After the false start last week. The St Brendan's Hulers, Sponsored by Transdev, travelled to Tom Russell Park in Castleknock to take on St Brigids in Round 2 of the Go Ahead Ireland Junior D Championship, and this time, the referee did turn up!
It was the home side to started brightly and despite hitting four consecutive wides, made no mistake at the fifth time of asking when working well to hit the goal in the opening score of the match that gave Ritchie Barry no chance of stopping.
On the other side, Robbie Curley saw a long distance free in sail wide, but he made amends when a shot hit the goalkeepers helmet, then off the bar before the slioter when straight to Jack 'The Loose Head' McGrath to rifle the slioter into the back of the St Brigid's net. 1-2 to 1-0.
But St Brendan's had to start from scratch again when St Brigid's had Ritchie Barry beaten for goal for the second goal. After hitting a long distance shot wide previously, Curley made no mistake this time from near the same distance but the right accruacy.
The Home side notched up a brace of points going into the first half water break. After the break both sides traded points with Curley again converting. The Wexican Oisin Carley had a free in that also went wide.
Carley did make amends when drawing the foul to allow Robbie Curley make it a hat trick of points from a free in. John Walsh kept St Brendan's in the contest with a long distance point form play following good work from Alan Wash and The Dream Maker Sean Dardis.
A free in from St Brigid's, that went wide, their 13th wide in the first half, was the last action of the first half and the home side lead 2-7 to 1-4 at half time.
St Brigid's opened up a seven point lead with a point from play. Richie Barry's puck out was won by Shane Foley who went onto find Michael Harte, to seems to have slipped when in possession, he looked up thinking a free in was on the way and looking for options, took the shot himself and yielded a great goal to keep the contest going. St Brigid's responded with a point and a five point lead 2-9 to 2-4.
After a shot from Gavin 'The Goal Getter' Muldoon went wide, Foley and Harte once again combinded with the former winning the St Brigid's puck out and the latter supplying the pass to Daniel O'Brien for his first score in the black and amber, Alan Walsh won Barry's puck out and after the slioter went to the hands of Oisin Carley and Stephen Brophy, up stepped Jack Mc Grath again to put three between the sides 2-6 to 2-9.
St Brendan's were getting back into the game and John Walsh put two between the sides after Cathal Kelly saw his hurley chopped down when in a good position. Michael Harte had a great chance for a goal after emerging with the slioter following a scramble but his shot hit went straight into the hand of the goalkeeper and launched the attack which yielded St Brigid's 10th point of the morning, 2-10 to 2-7 going into the second half Swig of the Magic Bottle, 18 minutes gone in the second half.
And whatever magic was in those water bottles, particularly that of Jack McGrath, had the desired effect, bause it was McGrath to emerged with possession after a scramble and buried it into the St Brigid's net, to set up a grandstand finish.
Alas, it wasn't to be for St Brendan's because St Brigid's bought on fresh legs, 3 pairs of them, and all contributed in some way as St Brigid's would it 1-3 without reply in the final eight minutes and win the match by six.
A huge disappointment for St Brendan's Hurlers who were still in the contest close to the end, but the preformace in the third quarter will be very encourageing and can use that experience in the games against Round Towers Lusk and Setanta in the next few weeks.
Final Score from Tom Russell Park St Brendan's 3-7 St Brigid's 3-13