Dicksboro’s Aidan Nolan gets away from the challenges of the O’’Loughlins pair of Jordan Molloy and Conor Heary. Pic: Willie Dempsey
Dicksboro and O’Loughlin Gaels contested a dramatic senior hurling league clash in UPMC Nowlan Park on Saturday afternoon.
In what was the first of three Kilkenny city derbies scheduled for the next few weeks it was Dicksboro who ran out fully deserved winners.
While there was barely a dirty stroke in the game, there was still four players sent off as Paddy Deegan and Anthony Forristal were dismissed for O’Loughlin’s as well as Padraic Moylan and Alan Phelan for the ’’Boro.
At least two of the red cards appeared to be of the soft variety but it’s the ’Boro who will be much the happier after they secured their second league win with Andy Gaffney starring with 2-7 for the winners.
Gaffney opened the scoring with a second minute free but it was a very scrappy start to the game and while Mark Bergin equalised for O’Loughlin’s a couple of minutes later, the injury curse really struck Andy Comerford’s team with both Bergin and Robbie Buckley going off with serious looking injuries.
Prior to Sean Bolger and Matthew Russell emerging as early substitutes, O’Loughlin’s did find the net when Paddy Deegan who was back at full forward set up Luke Hogan who burst through the Dicksboro defence before shooting past Darragh Holohan for the game’s opening goal.
Sean Bolger then gave O’Loughlin’s a four point advantage within minutes of his introduction but their opponents were right back in the game come the opening water break after Andy Gaffney was fouled for a 14th minute penalty that he tucked away himself.
Dicksboro then went on to dominate the second quarter as after Gaffney equalised with a 65, they then went into the lead when full-back Evan Cody got forward to score.
Paddy Deegan briefly got O’Loughlin’s on level terms but two points apiece from both Gaffney and Liam Moore meant the ’Boro led 1-7 to 1-3.
Gaffney could have added his second goal but he’s a shot saved by Declan Murphy.
O’Loughlin’s improved before the end of the half with efforts from Bolger and Conor Kelly but with Bill Sheehan and Mark Nolan doing likewise, Dicksboro held a three point advantage at the half-time break (1-9 to 1-6).
The second half began with both sides exchanging points as Bolger and Eoin O’Shea cancelled out ’Boro points from Liam Moore and Mark Nolan.
What seemed to set apart Michael Walsh’s Dicksboro side was their bigger goal threat and not for the first time O’Loughlin’s goalkeeper Declan Murphy kept his side in touch when saving a shot from Aidan Nolan.
A couple of missed Sean Bolger frees proved crucial in O’Loughlin’s quest to reel their neighbours in and while Luke Hogan made it a two point game in the 37th minute, just three minutes later they were a man down when Paddy Deegan was sent off on a second yellow card.
Losing one of their main men was a huge blow for O’Loughlin’s and when Gaffney knocked over successive frees for the ’Boro, they threatened to break clear.
The man advantage didn’t last long though as Kilkenny Under 20 captain Padraic Moylan also received his marching orders and with Jamie Young and Eoin O’Shea knocking over quickfire points, the stage looked set for a grandstand finish with only two points separating the sides.
Bill Sheehan and Chris Kavanagh pushed the ’Boro lead back out to four points before Gaffney settled the game with his sides second goal in the 54th minute.
In the process of knocking the ball to the net, Gaffney was fouled late by Anthony Forristal and the O’Loughlin’s man was given a straight red card by referee Gavin Quilty.
Again the numerical advantage didn’t last long with Dicksboro also losing Alan Phelan on two bookable offences but they saw the game out well and also had the added bonus of Harry Shine returning from injury as a late sub.
Teams and Scorers
Dicksboro - Andy Gaffney (2-7, 0-6 frees, 0-1 65); Liam Moore (0-4); Mark Nolan, Bill Sheehan (0-2 each); Evan Cody, Chris Kavanagh (0-1 each).
O’Loughlin Gaels - Eoin O’Shea (0-4, 0-2 frees); Luke Hogan (1-1); Sean Bolger (0-4, 0-3 frees); Mark Bergin (0-1 free); Paddy Deegan, Conor Kelly, Jamie Young (0-1 each).
Dicksboro - Darragh Holohan; Niall Rowe, Evan Cody, Evan Carroll; Alan Phelan, Padraic Moylan, Cillian Buckley; Thomas Kenny, Eoin Fennelly; Liam Moore, Bill Sheehan, Aidan Nolan; Cillian Hackett, Mark Nolan, Andy Gaffney.
Subs: Stephen Farrell for Hackett, 41 mins; Chris Kavanagh for Fennelly, 45 mins; Harry Shine for A Nolan, 55 mins; Conor Fitzpatrick for Kenny, 62 mins; Aran Murphy for Gaffney 62 mins.
O’Loughlin Gaels - Declan Murphy; Oisin Murphy, Mikey Butler, Jordan Molloy; Conor Heary, Huw Lawlor, Jamie Young; Anthony Forristal, Jack Nolan; Eoin O’Shea, Luke Hogan, Conor Kelly; Mark Bergin, Paddy Deegan, Robbie Buckley.
Subs: Sean Bolger for Buckley, 11 mins; Matthew Russell for Bergin, 15 mins; Jamie Ryan for Nolan, 49 mins; Alex Sheridan for Kelly, 50 mins.
Referee - Gavin Quilty (Slieverue)
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