27th July 2013
Our senior hurlers took on Brothers Pearse in the third round of the senior hurling championship in Ruislip on Saturday evening, July 27th. With two drawn games in the opening round of the championship both teams knew that a win could put them in pole position for qualification for the knock-out stages. Prior to the match there was a minute's silence in honour of Robert Emmetts clubman Sean Quinn who tragically passed away recently at a young age. As a player he distinguished himself on the field with club and county, winning every honour in the game including London and national titles. He was uppermost in the minds of many of his former teammates as we took to the field.
After a tense first 10 minutes that had the score at one point apiece we seemed to settle and when Fergus McMahon put over a '65' we were 3-1 up. Although we were starting to enjoy a lot of possession we missed a number of chances from play and from frees. Brothers Pearse then began to find their own rhythm though over the next 15 minutes, making economical use of their possession and converting all of their chances to push five points clear. As half-time approached, Damian O'Halloran scored a neat point off his left from a very difficult angle to keep us in touch but the score read 8 points to 4 in favour of Brothers Pearse. Although behind we were encouraged by the fact that we were creating chances and defending well. Jonathan Hanley was especially impressive at full-back, claiming any high ball that came his way and delivering long clearances. The half-back line of Aidan Ryan, Paul Horkan and Ciaran Fitzpatrick was solid throughout, frustrating the Pearses' attack and, along with Paddy Breen, delivering a steady supply of ball to our forwards.
The opening 15 minutes of the second half proved to be just as tight as the first in open play, but Pearses were managing to hold us at arm's length maintaining their lead as we traded points. Scores were now proving very difficult to come by and we were still behind by four after 20 minutes. However, we got a real boost when full-forward Niall Higgins gathered a ball between the '21' and '45' and ran at goal. As a defender was drawn to him he spotted Rory Costello in space just outside the '21'. 'Nips' let a quick handpass in to Rory who turned and drilled the sliotar hard off his left into the bottom corner of the goal. The Pearses were rattled and we attacked again from the puckout, winning a free on the '45' to the left of goal. When Kevin McMullan calmly knocked it over the bar to level the scores it seemed like all the momentum was with us. However, the Pearses rallied and, as the light faded and the rain moved in, won an easy free a couple of minutes later. That was followed by another score from a placed ball which seemed to knock the wind out of our sails. As we searched for a goal Pearses finished strongly getting the last two points to win by four at the finish.
We now face Sean Treacys in a must-win battle on August 11th.