On Saturday last, October 10th, our senior hurlers took to the field against St Gabriels in the semi-final of the Ryan Cup. The match was played in dry, but blustery, conditions in St Gabriels own pitch at East Lane, North Wembley and the hosts showed that they meant business in a particularly strong first half display. Having exchanged a few early points from a couple of Eoin Chawke frees and a Daryl Roberts score, we were at 3 points all after ten minutes. Our opponents were winning a lot of possession though and we had our backs to thank for keeping danger at bay early on. Somewhat against the run of play we managed to get a goal when Rory Costello's bullet of a shot was well saved, only for the rebound to be whipped in. The Gabriels pressure soon began to tell though, and they replied in kind within a minute, and went on a scoring spree to race six clear over the following ten minutes. We held on and kept working hard and by the end of the half had managed to claw back the deficit to just two. The second half brought about a big improvement from our lads and, with a few positional switches by manager Kevin McMullan, we began to dominate in midfield and in our half-back line. The forwards were picking up much better quality ball and the scores started to flow - Tadhg Healy, Cathal Keogh and Rory Costello all got on the mark. At the back Paul Horkan kept things tight in the full back line, while Fergus McMahon read the play perfectly from centre-back. As the half wore on we were rewarded with two goals, including a nice team effort finished by Eoin Chawke. When the full-time whistle sounded we had emerged the victors on a 3-15 to 1-13 scoreline. Overall it was a very good performance from our lads and was a very satisfying win over our rivals, who had denied us in our last two meetings. However both teams know that the biggest prize of the year is still to play for - we face Kilburn Gaels in the SHC semi-final on Saturday the 17th.
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