Senior Hurling Championship R1: Kilburn Gaels

posted 10 Aug 2015, 01:50 by Robert Emmetts PRO   [ updated 21 May 2017, 16:11 ]
25th April 2015
Kilburn Gaels: 2-19
Robert Emmetts: 3-7

On a bright but breezy Saturday in Ruislip we faced Kilburn in the opening round of the senior hurling championship. In a tense opening period we we found ourselves under pressure from a sharp Kilburn team, who were still showing the benefits of a long campaign in the All-Ireland IHC. However we battled hard and kept in touch throughout the first half. At one stage we had goalkeeper Sean Ryan to thank for keeping us in the match on his own - first pulling off an athletic save and then scoring two monstrous frees from just outside our '45, one of which found its way to the back of the net. In front of him Fergus McMahon was providing strong defence in the no. 3 jersey, while Tadhg Healy was the launchpad for many of our attacks from the centre-back position. Our midfield duo of Cathal Keogh and Martin Fitzpatrick were hurling their usual high-tempo game and providing the vital link between the backs and forwards, while up front Mike O'Dwyer was beginning to settle and found his range with a couple of good points. At half-time the score read Kilburn 0-11, Robert Emmetts 1-5.

Despite facing into the stiff breeze in the second half we opened strongly and a lucky goal after five minutes brought us back into the match. Danny Best was working hard at centre-forward and won a couple of vital frees as he ran at the Kilburn defence, which Mick Dwyer tapped over. Kilburn soon started to fight back however, and just a few minutes later got a lucky goal of their own after a high ball in managed to sneak over the line. We were thrown a lifeline shortly afterwards though, as substitute Rory Costello gathered a ball just outside the '21 and rifled it to the back of the net off his left-hand side to put us two ahead with 15 minutes to go. Unfortunately that was as good as it got for us as the Kilburn attack began to find their range and hit several long-range scores. That run was only briefly interrupted by a Mick Dwyer free as they continued to press us. With about five minutes to go our defence was breached by one of the Kilburn forwards, who got a very good individual score by running strongly through to blast the ball to the roof of our net. The final score read Kilburn 2-19, Robert Emmetts 3-7.

Despite being disappointed with the margin of defeat at the end our lads can take some solace from the work-rate and commitment shown throughout. We were delighted to see several new members line out in the Emmetts colours for the first time and can be sure that, with a few more training sessions and matches together, we will be a force this summer in the championship. Emmetts abú!