Jul 21

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130 days in the wilderness finally ends in Longmeadows

It’s been a whole 130 days since we last seen the St Brendan’s Hurlers in action, March 10th to be precise, but the world has changed beyond recognition in those intervening 130 days, with the Covid 19 pandemic, taking hold and cancelling major sporting events worldwide, and almost wiping out the GAA Season, but the lockdown and restricted movements, meant that Ireland could slowly reopen again and the GAA can restart again. However the Leagues are cancelled and it will just be Championship Only.

For the St Brendans’s Hurlers, sponsored by Transdev, that meant a rejigging of the Junior D Championship where, instead of two groups of six, will be three groups of 4. First up in Longmeadows were Round Towers Clondalkin.

Two minutes in and a shot from Cathal Kelly was saved for a 65, Oisin Carley’s 65 hit the upright and the shot was about to be cleared when Eric Shadowens shouldered the back over the endline for a second 65, which Carley played short this time to Cathal Kenny and onto Ciaran Ludden who made no mistake second time around with a goal, three and a half minutes in.

The Away side settled into the game and after eight minutes with three consecutive points, the first of which was a free in. But the Dark Force were back up by three points when a pass by Sean ‘The Dream Maker’ Dardis, was untended to Gavin ‘The Goal Getter’ Muldoon, but both he and his marker missed the sliotar completely, but not Sean Whyte who won possession, went on a solo run, picked his shot and hit the net for the second goal of the game 2-0 to 0-3.

Towers pegged a point back. Ritchie Barry then pucked the ball out to Paul Lynch, and from 60 meters, Lynch got his shot just over the bar to restore the three point lead. That lead did not last long as Round Towers Clondalkin played a ball in that wasn’t handled correctly and Barry was beaten for goal 2-1 to 1-4.

St Brendans went both a point up and a man up after 16 minutes when Eric Shadowens allowed the sliotar over the end line for a 65, only for the sliotar to stop short of the end line and had to play, but got dragged down by the Clondalkin player who then retaliated at Shadowens. The referee had no option but to send the Clondalkin player off as Ludden converted the free.

However, Towers Levelled matters with a free in as the first half water break commenced. Maybe the away side added some Borocca to their water because they went a point up straight afterwards, but Ciaran Ludden levelled matters with a free in after a foul on Sean Whyte.

The Borocca that Round Towers Clondalkin took at the water break really kicked in the next four minutes with three unanswered points. However, the raw talent of Ciaran Ludden made it a level game once again (3-3 to 1-9) with a third major of the afternoon after a turnover from Paul Lynch and pass to Sean Whyte who put the head down and soloed, but saw his path blocked, instead passed to Ludden for the goal.

But a sickening blow for Brendan’s when a vertical ball went over the head of Noel Lane and Padraig Pratt and the Towers forward volleyed the sliotar into the net. A brace of points followed and Towers went into the half time interval leading 2-11 to 3-3.

More Borocca was taken at half time by Towers and it showed with four unanswered points, the first was a free in and the next three after winning three consecutive Ritchie Barry puck outs.

Yet another annihilation awaited.

Or Was it?

Aidan Melia brought on Shane Foley and Rochestown Alan Walsh into the game and the latter was fouled to allow Ciaran Ludden to convert another free in. A Towers 65 went wide and Richie Barry’s puckout was won by Ludden and in a copy of Paul Lynch’s first half point (Lynch was replaced by Foley at half time) Ludden caught, turned and shot over the bar into the Chapelizod Road end. (2-15 to 3-5)

Brendan’s were given a lifeline 10 minutes into the second half with a goal from Oisin Carley, after some great vision by Eric Shadowens, who was denied a goal earlier on in a goal mouth scramble, to spot the onrushing Wexican to bury the sliotar into the Towers net. Indeed Carley had a great chance for a quick brace of goals but was penalised for overcarrying.

The Dark Force were suddenly back in the match before the second half water break when The Goal Getter, Gavin Muldoon, finally got the goal he craved but not without much consternation. It was claimed that Muldoon’s shot went wide but after a lengthy conversation between referee and umpire, the referee was convinced that Muldoon’s shot did cross the goal line and pointed his finger downwards for St Brendans fifth green flag of the afternoon, 5-5 to 2-15. Angered by that decision, Towers pegged a point back, indeed that was the first of three points on the bounce before the second half water break.

That four point lead became three with a point from Shane Foley after good vision from Padraig Pratt and Sean Whyte. Ciaran Ludden had a good chance to level the game, but hit his shot very tamely and wide, but unbeknownst to Ludden, his hurl had a crack on it, hence the weakness to the shot and got his hurl replaced.

Both sides traded points with the St Brendan’s score coming from Sean Whyte after a pass from Oisin Carley and good work from Rochestown Alan Walsh. Towers put the game beyond reach with a point and a four point buffer and that is what is stayed at the final whistle. While it was a disappointing result, Aidan Melia will be pleased with the performance and keeping the margin down throughout, next up is a trip to Tom Russell Park and a Round 2 Junior D Championship encounter against St Brigid’s


Final Score from Longmeadows, St Brendan’s 5-7 Round Towers Clondalkin 2-20.

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