Senior Hurling Championship R4: Fr Murphys

posted 10 Apr 2015, 11:09 by Robert Emmetts PRO   [ updated 17 May 2015, 15:38 ]
29th June 2014
Robert Emmetts: 2-13
Fr Murphys: 1-12

Round four of the senior hurling championship was played in an overcast and breezy Ruislip. Buoyed by our recent win over the defending County Champions we entered the game in confident mood despite having lost captain Paul Horkan to injury. Playing into the wind in the first half we started brightly and got a good score from Rory Costello, who struck off his left from the wing just outside the '45'. After a few minutes though Fr Murphys settled and seemed to get on top in the middle of the field - their centre back roamed forward for a score, while their number 11 was disrupting our shape with his constant movement. Soon we found ourselves 6 points to 2 down. However we stopped the rot in style after 15 minutes when a ball played in from midfield found John McCarthy between the 21 and 45 about halfway out to the left sideline. Appearing to be bottled up he flicked the ball between his legs to the onrushing Sam Lehane, who picked it at full pelt, took a few steps and drilled it into the far right-hand side of the net. The Murphys were stunned and we picked off a couple more points, including two from Kevin McMullan. We had gotten into the game much more all over the field - the backs had tightened up and regained shape, Sam was starting to dominate their centre back and all the forwards were starting to cause problems for their opposite numbers. There was much more composure in our play - John Mac, a constant threat, was involved again when he picked up a ball near the left corner and crossed a low ball in to Kevin. Out of options, Kevin returned the pass to Mac who proceeded to float the ball across the face of goal straight into the path of Cathal Keogh, who had sprinted hard from midfield. He gathered it perfectly and buried it in the top corner to give us some breathing space for the first time. Sam then capped a good first half by winning a ball outside the 45 in a tussle with his marker, shaking off his challenge, and sprinting away to fire over to leave us 5 points up at half time.

In the second half Ciaran Fitzpatrick came on to bolster the half back line and we 
picked up where we left off, getting two quick scores to stretch the lead. We kept 7 ahead for the next 10-15 minutes and were unlucky not to be further ahead after Eoin O'Sullivan had his bullet of a shot blocked on the line. However we then lost concentration somewhat and allowed Murphys back into the game gradually. Their wing back roamed forward to hit two good scores before they got a major break - a long delivery spilled past the full back line and, despite some desperate defending, their corner forward's shot dribbled its way over the line. All of a sudden our lead had shrunk to two points as we entered the final 10 minutes. We managed to steady the ship however - Aidan Ryan, who has been a commanding presence on the edge of the square since taking up the full-back role, claimed the next three Murphys attacks and delivered booming clearances. Kevin then struck over a free and a 65 to finally ease our nerves. Having weathered the storm we held on for the last few minutes to win by 5.