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Junior (A) Hurlers Overcome Douglas in Opening Round of Championship.

posted 4 Jun 2013, 19:08 by Willie Horgan
                        Reigning Champions, Brian Dillons, successfully overcame the first hurdle in this years City Division Junior (A) Hurling Championship when they recorded a 3-15 to 4-10 win over Douglas , at Ballinlough on Tuesday evening, 4th June, 2013. In an extraordinary game , played in glorious sunshine and heat, Brian Dillons will feel well satisfied with this victory as they were forced to play without three of their regular ,prominent players, out through injury and had to field with  Cian McCarthy not fully recovered from an ankle injury picked up in their first round Football Championship win over St. Michaels on the 11th of May.
                  In a tense opening half, scoring was low with Brian Dillons leading, 1-5 to 0-5, at the interval with the goal coming from Niall O"Sullivan. If the first half appeared drab, as the scoring was at at a premium, the second half hour certainly exploded into life and the Ballinlough patrons were treated to some excellent hurling which featured some splendid scores. The Brian Dillons mentors made a master move when they introduced Brian Barrett into the proceedings for the second half. Barrett made a huge difference to the Brian Dillons attack with his fielding of goalkeeper Andrew Murphy"s excellent puck outs proving invaluable in this win .Scoring ace, John Horgan, who had a relatively quiet first half ,thundered into the game due mainly to feeding off  Brian Barretts possession, and the scores flowed freely in the second half. With just ten minutes left in the game, John Horgan was put through by Cian McCarthy for a great goal which had Brian Dillons leading ,2-12 to 0-8, and they looked home and hosed. However, in the next three minutes Douglas got through the brilliant Brian Dillons defence to score two quick goals and a pointed free which left them only trailing by three points, 2-12 to 2-9, with seven minutes remaining on the clock. A point by the excellent, Keith McCormick, pushed Brian Dillons ahead by four and then followed a great Brian Dillons goal from John Noonan which made it 3-13 to 2-9 with less than five minutes left in the game. Douglas responded with a point ,from a free, with just three minutes of normal time left on the clock but when John Horgan added two further ,excellent points, one from a free, it was 3-15 to 2-10 with the game entering injury time.  In the two minutes of injury time, Douglas made it an anxious ending for the Brian Dillons fans, when they scored two goals from 20 metre frees, one which was to be the last puck of the game. In the end , Brian Dillons were worthy winners on a 3-15 to 4-10 scoreline.
               Fielding without Daniel McCormick, Cillian and Darragh Brosnan and with Cian McCarthy not fully fit, Brian Dillons will be happy to have overcome this potential banana skin and can look forward to the next round with confidence. Andrew Murphy,replacing the long serving goalkeeper, Tom Triggs, who has emigrated to Australia, can feel well pleased with his first Championship game between the posts. He was absolutely coolness personified under pressure and his lengthty deliveries to the half forwards were excellent. Older brother, Danny gave a Man -of-the- Match performance at full-back with an awesome display of defensive play.  Corner backs, James Murphy, making his Championship debut, and Michael Noonan had excellent games for Brian Dillons with team captain, Mark White, giving another first class display of centre-half-back play..James O"Shea, another debutant to Championship hurling, was unlucky to pick up an ankle injury which forced him off, after five minutes, while his replacement at right half back, the experienced Niall Fahy, produced an outstanding performance.
 The ever reliable Maurice Carey gave his usual wholehearted performance, particularly in the opening half, at left half back.
              Tomas Lawrence, despite coming in for a lot of attention from the Douglas players,turned in another splendid performance at midfield
while his partner , Cian McCarthy, not fit enough for the middle of the park, played his best hurling when moved to full forward. Minor player, Keith McCormick, had another excellent game, both at right half forward, scoring two excellent points, and later at midfield where he foraged tirelessly in assisting Tomas Lawrence.  Kevin Coughlan, at centre half forward and Niall O"Sullivan at left half forward, both had decent outings and were rewarded for their efforts with two points and a goal respectively. Full forward, John Horgan, played his best hurling when moved outfield and he blossomed when Brian Barrett was introduced at the start of the second half. Horgan finished the game with a whopping 1-10 , with 0-5 coming from placed balls. Things did not go Mark Buckleys way at left corner forward,on this occasion, but he will get further opportunites to impress before the season is over. John Noonan , as usual, worked like a beaver in the other corner and crowned a fine display with a cracking goal in the second half.
         Scorers for Brian Dillons were; John Horgan, 1-10 (0-5 frees); Niall O"Sullivan, 1-0; John Noonan,1-0; Keith McCormick,0-2; Kevin Coughlan,0-2; and Brian Barrett,0-1.  The Brian Dillons team lined out as follows;(1) Andrew Murphy; (2) James Murphy; (3) Danny Murphy;(4) Michael Noonan;(5) James O"Shea; (6) Mark White (Captain); (7) Maurice Carey; (8) Tomas Lawrence; (9) Cian McCarthy; (10) Keith McCormick; (11) Kevin Coughlan; (12) Niall O"Sullivan; (13) John Noonan; (14) John Horgan;(15) Mark Buckley;  Subs; Niall Fahy for James O"Shea (injured) (5mins.); Brian Barrett for Mark Buckley (half time); and Philip O"Brien for Cian McCarthy (45 mins.);