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Three Point Defeat for Junior (B) Hurlers in Championship Final.

posted 27 Oct 2014, 19:38 by Willie Horgan
             The Brian Dillons Junior (B) Hurling team just failed in their efforts to win the City Division Junior (B) Hurling Championship, when they went under to a strong Whitechurch team by a three point margin, in  the final, which was played at, a wet and blustery, Ballinlough, on Sunday morning, 26th October, 2014.   The final score, after a hard fought encounter was, Whitechurch, 0-16; Brian Dillons (B), 1-10.
             Although, bitterly disappointed in their failure, Brian Dillons can feel justifiably proud of reaching the final of this Championship, with their second team, as they produced some fine performances on the path to the decider. However, the loss of Niall Fahy, Kevin Varian, and Mark Buckley, who were all prominent in the earlier rounds, and were subsequently introduced to the Club"s first team in the semi-final of the (A) Championship ,  against Nemo Rangers,. were a huge loss ,as well as outstanding defender, James Varian, who emigrated to Canada last month . Whitechurch were deserving winners in the end, but , one wonders if Brian Dillons had their full compliment of players, for  the entire second half, they had a player shown a red card , with 16 minutes of the game still remaining, would the result have been different. We will never know, but ,the dismissal, definitely had a huge bearing on the final result. Conditions were far from ideal for the decider, with persistent rain coupled with a strong cross field wind continuing throughout which made it extremely difficult for the teams to produce quality hurling. However, it must be stated that Whitechurch adapted better to the conditions ,with some of their hurling being top class. Brian Dillons opened brightly with a point, after 30 seconds, when Tommy Boland passed to full-forward, Brian Barrett, who, in turn, slotted over  Whitechurch responded with three points in a row, two from frees, before James Horgan set up Tommy Boland for the second Brian Dillons point, after seven minutes play. Two further Whitechurch points, one from a free, followed which put them three ahead.  Edmund Hussey reduced the deficit with a fine point, after 13 minutes, for Brian Dillons but, then followed a period of Whitechurch dominance which saw them score five unanswered points, one from a free, which pushed them ahead , 0-10 to 0-3, after nineteen minutes. Whitechurch were dominating around the middle of the field which prevented the Brian Dillons full-forward line, who looked extremely threatening in the early stages, from being given a steady supply of the ball. On one isolated occasion that they did receive the ball, James Horgan passed to the unmarked Tommy Boland,  in front of goal on the thirteen metre line, but his goalbound strike was brilliantly saved by the Whitechurch "keeper.  One sensed, at this stage, that this was not going to be Brian Dillons day. Martin Corbett, who was battling hard in the half-forward line, converted a point ,for Brian Dillons, after 23 minutes, to which Whitechurch replied with a similar score, also from a free, one minute later. Brian Dillons finished strongly, in the closing five or six minutes of the first half , with another pointed free from Martin Corbett and another beauty from Ken McCarthy, after receiving  a pass from a Martin Corbett free, which left the half time score reading, 0-11 to 0-6, in favour of Whitechurch .    
           Brian Dillons began the second period as they did in the opening half, with a point, after 30 seconds, from Martin Corbett. Whitechurch had their opening second half score , a point, after four minutes, but, the pendulum seemed to be swinging in Brian Dillons favour with the midfielders coming to grips with the situation, especially when half-forward, Ken McCarthy,was switched out there. Two consecutive points followed from James Murphy and Ken McCarthy ,who was hurling brilliantly,at this stage, which left Brian Dillons trailing by just three points, 0-12 to 0-9, after ten minutes of the second half. The momentum was with Brian Dillons now, but, after 14 minutes of the second half, came the incident which had a vital bearing on the final result.. Ken McCarthy went to field a high ball ,in the centre of the field, but, was grounded by a heavy body charge into his back and to which the referee awarded a free to Brian Dillons. Unfortunately, Ken"s discipline left him down, and he reacted to the challenge with a wild swing at his opponent, which saw him receive a straight red card , which left his teammates with a mountain to climb. In fairness to Brian Dillons they battled gamely on  with  their defence, in which, James O"Shea and Derek McDonnell were superb, confining the Whitechurch forwards to just four points for the remainder of the game. Following Ken McCarthys dismissal, Whitechurch increased their lead ,with another point, to which Brian Dillons replied with a similar score from Martin Corbett(free).The extra man was to play a big part for Whitechurch in the closing ten minutes as he ,repeatedly mopped up ball after ball that was being pumped into the Brian Dillons full-forward line.,Three points in a row, one from a free, had Whitechurch leading by six with ten minutes left and it was now left to Brian Dillons to look for goals if they were to salvage the game. They peppered the Whitechurch goal  in the closing minutes, but some great saves by the Whitechurch "keeper denied them, until, finally,,Edmund Hussey finished to the net, after sustained Brian Dillons pressure, in the first minute of additional time. Four more minutes of play were added on ,by the referee, but, try as they might, Brian Dillons could not manage to breach the Whitechurch defence for another goal and when the full time whistle sounded they were still three points ahead, 0-16 to 1-10, and were deservedly crowned champions. We congratulate them on their achievement.  The Brian Dillons scorers were; Martin Corbett, 0-4 (0-3 frees); Edmund Hussey, 1-1; Ken McCarthy,0-2; Brian Barrett , Tommy Boland and James Murphy, 0-1 each.  The Brian Dillons team lined out as follows; John O"Herlihy; Eoin Keane; Derek McDonnell; Eoin Hennessy; Darren McGrath; Dylan O"Donoghue; James O"Shea; Luke O"Connell; Edmund Hussey;  Ken McCarthy; James Murphy; Martin Corbett; Tommy Boland; Brian Barrett and James Horgan;  Sub.,Michael Colohan for Luke O"Connell (45 mins.)