O’Loughlin Gaels 0-14
Erin’s Own 0-10
A MISERABLE evening in Ballyragget ended with the game being finished under floodlights and with last year’s championship kings, O’Loughlin Gaels scoring their second win in the senior hurling league.
A strong performance in the second half saw the winners overcome the tough and gritty challenge of Erin’s Own (Castlecomer). The first score came from wing-forward Anthony Owens before Damien Fogarty pointed the first of one of his trademark long range frees.
Michael Owens pointed for ’Comer in the third minute when he struck over from the centre-forward position. The losers enjoyed a great start and Martin Boran added to the tally when he got his first a minute later from the corner.
Michael Murphy pointed his first free, adding to the total to make it five points for ’Comer without reply. O’Loughlin’s got their first score after 15 minutes when Mark Bergin pointed his first free. He pointed his second a minute later.
Great Comerford point
Martin Comerford got his first of the game, which was a great point after taking a pass from Alan Geoghegan. Mark Bergin pointed another free close in before Damien Fogarty converted his second free from a long range, putting ’Comer ahead at the interval by 0-6 points to 0-4.
The losers did well in the first half when the strong wind was in their backs. Damien Fogarty played well. He swept up an awful lot of ball and starved the O’Loughlin’s full-forward line of possession.
The ’Comer forwards were struggling, however, with county centre-back Brian Hogan a giant of a performer in the Loughlin’s defence. Conor Fogarty won ’Comer’s first free of the second half and it was pointed by Michael Murphy before Mark Bergin replied in like fashion.
Murphy pointed his third after a bad tackle on Jimmy Byrne and this put ’Comer ahead again by three points. Bergin and Murphy traded frees again before O’Loughlin’s started to get a grip on the game.
Brian Dowling pointed before Alan Geoghegan, now operating at midfield, scored his first of the game from way out on the sideline. Martin Comerford picked off got his second of the game with a fantastic strike from the sideline.
Murphy was unlucky and missed a vital free for ’Comer before Geoghegan got his second point to tie up the teams for the first time at 0-10 points apiece. The momentum was firmly O’Loughlin’s.
Mark Bergin shot another free before getting his first from play after a strong run down the left wing. Newly introduced sub and two time All-Ireland colleges medallist, Jack Nolan pointed from the corner after receiving a good pass from Geoghegan.
Geoghegan then pointed his third and final score when he found himself in space for the third time around midfield. It wasn’t O’Loughlin’s finest hour, but they did enough to win.
Scorers: O’Loughlin-Gaels - Mark Bergin (0-7, six frees); Alan Geoghegan (0-3); Martin Comerford (0-2); Brian Dowling, Jack Nolan (0-1 each). Erin’s Own - Michael Murphy (0-5, frees); Damien Fogarty (0-2, frees); Michael Owens, Anthony Owens, Martin Boran (0-1 each).
O’Loughlin-Gaels - Stephen Murphy, Brian Murphy, Andy Kearns, Eddie Kearns, Alan O Brien, Brian Hogan, Niall Bergin, Peter Dowling, Maurice Nolan, Alan Geoghegan, Mark Bergin, Sheamie Cummins, Brain Dowling, Martin Comerford, Conor Bergin. Sub - Jack Nolan.
Erin’s Own - Tom Brophy, James Mullins, Aidan Moran, Peter Donovan, Gerry Callinan, Damien Fogarty, Conor Fogarty, Ronan Ryan, Jimmy Byrne, Donal Mealey, , Anthony Owens, Michael Owens, Peader Boran, Michael Murphy , Martin Boran. Sub - Eddie Brennan.