Round 2 of AHL7 North took the St Brendan's Hurlers (Sponsored by Transdev) to Somerton Park in Castleknock and a fixture against the home side whose facilities have improved drastically since we we last reported on a game here in May 2015. Unfortuneatly, the brand new clubhouse, which was completed during the Covid 19 pandemic, has yet to be used properly.
The home side hit the ground running and has two points after three minutes, the first of which started with a sideline cut. The Wexican Oisin Carley broke down a Castleknock move and it was Robbie Curley with the opening score for The Dark Force, Curley could have given St Brendan's the lead but his goal shot curled wide.
Curley did hit a point to level matters, from a 65, but only for a mere 20 seconds as Castleknock made it 0-3 to 0-2 with a point from play. Another brace od points followed and St Brendan's had a big mountain to climb with Castleknock hit the first goal of the game. But St Brendan's did respond when Robbie Curley won Richie Barry's puckout and after his pass was blocked down, Sean Whyte won possession back and and it was John Walsh who was on hand to score point number 3.
The score became 1-5 to 0-4 when, after a foul on Cathal Kelly, Oisin Carley's long distance free in hit the upright and over as the teams retreated for the first half water break with exactly 15 minute gone.
Both sides traded points with Robbie Curley nothing up his third point of the evening with a free in after a foul on Shane Foley. But Castleknock made it 2-7 when a shot hit the crossbar and bounced straight to a forward and despite good preesure from Mark Kinsella, a second goal was scored. In the other side, Curley made it 2-7 to 0-6 with another point from a free in. Sean Whyte twarted a Castleknock clearance by hitting the slioter from 55 meters over the bar to make it a six point game and keep his side in the game. 2-7 to 0-7 was also the half time score.
Both sides traded points in the opening two minutes in the second half with Robbie Curley getting the second half opening score form a free in. Ciaran Ludden made it back to a five point game with a point from play despite three Castleknock players within close range, 2-8 0-9. Ludden made it a personal brace with a point and a four point game after Oisin Carley made hard work of winning possession after a clash of the synthetic hurls with almost burst the ear drum of this writer.
St Brendan's hard work to get back into the game came unstuck when Castleknock were awarded a sideline cut a meter from the corner flag, the cut was whipped in the small square and connected well and for the third time, Ritchie Barry was beaten for goal. But like the first and second goal concession, St Brendan's hit a point back thanks to substitute Gavin 'The Goal Getter' Muldoon with the other sub, Dave Lowry, supplying the final pass.
The score was 3-12 to 0-12 at the second half Swig of the Magic Bottle with Ludden again the point scorer again with several Castelknock players on his back. Another trade of points followed with Cathal Kelly, and subs Vincent O'Flynn and Sean Martyn on hand to allow Ciaran Ludden notch up his third point of the evening.
St Brendan's was desparate to get goals late in the game like they did against Na Gaeil Oga. Robbie Curley drove a close range free in low but deflected for a 65, Oisin Carley dropped his 65 short but Cormac Falvey saw his shot go inches wide. But it was Castleknock who raised the green flag, their fourth, with 3 minutes to go.
The Goal Getter Gavin Muldoon had to settle for a second point of the evening when his goal bound shot was deflected over the bar as the game petered out to its conclusion. While it was a much improved preformance by St Brendan's they will no doubt be disappointted not get something out of the game. Next up is a home tie against St Patrick's Donabate on July 18th.
Final Score from Somerton Park, St Brendan's 0-14 Castleknock 4-13.