After seeing both Football teams fail to make it out of the group stages. The St Brendans Hurlers, sponsored by Luas Transdev, did make it into the knockout stages but faced a daunting trip to Kiltipper Road in Tallaght to face a Thomas Davis side who won all three group games.
Despite all GAA matches now played behind closed doors, several Thomas Davis supporters did make it to Kiltipper road, they bought their tickets long before the Goverment announcement last Tuesday and could not get a refund, Thomas Davis need the money!
So with the crowd in attendance, Shane Foley, now plaing outfield, got the opening score of the game for the Dark Force in the opening minute. The next three scores were all goals, Davis got their goal first in a well worked move, then Ciaran Ludden got the St Brendan's major after assistance from Shane 'The Goal Poacher' Muldoon, and then the home side got their second green flag from a free in. Those who did buy tickets for the game felt they got their monies worth in the opening eight minutes.
This writer however, arrived late with the score 2-3 to 1-2 and just witnessed Ludden's point from play to keep St Brendan's in touch. Indeed it would be a brace for Ludden before the water break with the second point coming courtesy of Johnny Walsh winning the Davis puck out. Then the sides retreated for the swig of the magic bottle.
St Brendan's started playing well and hit a brace of points from Johnny Walsh and Shane Foley after the latter point saw Eric Shadowens almost getting a goal but got swallowed up , the clearance went to Foley and the point but Davis soon had the two point deficit back again with a point from play 2-4 to 1-5.
Sean 'The Pretty Boy' Whyte won Ritchie Barry's puck out and played the ball to Shane Foley who was taken out as soon as he dropped the slioter into the large parallogram. A free in from where the ball landed, where Ludden prompty converted and put one between the sides.
But the home side had the two point lead again but once again the lead was down to one with yet another Ludden free who showed great strenght to regain possession and draw the foul. Again both sides traded points in injury time with The Wexican Oisin Carley scoring the St Brendan's point to make it a 2-7 to 1-8 lead for Thomas Davis at Half Time.
The Tallafornians showed why they topped their group with a 100% record when a free in was dropped in and connected with the bas of a Davis hurl and into the net. Another point followed and it was now a six point lead for Davis after four second half minutes.
After fouling the player which lead to the goal, Oisin Carley redeemed himself by responding with a well taken point after good play from Trevor Purtill. Ritchie Barry ensured there would be no fourth green flag this afternoon by pulling off a string of great saves and subsequent clearances from Mark Kinsella and The Dream Maker Sean Dardis. A frustrated Davis did manage to hit a for points on the spin and a nine point lead, 3-12 to 1-9.
Oisin Carley took over the long distance free taking and scored from 60 meters out after a Ludden foul. Eanna Larkin put his head where others put their hurl by thwarting another Davis attack twice in a space of 15 seconds and a clearance by Kinsella. 3-12 to 1-10 was the score at the second half water break. Despite Ludden blasting a 20 meter free in straight to the Thomas Davis defenders and cleared.
However, Ciaran Ludden did point a short range free in after the water break but Thomas Davis soon added to their score with a brace. St Brendan's made Thomas Davis work hard for their victory with good defending from Larkin, Kinsella and Dardis, whilst at the other end, Oisin Carley kept the scoreboard ticking with another point 3-15 to 1-12 with two minutes to go. Indeed it would be a brace for the Wexican who won the Davis puck out and shoot himself for the point.
The home side hit a brace to run out winners in this Quarter Final tie. Disappointment for St Brendan's Hurlers but no disgrace is losing to the favourites for the Junior D Championship. That is not the end of the season for The Dark Force who, with the other beaten Quarter Finalists, make up Group 2 of the Junior D Shield with the first game of what competition taking place in two weeks time, so plenty of Hurling left before the end of the year.
Final Score from Kiltipper Road Tallaght Thomas Davis 3-17 St Brendan's 1-13.