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Naomh Bríd 2-14 St Patricks 1-14

posted 18 Aug 2014, 04:46 by PRO St Pats,Tullow,Carlow
Naomh Bríd and St Patricks battled out a great game of hurling in this Junior Championship semi final at Dr. Cullen Park. The westerners opened the scoring through John Townsend with Paul Shepard opening the Tullow account. John Metcalfe and John Bambrick exchanged scores to make it 2-2 after five minutes with both teams hurling well at this point. St Patricks corner back Mick Kelly was involved in a collision (resulting in a broken collar bone) and had to be replaced by Richie O'Leary. Kelly has put in a great effort this year and it was disappointing for Pats to lose him so early. Pats had their goalie, Phil O'Callaghan, ruled out through injury before the game. Phil also plays at corner forward and was a big lose to Pats. Naomh Bríd's Eric Nolan and John Murphy, who both hurled well throughout, added two each with Adam Dunne and Odhran Ryan adding one each to leave the Naomh Bríd HT account at 0.8. For St Pats Padraig Murphy got two with John Metcalfe adding another to give them a score of 0.5 at the interval.
St Patricks started the brighter in the second half, now aided by the wind blowing from the scoreboard end. Ryan O'Neill and Metcalfe got the white flags up to put Pats within a point of Naomh Bríd. The men from the west then had their purple patch scoring 2-1 before we hit the 40min mark. Goals from Eric Nolan and Shane Maher put Bríd in the driving seat. The score was 2-9 to 0.9 with 20mins remaining after Metcalfe and Shepard tagged on one each for Pats. The game went from end to end with both teams hurling passionately. The sides exchanged points for ten minutes as Pats didn't look like coming back into the game at 2.13 to 0.12. Shepard added another for Pats and then on 56mins Gerry Dooley won possession on the wing and slipped a clever hand pass to Padraig Murphy who went through on goal hitting the net and raising the green flag to bring Pats back into the game. There was only a goal in it when Naomh Bríd pointed through Bambrick for their insurance score. Metcalfe slipped another for Pats to bring it back to a goal as both teams saw victory within their grasp. With time nearly up Murphy won possession for Pats and headed direct for goal beating the full back and unleashing a shot which was heading for the back of the net only for the Naomh Bríd corner back to fly across the goal and flick the ball out for a '65. The ref, John Hickey, signalled this to be the last play and when Bríd's Padraig Coughlan, who had a superb game at wing back, cleared the ball up the field Hickey called time giving victory to Naomh Bríd on a scoreline of 2.14 to 1.14.
For St Pats Michael Nash was unlucky for one of the goals but looked a commanding figure as net minder, with good puck outs. Dave Brady and Allan O'Neill, team captain, both gave tigerish displays in the full back line. Brian Condon cleared a world of ball at centre back, a position which he has commanded over the past two seasons. Ansboro and Cooper, who are both minors, showed speed and skill and Pats look forward to these men developing into great hurlers for 2015. Metcalfe scored his frees well and added a few from play, showing why he is so important to St Pats once again. Cormac O'Connor, who moved to Tullow after marrying local girl Emma Kavanagh, has added skill to the team this year and hurled well at midfield. Shepard scored 0.3 tonight and the young man has improved greatly over the season with more expected of him next year. Padraig Murphy got the goal that brought Pats back into it at the end and was unlucky not to force a replay! Gerry Dooley battled hard on the wing, winning lots of ball and using it wisely. Ryan 'The Tank' O'Neill got the opening score of the second half and has shown great commitment this year with more expected of him again next year. The big O'Brien cousins add a raw strength to the full forward line (with The Tank) and both worked tirelessly throughout. Willie Hollow is hard to stop when he gets going and on another night he could have scored a few having been unlucky on a couple of occasions. John (who put his finger out at training the night before and popped it back in himself) has improved immensely this year and Pats have more ambition for this man in 2015. Richie O'Leary (who is moving to Tullow soon and might actually train next year!) was solid throughout after his early introduction. McDonald and O'Toole came on late in the game and gave a different dimension to the attack and were involved in the build up play for a few late scores. 
For hurling to move forward in the east of the county an area team may be the answer. Burren Rangers are doing great work at underage while St Pats are bringing up a few great teams, most notably their u12s, and with both combined at adult level it could give hurling a lift in the East of the county where there are currently eight GAA clubs and only one hurling team. Fr. Murphy's was the name of an area minor team back in 2003 and this could be time to bring back an area time. That being said, St Pats were very unlucky tonight and will no doubt be back next year. Jim Shepard, Billy Mc, Tom Condon and James Connolly put in good work this year with the team. Seamus Brennan, the Naomh Bríd trainer and true hurling man, encouraged St Pats after the game and complimented the trainers and players for keeping the small game alive in the East! Naomh Bríd go on to play Bagnelstown next week in the county final.
St Pats; Michael Nash, Dave Brady, Allan O'Neill, Mick Kelly, Kieran Cooper, Brian Condon, Jamie Ansboro, John Metcalfe(0.8), Cormac O'Connor, Paul Shepard(0.3), Padraig Murphy(1.2), Gerry Dooley, Ryan O'Neill(0.1), William O'Brien, John O'Brien.
Richie O'Leary for Kelly 6mins, Ken McDonald for J. O'Brien 51mins, Darren O'Toole for O'Neill 54mins. 
Naomh Bríd; Eric Nolan 1.2, John Bambrick 0.4, Shane Maher 1.1, John Murphy, Adam Dunne 0.2 each, John Townsend, Odhran Ryan, Ollie Meaney 0.1 each.