Two weeks on from their loss against St Jude’s, The Aughrim Street Credit Union Hurlers went into their Round 3 AHL7 encounter with St Oliver Plunketts Eoghan Ruadh full of confidence after a very positive week of training.
But it was the home side that drew first blood and lead 2 points to no score after 5 minutes, the second of those points being a free in. Shane Foley was playing as a goalkeeper for the first time in his career but could not stop a thunderous Plunketts shot on the next attack from going into the net.
However, with the support of his sons Iarla and Cian on the side-lines, Foley did make a great catch to deny Plunketts a second goal and Mark Kinsella made the clearance, onto Eric Shadowans and finally onto Oisin Carley for the Dark Forces first point of the match.
After another Plunketts point, Noel Lane stepped up to point a free, after Shadowens was fouled. Playing with the breeze in the first half, Carley played a long ball into the square but the goalkeeper managed to prevent it from going over the bar and cleared away, only for Carley to win the ball back and bang it over the bar, 1-3 to 0-3.
Another Plunketts point followed, and then had a rasping shot that went wide. From the resulting Foley puck out, Carley caught and sent it into the square where both Lane and Shadowens contested but it was Richie Barry who picked and stroked the slioter into the back of the net.
After a brace of Plunketts points, Noel Lane notched up his second point thanks to an assist from Sean Dardis. The match was then a one point game again, following a super point from Vincent O’Flynn.
Another brace of Plunketts points followed but Oisin Carley ensured a two point half time deficit by converting a free after Ger Power was fouled.
Half time score: St Brendan’s 1-06 to 1-08 Plunkett’s.
The home side got the opening score of the second half but the Brendan’s side responded with a Noel Lane free after Ronan Tynan was fouled. Both sides traded points, and after great pressure from Tynan he managed to win possession getting fouled again in the process. Tynan began to fire up his troops and as Plunketts protested, the free was moved up an extra 10 meters which allowed Lane to point the free to leave a two point game 1-10 to 1-8.
The home side again tried to pull way in the final quarter with three points in five minutes, Eric Shadowens however was eyeing the goal. Unfortunately his shot hit the helmet of his marker and out for a 65 which fell shot and was cleared. Richie Barry also had a goal chance, but his shot hit the boot of the goalkeeper and was cleared, but only as far as Carley, who passed to Rory Tynan and onto Shadowens who put the finishing touch to a well worked move.
Plunketts again tried to pull away with five minutes to go, opening up a six point lead. Carley had the collar of shirt tugged when on a solo run but the free in fell short. After another Plunketts point, Johnny Walsh spectacularly caught a Foley puck out, and passed to Vincent O’Flynn who passed to Shadowens for his second point of the afternoon.
But that was St Brendan’s lot as a point from Plunketts from 95 meters out was the last action of the match. The fact that Plunketts had a strong subs bench to call on at will and St Brendan’s were limited to one sub in an aging Damien Daly (who came on and played reasonably well despite limping off in the final minutes), was the winning of the game for Plunkett’s. A vast improvement by “The Dark Force”, who can now look forward to Championship action after the Easter break
Final Score form Martin Savage Park: St Brendan’s 1-10 to 1-17 St Oliver Plunketts Eoghan Ruadh