On Saturday 17th of October we faced 2014 champions Kilburn Gaels in the London SHC semi-final in Ruislip. Playing with the wind at our backs in the first half we held a three point advantage at half time, 1-7 to 0-7, with Eoin Chawke's quick-fire goal the only difference between us. Facing into the breeze in the second half there was little between the sides as we managed to keep our noses in front. However Kilburn hit a purple patch midway through the half, reeling in our lead before pushing three ahead on the 50 minute mark. It seemed like our hopes were fading as the same cushion remained with less than five minutes left. We refused to give up however, and our patience was rewarded when Daryl Roberts gathered possession out on the wing, beat several defenders and rattled the Kilburn net. In almost the next play Mick O'Dwyer latched onto a ball on the right and rifled the sliotar between the posts to put us one ahead with time just up. What followed was a long period of added time during which our defence had to withstand a continuous Kilburn onslaught. Due to a combination of spirited and disciplined defending we managed to hold on to our slender advantage over those last tense minutes. As the clock ticked past the 67-minute mark a long-range Kilburn free was lofted into our incredibly crowded goalmouth. However it was inspirational midfielder Tadhg Healy who rose highest, fielding the sliotar above the thicket of hurleys, before clearing to the wing. The final whistle then sounded, to the great joy of our supporters. It was a display of great heart and determination against a very strong Kilburn team, of which we can be proud. However our attention turns immediately to the training pitch and our preparations for the final. Our opposition, St Gabriels, have already shown their quality by winning the league title this year, so we must show even greater heart and skill if we are to capture the ultimate prize in London in 2015.
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