrence was his usual effiecient self, full of running and pilfering four points as well, while Shane Maher can feel well pleased with his performance, notching a fine goal and making a huge contribution to John Horgan"s first goal. John Horgan,playing in his fifteenth Championship campaign, showed all his experience when bagging a total of 2-7, 0-5 frees,  with Cian McCarthy contributing a healthy  0-3 and in the other corner forward position, John Noonan, still not fully recovered from a recent injury, was unlucky  not to goal ,in the opening half, when the Na Piarsaigh goalkeeper saved brilliantly. Scorers for Brian Dillons were; John Horgan, 2-7 (0-5 frees);Tomas Lawrence, 0-4; Cian McCarthy,0-3; Keith McCormick,0-3; and Shane Maher,1-0;
                 The Brian Dillons team lined out as follows; Andrew Murphy; Dave Cremin; Danny Murphy; Michael Noonan; Daniel McCormick; Mark White; Darragh Rodgers (Captain); Darragh Brosnan; Keith McCormick; Shane Maher; Tomas Lawrence; Cillian Brosnan; John Noonan; Cian McCarthy; and John Horgan; Subs; Kevin Coughlan for John Noonan (46 mins.); Maurice Carey for Shane Maher (50 mins.); Niall O"Sullivan for Cian McCarthy (57 mins.); Dave Coughlan for John Horgan (58 mins.);