This was a real bad day at the office for the junior hurlers from Dunnamaggin. They opened their campaign in the South shampionship against Thomastown in drenched Hugginstown on Saturday and there was nothing but disappointment for them.
It is amazing how often mentors from the winning outfits make the approach to hacks like me to down play the victory, and the performance. It happened here, but......
In truth, one would lose credibility if the story as it unfolded were not told. There is no way on God’s earth that I could attempt to convince readers that the score was not a true reflection of the game.
Would you believe me if I told you that Thomastown were lucky? Would you believe that Thomastown needed to do a lot of hard work based on this encounter against an inept Dunnamaggin outfit? Would you believe if I told you that the better team lost?
Of course you wouldn’t, and given the respect that I hold for the people that read this column, I have never indulged in such foolishness. To thine own self be true, is what I say.
Thomastown were the better team by a distance. They were probably even better than the score would suggest. They had far more accomplished hurlers than hard trying Dunnamaggin.
While the losers were well enough stacked in defence, their forward power was pretty poor. It was not that they were starved of ball. On the contrary, they saw plenty of the sliotar, but they couldn’t show the slightest whisper of being capable of breaking down an impressive Thomastown defence.
Even the moving of centre-back, Bill McCormack up to the forward area made not the slightest difference. The ’Town defence just gobbled them up, unapologetically.
Even on the rare occasion when they managed to penetrate the Thomastown rearguard, they found Dylan Walsh, and his replacement, Darragh McGarry in unbeatable form.
At half-time Dunnamaggin were still in the game, even though trailing by 1-7 to 0-4. Thomastown’s first score in the opening half fell to the lethal Jon Jo Farrell, who finished off a terrific move led by Thomas O’Hanrahan to the back of the Dunna’ net after five minutes.
Kieran Bergin was a lone figure capable of getting any scores for the losers. One of his points from out near the sideline was a marquee effort in the 11th minute.
The Dunna’ challenge dissipated in an eight minute spell between the 34th and 42nd minutes. Jon Jo Farrell, set up by Thomas O’Hanrahan, slammed home his second goal. He added a point a minute later.
O’Hanrahan grabbed a point and a goal in quick succession to leave the scoreline reading, Thomastown 3-11, Dunnamaggin 0-5.
The ’Town were home and hosed. Their final goal came compliments of Stuart Waugh in the added time period.
Thomastown are a work in progress. They have work to do, but they also have the tools to craft it whatever way they see fit.
Scorers: Thomastown - Jon Jo Farrell (2-4, one point free); Thomas O’Hanrahan (1-3); Stuart Waugh (1-3, two points frees); Darren Burke (0-3); Michael Donnelly (0-2, one free); Rob O’Hanrahan (0-1, free). Dunnamaggin - Kieran Bergin (0-5, four frees); Andrew O’Neill, Donal O’Shea (0-1 each).
Thomastown - Dylan Walsh, James Hoyne, Shane Lanigan, Brian Murphy, Ron O’Hanrahan, Peter O’Hanrahan, Richard O’Hara, Dessie Walsh, Barry Whelan, Michael Donnelly, Stuart Waugh, Dylan Waugh, Thomas O’Hanrahan, Jon Jo Farrell, David Prendergast. Subs - Paud Caulfield, Darren Burke, Darragh McGarry, Sean Mahoney.
Dunnamaggin - Adam Kenneally, Paul Kirwan, Brendan Moore, Andrew Fitzpatrick, Richard O’Shea, Bill McCormack, Andrew Hickey, William Hughes, Sean Conery, Paddy Delaney, John O’Neill, Kieran Bergin, Andrew O’Neill, Anthony Kearney. Subs - Donal O’Shea, Conor Long.
Referee - Tommy Duggan (Mullinavat).