Two weeks ago in Tymon North, The St Brendan’s Hurlers, sponsored by Transdev, played their first game of the 2023 Go Ahead Ireland AHL7, and their first game as Dublin Junior D Hurling Champions, when facing age old rivals, Faughs, a team St Brendan’s had a lot of trouble in the past but not on the day as The Dark Force showed no signs of complacency with a comprehensive 7-12 to 1-8 victory with Niall Larkin bagging 3-1, Shane Nolan 2-2, JJ ‘72’ Lennon 1-2 and Oisin Carley 1-0.
This quartet were back on the Starting XV today as St Brendan's, sporting new Jersey's supplied by Wexford based Bodibro, bid to make it 2 from 2 against Trinity Gaels in Longmeadows.
And it was Larkin who was the first to open his account with the opening score following a Rory Tynan puck out to David Griffin and pass to Patrick Lambe and finally to Larkin. The away side opened their account shortly afterwards. JJ ‘72’ Lennon then got his first score of the match from a close range free in after a high tackle on Shane Nolan.
A brace from Trinity Gaels saw them lead for 25 seconds for what turned out to be the only time in the match. Patrick Lambe soon had the scores level from a shot from 40 meters. St Brendan’s retook the lead from a 65 by JJ Lennon after a Nolan shot was initially saved.
Lennon struck again to make it 0-5 to 0-3 after 15 minutes. Indeed it would be a brace after collecting a Rob O’Hanrahan sideline cut. Another Trinity Gaels point followed. Rory Tynan’s puck out was won by Michael Harte and found The Wexican Oisin Carley with the shot over the bar 0-7 to 0-4. Niall Larkin went for a goal but got blocked by a wall of Trinity Gaels players, but recycled the ball to Patrick Lambe who made it 0-8.
Michael Harte won a brilliant turnover and played a brilliant ball to Shane Nolan who went one on one with the keeper and there was going to be one outcome and that was a St Brendan’s goal in which Nolan celebrated by lifting his jersey and unveiling a t-shirt with this photograph of Gary Lineker.
The points kept on coming and Carley notched up another point from a free in. JJ ‘72’ Lennon when won the Trinity Gaels puck out with a clean catch and on the spot pucked the sliotar over the bar to make it 1-10 to 0-4, indeed it was brace of points from Lennon with a point from play in between a 5th point for the Donaghmede men. Cathal Kelly insured the starting St Brendan's full forward line with a point of his own following a David Griffin turnover.
St Brendan’s, playing with the wind, ensured a strong finish to the half they call the first, with Route One Hurling from Declan Lee with a strongly pucked point from long range and after winning a free in, Lennon pointed from a close range free to make the half time score 1-14 to 0-5.
Now playing against the wind into the Chapelizod end. Cian Walsh urged his side to continue strongly as they did in the first half. Nolan’s bid for a second goal was aborted with two shots and two-point blank saves and a third shot that went wide, but Carley won the Gaels points with an excellent catch and pass to Declan Lee who judged the wind perfectly with a shot over the bar from 30 meters. Shane Nolan was brought down when in a good position but composed himself and puck his free in over the bar to make it 1-16 to 0-5.
That became 1-17 when David Griffin, frustrated over lack of defending opportunities at half back, went on the attack and hit a super point. After Oisin Carley show a shot hit the upright, Declan Lee retrieved possession and passed to Lennon and managed to notch up another point to increase the tally to 1-18.
Playing with the yellow sliotar now doing the rounds at all levels in Hurling, The Dark Force’s scoring tally increased to 1-19 thanks again from Lennon, showing great strength to break through the defense. The away side did manage to hit a brace of point themselves.
Gavin ‘The Goal Getter’ Muldoon, also wearing a Gary Lineker t-shirt under his jersey, came on for Niall Larkin, hoping to raise a green flag and display the t-shirt in support for the ex England soccer international embroiled in a Twitter controversy. Lennon made it 1-20 after point a long distance free in after a Trinity Gaels player got a needless yellow carded for mouthing.
Carley then made it 1-21 after a Lennon cross field pass found The Wexican. Both Jack ‘The Prop’ McGrath and Brian Kennedy ensured Rory Tynan would never be beaten for a goal with superb goal line clearances with Kennedy stopping a shot inches from the goal line and McGrath making a super clearance.
The points kept on coming and after Declan Lee made it 1-22, Cian Walsh had the luxury of emptying the bench with Barry Larkin, Noel Lane, Sean Whyte and Sean Dardis getting some match minutes and it was Whyte who crashed the Sliotar into the Trinity Gaels net after a final pass to Patrick Lambe. Whyte then displayed a T-shirt with the slogan #IStandWithGaryLineker.
Another brace of points followed from Lennon which turned out to be the final points of the match and a free in from Trinity Gaels which was caught on the line by Alan Walsh was the last action of the match and a second consecutive comprehensive victory was the result for St Brendan’s, who dedicated the win to Gary Lineker, just to raise his spirits after what he is currently going through. Next up is another visit to Donabate and a match up with St Patrick's. Can St Brendan’s make it 3 from 3, who knows?
Final score from Longmeadows St Brendan’s 2-24 Trinity Gaels 0-9.