Hat trick hero O’Higgins buries ’Boro




A HAT TRICKof goals by Niall O’Higgins set up Galmoy for a convincing win over Dicksboro in this North junior ‘B’ hurling quarter-final at Freshford. O’Higgins, a former Dicksboro player now resident in Galmoy, was in great form and was the difference between the sides.

Galmoy full-forward Donncha Gray struck the first goal when he collected a Frank Phelan pass. Niall O’Higgins raised his first green flag in the 17th minute when he flicked home a Phil Russell delivery.

Dicksboro centre-forward Peter Turley had got them off the mark in the 4th minute and their best player, Collins Connolly, added three further minors to keep them in the game. Wing-back Enda Donoghue sent a good ball up field which Craig Cahill converted before Dicksboro goaled.

It was corner-forward, Graham Egan, who finished a probing line ball to leave just a point between the sides after 20 minutes, Galmoy 2-3, Dicksboro 1-5.

The winners then got a break when Donncha Gray won a 20 metre free which Phil Russell sent low to the Dicksboro net. The losers responded positively and hit five points before half-time, three from the stick of lively corner-forward, Craig Cahill.

With time almost up, Frank Phelan made a good run up the left wing before sending a cross towards the ’Boro goal which was crashed to the net for goal number two for Niall O’Higgins. That left Galmoy ahead by 4-5 to 1-10 at the break.

Dicksboro began the better after the rest and after Collins Connolly pointed what was his third 65, they hit back for a good goal from close range by full-forward Andrew Phelan. That tied up the game at 4-5 to 2-11 at the three quarter mark.

Galmoy introduced cousins, Paul Delaney and Brendan Delaney, and both had a big part to play in Galmoy’s strong final quarter. Playing with a new confidence, the northerners goaled again in the 46th minute.

Phil Russell sent a long delivery goalwards. Again it was O’Higgins who fielded well and passed to Donncha Gray, who shook the net. A point each from Phil Russell and Frank Phelan extended the lead and with eight minutes remaining, O’Higgins completed his hat trick when he kicked past county minor goalkeeper, Dara Holohan, to snatch a semi-final place for Galmoy.

Dicksboro were well served by David Carroll, Enda O’Donoghue, Peter Turley and Collins Connolly. Others who did well for Galmoy included Brian Doherty, who was excellent in defence, Pierce Harte, Gavin Doherty and Thomas Phelan (Bawn) in the second half.

Galmoy - Jimmy Ryan, Darragh Morrissey, Brian Doherty, Eoin Glendon, Pierce Harte, Thomas Phelan (Castletown), Charles Brennan, Thomas Phelan (Bawn), Phil Russell (1-5, 1-3frees), Joe Ryan, Gavin Doherty, Frank Phelan (0-2), Niall O’Higgins (3-0), Donncha Gray (2-1), Brendan Sherman. Subs - Paul Delaney (0-1) for J. Ryan; Brendan Delaney for D. Morrissey; Leo Doherty for B. Sherman; Micheál Phelan for F. Phelan; Padhric Gray (0-1) for D. Gray.

Dicksboro - Dara Holohan, Eoin McCormack, David Carroll, Paddy Lacey, Enda O’Donoghue, J.J. Hickey, Eoin Burke, James Gittens, Paddy Cahill, Collins Connolly (0-6, 0-4 frees), Peter Turley (0-2), Peter Fitzpatrick (0-1), Graham Egan (1-0), Andrew Phelan (1-0), Craig Cahill (0-4). Subs - James Murphy, Shane O’Brien, Michael Kealy.

Referee - Eamonn Mansfield (Cloneen).