St Gabriels 4-19 Brothers Pearse 2-12
St Gabriels scored an impressive 4-19 to 2-12 victory over Brothers Pearse in the 2nd of the preliminary round games of the Ardent Tide Senior Hurling Championship played at a breezy Ruislip yesterday.
St Gabriels had the better of the early exchanges with crisp points from David Egan, Eoin Kelly 0-2, and Frankie Tierney. Kelly added another from a free before Bernard Gaffney and Martin Finn got in on the act with a further brace of points. Championship debutant Michael Ivors opened his account with the first goal of the game after the Bros. Pearse goalkeeper failed to deal with a long ball. St Gabriels had clocked up 1-9 and playing against a strong breeze Bros.Pearse’ were struggling to post a reply. It came in the 18th minute with a fine effort from Stephen Frawley before Michael Noonan added a second point. In truth, the game had the feel of a league encounter as many players struggled with their first touch. St. Gabriels kept the scoreboard ticking over as they pressed home their advantage with further points from Gaffney (0-2) and an Eoin Kelly special from a sideline cut from all of 50m. Goals from Ivors and a Kelly 20m free helped St Gabriels lead at the break by 3-12 to 0-6.
With it all to do, Bros Pearse set about building a score in the second half as they attempted to take advantage of the gale blowing down from the Pavilion End. The eventual breakthrough goal that they needed came from the stick of Michael Noonan in the 36th minute when his effort found its way to the Gabriels net. Brothers Pearse were dominating under the puck out and attempted to run at the Gabriels defense at every opportunity but some wasteful shooting was to cost them dear. Bros. Pearse continued to probe and a second goal gave them a flicker of hope. However, St Gabriels were resolute with Neil Rogers putting in Trojan work along with Enda Collins and Derek Morkan. St Gabriels countered with some well-executed scores from Gaffney (0-3), Kevin Coen (0-2) before a memorable Enda Cooney effort from 45m after he ran into space as Eoin Kelly set about a free on the 65 m line. However, the score of the game came in the 53rd min when David Egan finished to the net from 30m with a blistering shot after a fine pass from Derek Morkan. The Gabriels defense remained solid throughout, with Offaly men Neil Rogers and Derek Morkan to the fore in withstanding the second half onslaught. In the absence of James Barrett, stand in goalkeeper Michael Coady could not be faulted for his efforts while his brother Neil was a tower of strength at full back. St Gabriels will take a lot of positives from the performance and look well placed for the season ahead.
St Gabriels team:
Michael Coady, Neil Rogers, Neil Coady, Enda Collins, Enda Cooney 0-1, Derek Morkan, David Coffey, Martin Ryan Capt., David Egan 1-1, Kevin Coen 0-2, Bernard Gaffney 0-6, Eoin Kelly 1-6(1-3F), Michael Ivors 2-1, Frankie Tierney 0-1, Martin Finn 0-1. Subs: Luke Hands for Finn (37mins) and Tom Lally for Coffey (42mins).
St Gabriels B. 1-8 Kilburn Gaels B. 0-12
In the WJReilly Buildings Ltd Intermediate Hurling Championship game played earlier at Greenford, St Gabriels put up a gallant performance before losing out by a point to Kilburn Gaels on a score line of 1-8 to 0-12. St Gabriels faced a strong wind in the first half and were behind by the narrowest of margins at the break 1-2 to 0-6. The highlight of the first half was a well-taken goal by Adrian Pearse who coolly dispatched to the net after 15mins.
In the second half the sides matched each other score for score. However, St Gabriels failed to press home the advantage, missing a number of frees which would have secured victory. Martin Corcoran and his management team will be encouraged by the efforts of the players and will look forward to the start of the Ronan Cup.