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Jul 10

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Finally, Finally FINALLY!

Hurlers v St Maurs 09072018 (4)Monday 9th July 2018 – On Sunday July 1st, St Brendan’s Hurling, you could say, hit a low ebb in St Catherine’s Park, when only 13 players showed up for a League encounter against Na Gaeil Oga, who mercilessly ran out 4-19 to 0-5 winners.

This Monday evening the 9th it was a different story when 22 players togged out as The St Brendan’s Hurlers, sponsored by Transdev started, what would hope will be, the start of the upward curve with St Maurs of Rush the visitors to Longmeadows.

But in the opening quarter, The away side had two goals on the board already.

Another lower ebb was going to be reached.

Or was it?

In fact, the score was 2-3 to 0-4 when this writer arrived after 15 minutes, and saw St Maur’s got a point after Richie Barry, blinded by the sun, spotted the slioter bounce in front of him, over his head and over the bar.

But the Dark Force got motoring in the final 10 minutes of the first half with five points on the spin, the first came from Daniel Murray after a pass from Paul Lynch. Mark Kinsella made a great clearance but only as far as a Maurs back but his clearance went as far as Sean Beatty and with the sun in his eyes, pucked the ball over the bar.

Rory Tynan was chopped down when winning possession, but Paul Lynch pulled his free in wide. The Maurs puckout was won by Padraig Pratt and pucked the ball to Tynan who played a vertical ball in the square when Shane Muldoon managed to puck over the bar from short distance. Lynch had the last say of the half with a score from the 65.

 

Half Time Score: St Brendan’s 0-09 to 2-04 St Maurs

 

Aidan Melia demanded his side to work hard because they find themselves in ‘A Right F****** Hole’ and the only way we can dig ourselves out of this ‘Right F****** Hole’ is to work harder than ever before.

A shot from St Maur’s went wide, Richie Barry’s puckout found Conor Browne and then onto Michael Heffernan and the shot over the bar and the sides were level once again.

Unfortunately, St Brendan’s found themselves in that Right F****** Hole once again when St Maur’s scored an opportunist goal that even Richie Barry didn’t even see, 3-4 to 0-10. But Barry got the shovel out and started digging his side out of the hole when his puckout found Sean Beatty who pointed a marvellous score to put two between the sides.

Another Barry puckout off 65 meters saw the players scramble for the sliotar, Michael Heffernan emerged from the scramble with possession and hand passed to Sean Breatty who steadied himself and drive the sliotar over the bar for a one-point game. A sideline cut from Paul Lynch found Ger Power who then played a crossfield ball to Clive Kennedy and soon had the ball over the bar for the equalising score 3-4 to 0-13.

Any chance of the lead score ended, for now, when a long ball by Ger Power was not connected and eventually cleared over the sideline. The St Maur’s Sideline cut was worked in, but a foul resulted in their goalkeeper pointing the free in from all of 80 meters over the bar for the lead again for the away side. Another foul by Conor Browne gave St Maur’s a chance for a two-point lead from 35 meters which they duly did. 3-6 to 0-13.

St Brendan’s were given the mother and father of all lifelines when a clearance by Richie Barry found Trevor Purtill who fed to Paul Lynch and finally Michael Heffernan who worked his way in to slice open the defence and score a crucial goal and the lead for The Dark Force. The lead did not last long because St Maur’s came back up the field and hit an equalising point.

However, St Brendan’s were back in the lead, and you can safely say, they have totally emerged out of that ‘Right F****** Hole’ when Lynch played the sliotar into the small square, another scramble emerged and it was Rory Tynan to got a hurl to the ball to crash the St Maurs net for a priceless goal and a three point lead 2-13 to 3-7.

Sean Beatty then turned provider to Trevor Purtill who made it a four point game with a well taken point. After another Maur’s point, the gap was back to four points with a great turnover from Padraig Pratt, onto Paul Lunch and finally Sean Beatty for the point. 2-15 to 3-8 with five minutes of a pulsating game to go and Aidan Melia on his knees.

Pratt, Mark Kinsella and Eanna Larkin were defending heroically to keep Richie Barry’s goal line intact, but Maurs did get another long-distance point. Another scramble on the Maurs 20-meter line resulted in a hopball, which St Maurs won but had a fresh air shot when clearing. Clive Kennedy pinched the pocket and played the ball to Eddie Hearne and the Wexican got another crucial score for a four point lead, 2-16 to 3-10 as the game reached the final minute with Maur’s scoring to make it a three point game.

Billy Kelly made a great solo run but ended up being hooked, Paul Lynch protected possession and played it to Michael Heffernan for the point and the semi comfort zone of a four point lead. Trevor Purtill had plenty of energy to hook a St Maurs player on a solo run and win a free out for his side. Purtill played the ball to Paul Lynch who had his jersey tugged and the referee played advantage. There was no advantage so a crucial free in for St Brendans. Eddie Hearne look at the ball, picked it up, struck it and struck it over the bar and a 5 point lead, 2-18 to 4-10, three minutes into injury time.

But the drama was not finished yet.

A shot from St Maurs was brilliantly saved by Richie Barry for a 65. Virtually everybody was between the goal line and the 65 as the goalkeeper played the 65 into the small square. The sliotar hit the underside of the crossbar, bounced onto the goal line and out but a loose hurl connected with the sliotar and there was a goal for St. Maur’s. Two points in it now.

St Brendan’s were now facing the most heartbreaking defeat of all time.

Or Was it?

Another shot from Sean Beatty went inches wide which could have given his side a slight buffer. St Maurs went on the attack, looking for a smash and grab goal, and a shot deflected of Richie Barry’s hurl and inches away from the goal but thankfully for Barry, it trickled over the end line for a 65. Like the previous 65, all 29 players were standing between the goal line and 20-meter line but the goalkeeper pucked the 65 over the bar instead for a one point game.

Barry’s puckout was won by St Maurs who pucked it back in hoping for an equalising score, but only in the hand of Mark Kinsella who made a solo run and got as far as the 45-meter line when the referee brought a dramatic, pulsating game of Hurling to a conclusion.

Aidan Melia was overcome with emotion. Cian Walsh threw his hands in the sky and said “Thank God”. St Brendan’s have Finally, Finally, finally won a game of Hurling for the first time in the 2018 season. For the players, it was a joyous occasion and even Richie Barry celebrated by doing the Dora The Explorer We Did It dance. A victory which, no doubt, will mean so much to the team, the players and the short-term future of small ball code in the club.

Now, can they make it win number 2, This Thursday the 12th against Raheny Who knows, but for now, let us all savour this final scoreline.

 

Final Score from Longmeadows: St Brendan’s 2-18 (24) to 4-11 (23) St Maurs.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.stbrendansgaa.org/?p=1784

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