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Under-21 Hurlers pip "Rockies" in Championship Thriller.

posted 18 Sept 2013, 16:24 by Willie Horgan   [ updated 18 Sept 2013, 16:30 ]
                                  Brian Dillons advanced to the semi-final of the City Division Under-21 Hurling Championship  with a thrilling, 1-13 to 1-12, victory over a talented Blackrock outfit, which was played in Pairc Diolunaigh on Wednesday evening, 18th September, 2013. This game was played at a very high standard of hurling and full credit to the Brian Dillons side, who led from the very first minute and never allowed Blackrock take the lead. Three minutes into injury time, Brian Dillons had edged ahead by four points, 1-13 to 0-12, and the game looked safe but, with the Referee playing one more minute of additional time, Blackrock struck for a late goal which, however, failed to alter the final result.
                               Brian Dillons were fast out of the blocks with Tomas Lawrence and James O"Shea striking over two fabulous points within the opening minute of the game.  The Blackrock forwards looked very dangerous and had their opening point in the second minute. Keith McCormick, who had a terrific game at full-forward for Brian Dillons, restored his teams two point advantage with a fine score, after three minutes of play, to which Blackrock replied with similar score from a "65, one minute later. With five points scored in the opening five minutes of the game, it looked like being a high scoring game, but, it did not turn out that way with defences, on both sides defending brilliantly for the remainder of this outstanding encounter. Blackrock levelled the scores, with a point , midway through the first half. but ,Brian Dillons regained the lead when Dylan O"Donoghue stroked over a long range free after seventeen minutes play. The teams were deadlocked, once again two minutes later when Blackrock pointed. At this stage of the game, Brian Dillons struck a purple patch and added points per Kevin Varian, Keith McCormick and Dylan O"Donoghue which opened up a three point gap, 0-7 to 0-4, after twenty two minutes play. Blackrock reduced the arrears with a point, five minutes later, but, Kevin Varian, from a placed ball, restored Brian Dillons three point cushion, one minute from the break which left the half-time score reading; Brian Dillons, 0-8; Blackrock, 0-5;
                            Brian Dillons got the second half off to an explosive start when Keith McCormick billowed the back of the net, which put his side up 1-8 to 0-5, after two minutes play.  Blackrock were not deterred by this setback and three points , one from a free, had them back in contention, 1-8 to 0-8, after ten minutes of the second half. Kevin Varian hit two points, one from a free and the other a sweet score from play, which increased Brian Dillons lead, 1-10 to 0-8, two minutes later. Blackrock"s battling qualities began to show, at this stage, with their defence clearing some mighty balls which their clever forwards utilised to the full, adding four points, to leave them trailing by just a single point, 1-10 to 0-12, with six minutes of regulation time remaining. The spirit of the Brian Dillons side surfaced in the closing exciting minutes of this enthralling tussle with their magnificent backline closing down the Blackrock scoring machine and their forwards running with the ball which led to the concession of frees by the "Rockies defenders which were duly punished by the Brian Dillons sharpshooter,Kevin Varian, who put over three consecutive points which had his team ahead,1-13 to 0-12, with thirty three minutes of the second half played. With everybody expecting the full time whistle after Brian Dillons went four points up, three minutes over the regulation thirty, there was still more drama left in this game. The Referee allowed one more minute of additional time and in the very last attack of the game, Blackrock finally penetrated the resolute Brian Dillons defence with a late ,late goal to leave the full time score reading; Brian Dillons, 1-13; Blackrock, 1-12;
                     There were many fine performances in this super win for Brian Dillons. Goalkeeper, Mark Kelly, was cool as a cucumber between the posts and was most unlucky to concede the late Blackrock goal after brilliantly stopping the first attempt. Darren McGrath gave an impeccable performance ,at full back, with his aerial fielding of the high ball being particularly noteworthy. In the corners, Michael Noonan was, once again, outstanding with Stephen Kearney also,playing very well. The half back line was the strongest sector of the Brian Dillons team with James O"Shea, though pitted against one of Blackrock"s liveliest forward, Darragh Brosnan and Dylan O"Donoghue  all outstanding.   As expected, Tomas Lawrence played himself to a standstill at midfield with great assistance from Shane Maher One concern , with the forwards, was that only two players scored but, then again, they were up against an outstanding "Rockies defence. Keith McCormick, was a revelation at full-forward, and how this player was overlooked by the Cork minor selectors this year, is a mystery. Kevin Varian added to his growing reputation as a top class freetaker while his two points from play were also gems. Brian Dillons are through to the semi-final of this competition, in which they will meet Mayfield, on Saturday evening next, 21st September,2013, in Na Piarsaigh Grounds with a 7.30pm throw-in. Scorers for Brian Dillons were;Kevin Varian, 0-7 (0-5 frees);Keith McCormick,1-2 ;Dylan O"Donoghue,0-2 (0-1 free ); Tomas Lawrence and James O"Shea, 0-1 each; Team; (1) Mark Kelly; (2) Stephen Kearney;(3) Darren McGrath; (4) Michael Noonan (Capt.) (5) James O"Shea; (6) Darragh Brosnan; (7) Dylan O"Donoghue; (8) Tomas Lawrence; (9) Shane Maher; (10) Kevin Varian; (11) Kevin Coughlan; (12) Andrew Murphy; (13) Eoin Hennessy; (14) Keith McCormick; (15) Eric O"Donoghue;  Sub; Andrew Whyte for Eoin Hennessy (50 mins.).