O’Loughlin Gaels 1-14
Erin’s Own 0-17
BOTH sides made a dash for the line, but Erin’s Own and O’Loughlin Gaels had to be content with a share of the spoils in a keenly-contested senior hurling league clash in Jenkinstown.
The men from John’s Parish looked like sneaking the result when a late goal from centre-forward Mark Kelly left them on the brink of victory with time running out, but a Damien Fogarty free ensured a Comer side who led for most of the second half didn’t go home empty-handed.
The city club got off to the better start, with Brian Dowling setting up Niall McEvoy to shoot his side ahead inside 30 seconds. Conor Bergin won the first ball that fell to his corner and pointed sweetly, before Mark Bergin pushed his side three in front after a layoff from Martin Comerford.
After a slow start, the ’Comer men kicked into gear with a string of five unanswered points. Martin Boran started the run with his first free, before brother Peadar added another a minute later.
Following another Boran free, Robert Moran lofted a high ball into the path of Declan Dunne who pointed. Martin Boran grabbed his first point from play but Mark Bergin and David Burke sprang to life as they tagged on scores for the Gaels.
With Boran continuing to show his accuracy from placed balls, Mark Kelly kept O’Loughlin’s going when found himself in space to split the posts. Mark Bergin contributed his first point from play before a booming free by Conor Fogarty dropped over the Gaels crossbar.
Still the sides couldn’t be separated. ’Comer full-forward Anthony Owens thought he had given his side the half-time lead when he collected a low delivery and shot over on the half hour mark, but Bergin (free) levelled matters to leave the game firmly in the melting pot (0-8 to 0-8).
Although the sides couldn’t be separated, both teams had plenty of positives to take from the half. The ’Comer forwards had worked very hard in the opening half, their movement the best it’s been so far this year. As for O’Loughlin’s their backs were hurling well, with a lot of their scores coming from Bergin frees.
The second half started in fine style, as a massive Damien Fogarty free found its way over the bar. Peadar Boran and David Burke traded well-taken scores, before another Damien Fogarty free sailed between the O’Loughlin’s uprights (0-11 to 0-9).
The closeness of the game from the first half was still present after the restart, as the sides continued to snipe points in quick retaliation. Martin Comerford pounced on a defensive error and bagged himself a point while Mark Bergin added to his ever-growing tally with another free (0-11 each).
A foul on Robert Moran let Boran shoot over again, a feat he repeated a minute later. Fogarty and Bergin swapped frees before newly-introduced sub Jack Nolan put his name on the score sheet with a finely taken point.
Erin’s Own were beginning to click into gear now, as they tried to get away from their rivals. Peadar Boran’s well-timed run allowed him to shoot over from the resulting puck-out, but Bergin grabbed another minor score soon after to leave just two between the sides (0-16 to 0-14).
Just when it was beginning to look like a goal would settle the game, the Gaels found the big strike they craved. Jack Nolan was again involved when his hopeful ball was met by the stick of Mark Kelly, whose flick found its way into the ’Comer net with just four minutes left.
However, Erin’s Own didn’t panic. Another foul on Robert Moran gave the ever-reliable Damien Fogarty the chance to silence the city side’s supporters. He did the necessary, converting his fifth free of the game to level the game to leave the teams with a point each.
SCORERS: Erin’s Own - Martin Boran (0-6, 0-5 frees); Damien Fogarty (0-5 frees); Peadar Boran (0-3); Conor Fogarty (0-1 free); Anthony Owens, Declan Dunne (0-1 each). O’Loughlin Gaels - Mark Bergin (0-7, 0-5 frees); Mark Kelly (1-1); David Burke (0-2); Martin Comerford, Niall McEvoy, Conor Bergin, Jack Nolan (0-1 each).
O’Loughlin Gaels - S. Murphy, A. O’Brien, A. Kearns, E. Kearns, P. Butler, B. Hogan, N. Bergin, A. Geoghegan, M. Bergin, B. Dowling, M. Kelly, N. McEvoy, D. Burke, M. Comerford, C. Bergin. Sub: J. Nolan.
Erin’s Own - T. Brophy, J. Mullins, P. Keating, P. O’Donovan, G. Callinan, D. Fogarty, C. Fogarty, J. Byrne, A. Moran, D. Dunne, P. Boran, E. Mealey, M. Boran, A. Owens, R. Moran. Sub: G. Byrne.
Referee - J. Walsh (Rower-Inistioge).