For the third consecutive season, the St Brendan’s Hurlers, sponsored by Bodibro, are in the Quarter Finals of the Championship, after winning lasts years D Championship, getting into the last 8 of this year's C Championship was quite an achievement. Getting the home advantage was a huge bonus but alas it was not to be, and the team travelled to Stillorgan to face super club Kilmacud Crokes.
The Stillorgan Super Duper Superclub, whose slioters are sponsored by Beacon Hospital, raced into a two point to no score lead, Ciaran Ludden and Rob ‘Shane Lowry’ Hanrahan both had shots go wide, but the former finally got The Dark Force on the board with a point following a turnover from the latter.
JJ ‘72’ Lennon levelled matters with a close range free in after a foul on Liam Kennedy. Lennon made it a brace and the lead for his side with another short range free in after a foul on Ludden, that lead did not last long as Kilmacud levelled matters at 3 points each.
St Brendan’s took the lead four points to three with a Ludden point from play after a turnover from The Wexican Oisin Carley, again the lead did not last long with another long distance Kilmacud point.
Kilmacud started to put their stamp on the game with a brace of points, Liam Kennedy was lucky to stay on the field after what looked like a nasty tackle, but he got a yellow card and the player fouled was fine and played on.
21 minutes gone and JJ ‘72’ Lennon was forced to limp off after getting a knock on the leg. Sean Whyte replaced Lennon and made an instant impact when winning possession and passing to Shane ‘Harry Styles’ Nolan, pucking the Beacon Hospital sponsored slioter over the bar to make it 7 points to 5.
Kilmacud defended well and denied Nolan a goal, but only as far as Oisin Carley and scored a 50 meter shot over the bar. A Kilmacud shot that went wide was the last action and Eoin Ryan did not have the chance to puck out the ball when the referee blew for half time.
The Beacon Hospital Half Time Score Kilmacud Crokes 0-7 St Brendan’s 0-6.
Like Team Europe in the Friday Morning Foursomes at the Ryder Cup, Kilmacud Crokes were eager to end the contest early with a goal in the opening 20 seconds of the second half. Ciaran Ludden saw a short range free in go wide and Jack ‘The Relegator’ McCarron likewise saw a shot wide this time from open play.
6:22 gone in the second half and The Wexican Oisin Carley kept St Brendan’s in the contest with a good point after good work from Ciaran ‘The 1500 meter man’ O Lionraid and Pa Lambe.
St Brendan’s kept plugging away and a solo run and shot from McCarron was parried by the Crokes goalkeeper but couldn’t prevent the Beacon Hospital sponsored slioter from going over the end line for a 65. Rob ‘Shane Lowry’ Hanrahan converted the 65 and the gap was down to three. Make that two when Hanrahan won the Crokes puck out and pucked on the spot over the bar, 1-9 to 0-10.
The home side found another gear after bringing in fresh players into the fray, and Kilmacud hit three points on the spin, a fourth shot fell short to Eoin Ryan but the slioter bounced off the palm of his hand, straight into the path of a Kilmacud player who promptly pucked into the net to essentially end the game as a contest.
JJ ‘72’ Lennon recovered from the knock he took in the first half to replace Pa Carey and hit St Brendan’s 11th point of the morning from long distance.
Indeed, Lennon made it a brace after Ciaran Ludden was fouled, inches away from the penalty area and a free in resulted, which Lennon converted to make it 2-12 to 0-12.
Kilmacud Crokes kept turning the screw and hit four points on the spin. After Sean Whyte got hit on the noggin, a free in ensued. Lennon saw the low free in saved and despite the best efforts of Ludden and Shane ‘Harry Styles’ Nolan, both with low shots, the Kilmacud goalkeeper was eager to keep his clean sheet.
Gavin ‘The Goal Getter’ Muldoon also had a bid on goal after a pass from Michael Harte, but his shot was half blocked down and accidentally pucked the ball over the end line when trying to pass to himself.
Two more Kilmacud points followed and at 12.15pm, the referee blew the whistle to end proceedings and with that, end the St Brendan’s Hurlers 2023 season, which was a good season with plenty of wins, but a lot learned from the losses.
Final score from Páirc De Burca, St Brendan’s 0-12 Kilmacud Crokes 2-18.