There was much to enjoy in this Junior B hurling encounter in John Locke Park last Friday evening as Piltown came from back in the pack to catch John Lockes (Callan), pass them and eventually win quite comprehensively.
Both sides put in a very honest, determined shift in their quest for gold. From an overview one would probably have to say that the team with the better skilled hurlers won the day, and I suppose that is all that was required, but credit the home side that never surrendered. In some opinion, they could have won the day if substitutions had worked as anticipated. That they didn’t, sin scéal eile.
Piltown were the busier team in the early stages. David O’Shea was accuracy personified from all placed balls, while Adam Murphy, and Philly Kenny posed the greater threat to the Callan goalmouth area. A goal by Murphy in the 16th minute set the early tempo, a tempo with which the John Lockes seemed at variance.
The Callan defence, well marshalled by the likes of Keith Doheny - getting better with every game he is playing after a long lay-off - Derek Halley, a young Robert Kerwick and Mark Nolan fought the brave battle with Murphy, David O’Shea, James Norris, Aidan Nugent, and Steven Blackmore.
John Lockes were trying valiantly to keep pace with the Piltown lads, and credit must be apportioned to the likes of Sean Power, Niall Hennessy, Pat Power, James Power, Brian McCann and Martin Connell who never shirked their responsibilities. With half-time approaching, the home side had pulled themselves into a challenging position, and with Piltown in front at the 30th minute, Martin Connell worked a very brave goal to tie the game at 1-8 apiece.
It got even better for the hosts, as a Niall Hennessy free on the stroke of the break had the home side in front by the slenderest of margins.
The early part of the new half saw a rejuvenated John Lockes pull away from the Piltown lads. Points by Hennessy, James Power, Brian McCann, James Power and Brian Kerwin had them in front by 1-14 to Piltown’s 1-11. A terrific James Power goal, crafted by McCann, shot John Lockes six points to the good with 14 minutes remaining.
However, for some inexplicable reason the Callan substitutions just didn’t have the anticipated desired result, and the ’Lockes paid a severe price.
After Power’s goal, the ’Lockes were not to score again. Holes appeared in the heart of the Callan defence, and there was a preponderance to give away needless frees.
The end game was that Murphy, Kenny, Norris, Blackmore, and O’Shea tore the Callan defence to shreds. Bagging 1-7 in the final 10 minutes, they went back to Iverk Country with the points in the bag.
Piltown - Andrew Norris, Jamie Phelan, Pa Connolly, Shane Walsh, Tom Talbot, Michael O’Dwyer, Michael Burchill (0-1), Phil Kenny (0-2), Tom Kenny, Adam Murphy (2-3), David O’Shea (0-5, 0-4 frees), Ian Long, James Norris (0-5, frees), Aidan Nugent (0-1), Steven Blackmore (0-3). Subs: Dean Brophy, Kevin White, Tommy O’Gorman.
John Lockes - J.J. Corrigan, Derek Halley, Keith Doheny, Robert Kerwick, Liam Kennedy, Mark Nolan, Eoin Kennedy (0-1), Brian Kerwin (0-1), Pat Power, Niall Hennessy (0-5, 0-4 frees), Sean Power, Brian McCann (0-3), Martin O’Connell (1-1), James Power (1-3). Sub: Eoin Fahy, James Power.
Ref; Julian O’Dwyer (Windgap).