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Thrilling Game as Brian Dillons Finish Level with Kildorrery in County Final.

posted 25 Oct 2012, 18:17 by Willie Horgan   [ updated 25 Oct 2012, 18:24 ]
                           So near and yet so far ! That was the feeling of the huge crowd of Brian Dillons supporters present in Pairc Ui Rinn on Sunday, 21st October,2012, when Brian Dillons and Kildorrery finished level in the Cork County Junior (A) Hurling Championship Final after a titanic struggle..  The final score was Brian Dillons, 1-18; Kildorrery, 2-15.
                           Brian Dillons were leading from the first minute to the last minute of regulation time and looked winners when they held a three point lead going into the dying embers of this terrific game.       Then, all the drama unfolded when Kildorrery levelled the scores with a great goal as the game went into the two minutes of added time.     Worse was to follow for Brian Dillons ,in the first minute of added time. when Kildorrery took the lead for the first time when one of their corner backs swung over a massive point from his own half-back line and it looked ,at that stage, that a cruel defeat was to be the fate of the gallant Brian Dillons team.      However, Brian Dillons attacked from Tom Triggs puckout and when the Kildorrery goalkeeper was penalised for deliberately lying on the ball, when under pressure from the Brian Dillons forwards, and top scorer, John Horgan tapped over the resultant free .  There was still a few seconds left and, from the puck-out ,Brian Dillons gained possession and just as another attacking movement was about to materialise, the full- time whistle sounded and both sides lived to fight another day.
                      Disappointment and relief was etched in the faces of the Brian Dillons players as they trooped off the field at the end of the game.  Disappointed that they did not succeed after leading up to the last minute of normal time and relief that they got another chance to emerge winners in the replay.
                    Playing tremendous hurling in the opening half of the game, Brian Dillons stormed into the lead when elegant midfielder, Tomas Lawrence pointed after less than a minutes play.  Brian Dillons won the resultant Kildorrey puck-out and a long delivery into the Kildorrery goalmouth was pounced on by the Brian Dillons full-forward, John Horgan, who dispatched an unstoppable first time strike to the back of the net  for a great goal. The same player pointed from a placed ball ,a minute later, which put Brian Dillons ahead 1-2 to nil, after just three minutes of play.     Philip O"Brien deftly flicked the ball to the net, shortly after, but, he was deemed to be in the square before the ball and the goal was not allowed.
              Brian Dillons were stunned in the fifth minute of the game when Kildorrery pounced for their first goal after Tom Triggs had stopped a piledriver but, the rebound fell to the in coming Kildorrery corner forward, who slammed the ball to the net.  This setback did not upset Brian Dillons as they replied with three great points from play from Cillian Brosnan,two, and John Horgan....1-5 to 1-0 after eight minutes play.
          Kildorrery had their first point after nine minutes but, Brian Dillons restored their five point cushion when John Horgan finished off a brilliant passing movement which involved Cillian Brosnan and John Noonan.  Another Kildorrery point left four points between the sides ,after eleven minutes but, a pointed free, from John Horgan and a beauty from play, from Tomas Lawrence, pushed Brian Dillons, 1-8 to 1-2, ahead, midway through the first half and hurling confidently.
             The Brian Dillons lead was reduced to four points when Kildorrery put over two points, one from a free......1-8 to 1-4 after eighteen minutes.   John Noonan, who was winning great ball in the corner-forward position,pointed to which  Kildorrery replied with a similar score from a free....1-9 to 1-5 after twenty minutes.  John Horgan put over a long range free and when Philip O"Brien struck a massive point from out around midfield, it was 1-11 to 1-5, in Brian Dillons favour as half-time loomed. A foul conceded in the added time of the first half led to Killdorrery pointing from the resultant free to leave the half-time score reading; Brian Dillons,1-11; Kildorrery, 1-6.
              Kildorrery, now playing with the advantage of a sizeable breeze, opened the second-half scoring with a pointed free after less than a minutes play. Once again, John Horgan nullified this score when he put over a similar effort in the sixth minute of the second half.  Another pointed Kildorrery free , after ten minutes, was followed by another John Horgan point from play.   Kildorrery had their first second half point from play, to which John Horgan,again  replied with a similar effort from play....1-14 to 1-9 with thirteen minutes of normal time remaining.
            It was at this stage of the game that Kildorrery put in the extra effort and, with three points in a row, had reduced the lead to just two points, with ten minutes remaining in this classic game. John Noonan gave Brian Dillons a three point cushion with his second point, a minute later but, almost immediately, Kildorrery were back  with a point of their own at the other end.   Brian Dillons substitute Kevin Coughlan, pointed with his first touch of the ball , with just five minutes remaining... 1-16 to 1-13,   Excitement was now at fever pitch. Kildorrery reduced the arrears to two points with another pointed free and when Kevin Coughlan was unlucky to see his effort for a second point, hit the upright, John Horgan struck a beauty from play to put Brian Dillons ahead, 1-17 to 1-14, with three minutes of normal time left.
           Just when it looked that Brian Dillons would hold on for a memorable victory, disaster struck in the last minute of normal time, when Kildorrerys best player, Peter O"Brien, broke through the teak tough Brian Dillons defence to score a great goal....1-17 to 2-14.   Two minutes of added time was still to be played and , when one of the Kildorrery corner backs landed a massive point from midfield, defeat was staring Brian DIllons in the face after they had put in such a massive effort to succeed.    However, justice was done when John Horgan levelled the scores with a pointed free in the dying seconds of the game.
           This was one of the best games of hurling seen at this venue for years and the Brian Dillons players can feel justifiably proud of their contributions. For most of the game, the defence hurled defiantly with Danny Murphy and Darragh Brosnan being particularly prominent while Mark White, at centre -half- back, did a good job in trying to curtail Kildorrery danger man, Peter O"Brien.  Tomas Lawrence consolidated his rising potential with another fine game, at midfield, notching two fine points also. Cillian Brosnan was absolutely brilliant,at centre-half-forward, in the opening half of the game with John Noonan and Philip O"Brien working their socks off in the corner-forward positions.  Once again, John Horgan produced a masterful display in the attack, with his markmanship uncanny from all angles, both from play and frees, contributing a total of 1-10, 1-4 from play.
              The eagarly awaited replay has been fixed for Sunday, 4th November,2012.
             The Brian Dillons scorers were; John Horgan,1-10 (0-6 frees); Tomas Lawrence,0-2; Cillian Brosnan,0-2; John Noonan,0-2; Philip O"Brien,0-1; and Kevin Coughlan,0-1;
              Team; (1) Tom Triggs;(Capt;); (2) Michael Noonan; (3) Danny Murphy; (4) Maurice Carey;(5) Daniel McCormick; (6) Mark White;(7) Darragh Brosnan;(8) Tomas Lawrence; (9) Cian McCarthy;( 10) Keith McCormick; (11) Cillian Brosnan;(12) Brian Barrett; (13) John Noonan; (14) John Horgan; (15) Philip O"Brien;      Subs; Dylan O"Donoghue for Brian Barrett (40 mins.); Kevin Coughlan for Keith McCormick (53 mins.) Darragh Rodgers for Maurice Carey,( 55 mins.)