Division 1 Hurling League Final
St Gabriels 2-17
Kilburn Gaels 2-12

Congratulations to St Gabriels who, last Sunday at McGovern Park, Ruislip, made it three-in-a-row in the Division 1 Hurling League.

Against the wind in the first half, we started the brighter, with full forward Conor O’Carroll grabbing a goal as our first score of the game. This was followed shortly after with a 21-metre free from Eoin Kelly, who caught the Kilburn defence out with a low shot to the back of the net. The score after six minutes read 2-0 to 0-1.

Kilburn responded strongly, however, and by the tenth minute went ahead after scoring their first goal of the game.
A series of scores from play from Robbie Murphy, Conor O’Carroll, Oisín Royston (2) and Paddy Naughton had us back in front at 2-6 to 1-6 after 20 minutes.

Soon after, we were reduced to 14 when Conor O’Carroll got a red card for an off-the-ball incident. Scores were hard to come by for the rest of the half for both sides. We led at the break by 2-6 to 1-7.

The second half saw a spirited St Gabriels side work tirelessly to keep ahead and seize the momentum despite the numerical disadvantage.

This work rate produced opportunities for wing-back Niall Eames and midfielders Robbie Murphy and Rory Lodge to add scores from play, while the backs limited Kilburn’s chances.
Three quick points from the dangerous Dáithí Barron pushed the lead to 7 midway through the second half, 2-14 to 1-10.

The strong Kilburn side responded again with a goal and a point to cut the deficit to 3 with less than seven minutes to play.

Gabriels would again push on though, and in winning the closing stages by three points to one, sealed another League title, 5 points the gap in the finish.

All players stood up to contribute to an excellent performance. Up front, a special mention to the Kilkenny duo of Robbie and Rory in the middle of the field, who struck two points each. Trophy-accepting captain Oisín Royston notched three points at crucial times while Paddy Naughton showed his class from centre forward.
We couldn’t leave out the backs who were all excellent. Tiger Linnane at number 2 reeling in the years, he’s a stallion man. Niall Broderick (Braw) was exceptional from full-back making the odd darting run up the field with opposition hopping off his shoulders, he’s a difficult man to stop. Liam “Mellows” O’Rourke is like a young Ollie Canning in the corner, setting up several scoring opportunities with his clever distribution.

Cormac Thornton announced his return to the senior team with a whale of a game, he was in great form Sunday night too, it was great to see. Stephen Whelan slotted seamlessly into number 6 while Niall Eames turned into Kyle Hayes for an hour and deservedly got on the scoreboard.

It’s onwards and upwards for Neil Rogers and his management team, who have sights set on more silverware in the season to come.


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