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Junior (A) Hurlers Reach County League Final.

posted 23 Nov 2014, 15:51 by Willie Horgan   [ updated 26 Nov 2014, 15:42 ]
            The Brian Dillons Junior (A) Hurling team took a step nearer to retaining their County Junior (A) Hurling title when they disposed of the challenge of the Carbery representatives, St.James, on a scoreline of 3-13 to 1-7, in the semi-final, which was played in Carrigaline, on Sunday afternoon, 23rd November, 2014. They will now meet the Imokilly representatives, Dungourney, in the final , which will be played next weekend.
             The game with St.James followed a similar pattern of the previous weekends McCurtain Cup semi-final, with Brian Dillons appearing sluggish in the opening quarter and then settling ,to take command in the second quarter and ,again, having to play the second half with fourteen players, after Darragh Brosnan was dismissed, after picking up two yellow cards, five minutes from the half-time break. The second half saw Brian Dillons, as they did the previous week, produce a powerful performance, with their magnificent defence, once again, in mean form, curtailing the St.James forwards to just two points, while at the other end, the Brian Dillons forwards pilfered a healthy 2-8, which eased them into a twelve point winning margin at the finish. The game was played in  dry and sunny weather conditions with the Carrigaline pitch in, surprisingly, good condition for this time of the year. St.James opened promisingly and went two points up, one from a "65 and the other from a free, after seven minutes play. Brian Dillons were finding it difficult to put the ball between the posts with the usual reliable, John Horgan, untypically, off target from a few long range frees, which he would have been expected to score from. They had to wait until the 13th minute for their first score when wing forward, Cillian Brosnan pointed and the same player added a second point, after receiving from John Horgan, one minute later ,which brought the sides level. Another free saw St.James point ,to push them ahead again, with fifteen minutes gone, but, Brian Dillons were beginning  to control the game ,at this stage. They took the lead for the first time, after 18 minutes ,when industrious midfielder, Tomas Lawrence, was put through by Maurice Carey,to score a fine goal.... Dillons ahead by 1-2 to 0-3. John Horgan finally found the range with a pointed free after 20 minutes, which was followed, a minute later, by another Cillian Brosnan point and the same player set up Tomas Lawrence for a similar score which pushed Brian Dillons, 1-5 to 0-3, ahead after 23 minutes play.. Then, two minutes later, Brian Dillons lost Darragh Brosnan to a second yellow card, which allowed St.James finish the half in determined fashion, plundering a goal and two points (frees), which had them back on level terms, 1-5 each, when the half time whistle sounded. Facing the second half with only fourteen players, the character and spirit of the Brian Dillons was , once again, about to be tested.
          John Horgan opened the second half scoring when he pointed from a "65, in the second minute but, St.James, were level again when they slotted over a free, after seven minutes One minute later came a second Brian Dillons goal, when Darren McGrath, who had been switched from full-back to full-forward, in one of the many changes made by the Dillons selectors for the second half, billowed the back of the net after receiving the ball from a Cillian Brosnan pass. Brian Dillons were growing in confidence at this stage, even though playing with a man less, and the points began to flow.. Tomas Lawrence, Maurice Carey and John Horgan (free) pushed Brian Dillons ahead, 2-9 to 1-6, before St.James had their only point ,from play, after 15 minutes of the second half. This point was to be the final score from the Ardfield side as the Brian Dillons defence with the full-back line of Philip O"Brien, Darragh Rodgers and Michael Noonan, along with Danny Murphy, at centre half back, continuing to hurl defiantly.Midfielders, Tomas Lawrence and Keith McCormick were hurling splendidly, in the middle of the park, also, as Brian Dillons began to go out of sight of their opponents. Two further pointed frees from John Horgan followed and when Tomas Lawrence ghosted through the St.James defence to score a great goal, with seven minutes left, the game was done and dusted. Impressive substitute, Shane Maher, after receiving a pass from John Horgan, slotted over a fine long range point, a minute later which was followed by a Cian McCarthy point which had Brian Dillons leading by 3-13 to 1-7 at the final whistle. Even though not figuring in the scoring the contribution of corner forward, Mark Buckley, is deserving of a mention, as his workrate was immense throughout the game. Scorers for Brian Dillons were; Tomas Lawrence, 2-2; John Horgan, 0-5 (0-4 frees, 0-1 "65); Cillian Brosnan, 0-3; Darren McGrath,1-0; Maurice Carey, Shane Maher and Cian McCarthy, 0-1 each.  The Brian Dillons team was as follows; Andrew Murphy; Philip O"Brien; Darren McGrath; Michael Noonan; Daniel McCormick; Darragh Rodgers; Darragh Brosnan; Tomas Lawrence; Keith Mc Cormick; Cian McCarthy; Danny Murphy; Cillian Brosnan; Mark Buckley; Maurice Carey and John Horgan;  Subs; Shane Maher for Daniel McCormick (42 mins.) James Murphy for Maurice Carey (48 mins.); Brian Barrett for Darren McGrath (53 mins.) and Eoin Hennessy for Mark Buckley (57 mins.);