THIS South junior ‘A’ hurling league game in Dunnamaggin produced cracking entertainment for the small crowd, and they enjoyed every moment of the action.
The sides were evenly balanced, and if at times the shooting was somewhat wayward, the same could not be said about the intensity of the competition. The action was free flowing, and it would be very wrong to say that defences were dominant.
They were not, hence the aggregate score of 4-28. Both sides drove an equal number of wides. Referee Tom Duggan used plenty of common sense, and there were few frees awarded. Only seven scores came from frees.
The scoring by both sets of attackers was practically on par, with the Mooncoin forwards scoring two points more than their counterparts. Ray Wall had a very fine game for Mooncoin from play and from placed balls.
Stepped into breach
Latterly his shooting deserted him. Davy O’Brien stepped into the breach and capitalised on some free shots with aplomb. While Noel Lahert grabbed 2-1 for Dunna’ their cause was well served by the accuracy of midfielder Tommy Maher, who shot four points from his outfield position, three from frees.
Callan import, Bill McCormack served his new masters well. He rattled over three fine points from play, but more importantly, his contribution in the link play was very valuable. He set-up Noel Lahart for his second goal.
Jim Power too fired home a couple of beauties. He was very forceful, travelling far outfield, collecting ball and driving forward with tremendous verve and determination.
With Mooncoin looking the sharper during the early exchanges with two smart points from Wall, Noel Lahart rocked them with his first goal after seven minutes. By the 11th minute a Nicky Heneberry goal following a dreadful defensive error by the Dunnamaggin had pushed the visitors to the front.
By the 20th minute Dunnamaggin had reasserted themselves, and points by Bill McCormack, Jim Power (2) and John Hickey had the sides all square. A strong run by McCormack set up Lahart for his second major, and suddenly it was all Dunnamaggin.
But Mooncoin, thanks to a necklace of three unanswered points from Davy O’Brien, left the minimum between them as half-time approached. Niall O’Hanlon and Lahart exchanged points before the break, which left the scoreboard reading, Dunnamaggin 2-6, Mooncoin 1-8.
Far from over
This game was far from a conclusion.
Hickey and McCormack shot a couple of early warning shots across the bows of the Mooncoin destroyer, but O’Hanlon, O’Brien and Ray Wall halted the home side’s advance. McCormack and Tommy Maher slipped the Dunnamaggin challenge under the radar with a couple of grand points, but a Ray Wall goal midway through the half shot the far South lads to the front again.
That was the kind of game we had. It kept the hordes on their toes, and on each other’s toes as well. By the 58th minute Mooncoin looked the winning docket, but two great pointed frees by Tommy Maher brought the game to the buffers level.
Scorers: Dunnamaggin - Noel Lahart (2-1); Tommy Maher (0-4, three frees); Bill McCormack (0-3); Jim Power (0-2); Richard O’Shea, Peter Kenneally, John Hickey, Owen Wallace (0-1 each). Mooncoin - Ray Wall (1-5, two pointed frees); Davy O’Brien (0-5, two frees); Nicky Henebery (1-0); Niall O’Hanlon (0-2); Eamon Mackey, Ciaran Dunphy (0-1 each).
Dunnamaggin - Andrew O’Neill, Anthony Kearney, Aidan Donovan, Matt Moylan, Richard O’Shea, Brendan Moore, Andrew Hickey, Tommy Maher, Peter Kenneally, Jim Power, John Hickey, Bill McCormack, Owen Wallace, Noel Lahart, Conor Long. Sub - Ciarán Fennelly.
Mooncoin - Patrick Kinsella, Dick Mackey, Noel Delahunty, Shane Walsh, Tomas O’Hanlon, Sean Wall, Niall Madden, Niall O’Hanlon, Eamon Mackey, Gerry Kirwan, Ray wall, Tom Healy, Davy O’Brien, Nicky Henebery, Chris Hearne. Sub - Ciaran Dunphy.
Referee - Tom Duggan (Mullinavat).