There was plenty to enjoy and reflect upon in this junior hurling ‘B’ championship game in Windgap on Sunday when the home side, showing plenty of passion and considerable determination, overcame the Piltown challenge a little easier than the score might suggest.
The home side had the better of the opening exchanges as they opened up a nice lead of six points by the 15th minute. Points by Michael Power (2), Tom Lonergan (2) and Ger Purcell were all recorded before Andrew Norris bagged the losers first score.
Their second score brought them within two points of the winners when substitute Francis O’Brien - on for the injured Donal Ryan - slipped home an opportunist goal in the 17th minute. A long-range point by Tomas Talbot two minutes later further halved the Windgap lead to a single point.
But then Windgap took up the slack again and with Peter Hennessy and Paul Mc Kenna slipping over some lovely points, the Windgap lads arrived at the halfway house leading by 0-10 to 1-5.
Piltown opened the second half full of running, and with a better approach to the business in hand. By the 40th minute they had Windgap well in their cross hairs as they strove for parity.
However, a defensive mix-up led to a Windgap goal in the 43rd minute, scored by Tom Lonergan. Further damage to the Piltown ambition was inflicted by a string of uninterrupted Windgap points between the 44th and 50th minutes, scored by Peter Hennessy (2 frees), Gary Lyons, Tom Lonergan (2) and Paul McKenna.
Going into the final 15 minutes, Windgap led by eight points, and in truth, one could not visualise any circumstance, other than a major miracle how victory could be claimed by the black and amber brigade from down the road.
Piltown certainly did try as hard as they possibly could, but their best was never going to get them over the line in front.
Windgap can thank warriors like the excellent Peter Hennessy, the reliable Darragh O’Shea at full-back, Pa Moore, William Phelan, Gary Lyons, Tom Lonergan, Michael Power and Pauric Walsh for this good win.
Piltown can have little or no excuse to offer. They had good performers in Tom Talbot, James Connolly, Philly Kenny, Andrew Norris, Dean Brophy, Aidan Nugent, David Kinsella, and Richie Phelan.
Scorers: Windgap - Tom Lonergan (1-5, one pointed free); Peter Hennessy (0-5, three frees); Paul McKenna, Michael Power (0-2 each); William Phelan, Gary Lyons, James Murray, PJ Barron (0-1 each); Ger Purcell (0-1, free). Piltown - Francis O’Brien (1-2); Philly Kenny (0-3, two frees); Richie Phelan (0-3); David Kinsella, Andrew Norris (0-2 each); Tomas Talbot, (0-1 each).
Windgap - Niall Walsh, Pa Moore, Darragh O’Shea, Darren Walsh, Adrian Landy, Ger Purcell, Eddie Cunningham, William Phelan, Peter Hennessy, Gary Lyons, Tom Lonergan, Danial Cassin, Paul McKenna, Michael Power, Pauric Walsh. Subs - James Murray, Brendan Power, P.J. Barron, Paul Comerford.
Piltown - David Burchill, Jamie Murphy, Pa Connolly, Ryan Gallagher, Conor O’Shea, Tomas Talbot, James Connolly, Philly Kenny, Andrew Norris, Dean Brophy, Donal Ryan, Aidan Nugent, Richie Phelan, David Kinsella, Aidan Ryan. Subs - Francis O’Brien.
Referee - John Kennedy (Shamrocks).