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Three Point Defeat for Junior (A) Footballers in Championship Semi-final.

posted 5 Sept 2014, 16:31 by Willie Horgan
           The Brian Dillons Junior (A) Footballers failed in their attempt to reach their second consecutive City Division Junior (A) Football Championship final, when they were beaten  by three points, at the semi-final stage, by an excellent Passage combination, on Wednesday, 3rd September, 2014, at Pairc Ui Rinn. The final score was; Passage, 1-10; Brian Dillons, 2-4.
         Brian Dillons were beaten finalists in last years Championship decider, when they were beaten by St.Finbarrs ,by three points, after a replay but, however, they recovered to capture the City Division Junior (1) League title ,as well as the McSwiney Cup competition at the latter part of the season.  Hopes were high that the team would go the full way in this season and capture the Championship which was last won in 1998, when the current Team Manager, Alan Whelan, was a key member of the winning team. League results, this season, have been quite good with seven wins from eight games played and with Championship victories over St.Nicks (5-18 to 0-4), St.Michaels, (1-14 to 1-8) and Whites Cross, (2-15 to 2-11), confidence was high going into the Passage game. However, the team gave their worst performance of the year and even , at that, could have won or at least finished level with Passage. Without doubt, having to line out minus Colm O"Connor (injured), John Noonan (injured) and Dave O"Leary (holidays) was a severe blow to their chances.  Brian Dillons opened well , with Tomas Lawrence unlucky not to goal in their opening attack, but, however, went into the lead when Philip O"Brien pointed after receiving a pass from Shane Maher.  Almost immediately, Brian Dillons could have been four points ahead, when full-forward, Cillian Brosnan, gained possession and deftly passed the ball to the unmarked, Shane Maher, who was unlucky to send the ball into the side netting. A goal ,at that stage, would have been hugely important to Brian Dillons. Instead, the missed opportunity seemed to galvanise the Passage team, and for the remainder of the first half ,they outscored Brian Dillons by 1-5 to 0-1, the Brian Dillons point coming from a Cillian Brosnan free kick, in the ninth minute of the game. Hard to believe that Brian Dillons went twenty one minutes in the first half, without scoring, although, they passed up another goal scoring opportunity, when Shane Maher, after dispossessing the Passage "keeper, saw his goalbound shot being saved.
       Two early second half Passage points, saw them leading by 1-7 to 0-2, and Brian Dillons looked in deep trouble. However, Brian Dillons responded, in style, when substitute, Dave O"Donoghue gave a great ball to Darren McGrath, who billowed the back of the net for a great goal.... 1-7 to 1-2, after seven minutes of the second half.  Scoring was at a premium for the next twelve minutes with defences, on both teams outstanding, forcing both sets of forwards into faulty shooting.  Brian Dillons narrowed the gap  with points from Dave Cremin (49 mins.) and  Darragh Brosnan (51 mins.) and, for the first time in the game, Passage looked vulnerable.  However, they received a piece of good fortune, in the 53rd minute, when they were awarded a point, which was waved wide by the umpires, but was given by the referee ,after consulting with his linesman. It was clearly wide. Understandably upset at this decision, Brian Dillons were punished for a lack of concentration, when Passage won possession, from the kickout,and added another point which left them leading, 1-9 to 1-4, with seven minutes of normal time remaining. Four minutes later, Brian Dillons were awarded a penalty, for a foot block inside the parallelogram, which was despatched to the back of the net by Cillian Brosnan, which left his side trailing by two points, with three minutes, plus injury time, remaining.  In the final minute of normal time, a point for Passage put them three ahead, with everybody expecting , at least, five minutes of additional time to be played. This assumption was because the game was held up for five minutes ,during the second half, while a Passage player was being treated for an injury. However, the referree called a halt to the proceedings with slightly less than three minutes of injury time played, and Passage were winners ,on a 1-10 to 2-4 scoreline.   Scorers for Brian Dillons were; Cillian Brosnan, 1-1 (1-0 pen. 0-1 free); Darren McGrath,1-0;  Philip O"Brien, Dave Cremin and Darragh Brosnan, 0-1 each.; The Brian Dillons team lined out as follows; James Kirby;  Andrew Murphy; Edmund Hussey; Michael Noonan; Niall Fahy; Cian McCarthy; Chris Daly; Tomas Lawrence; Darragh Brosnan; Philip O"Brien; Darren McGrath; Mark Walsh; Dave Cremin; Cillian Brosnan; and Shane Maher; Subs; Dave O"Donoghue for Andrew Murphy (34 mins.);Danny Murphy for Philip O"Brien (50 min.);