Disappointing Hurling defeat for Juniors
September 13, 2021
Ballygiblin defeated Killavullen in the opening round of the Junior A Hurling championship on Sunday last in Doneraile. This was a gamer that Killavullen had serious aspirations of winning, after a very good league campaign, but ultimately, the concession of two-second half goals was to be our undoing.
Ballygiblin opened the scoring inside the opening minute but Jack O Connor had us level in the 3rd minute from a free and we took the lead in the 6th minute when the same player fired over a point from open play. Ballygiblin equalised on the 8th minute, and took the lead again, in the same minute, again from open play. Eddie Cotter then received a fine clearance out of defence from Liam Cronin, to race through the middle and finish to the net emphatically, which was a great boost to our young team, in the 12th minute of the game. Ballygiblin got a crucial score back though, in the 14th minute and the scores were on parity again, when Ballygiblin equalised from a free in the 16th minute. We regained the initiative with a fine catch and score from Eoghan Buckley, using all of his considerable height only for Ballygiblin to score again, before we hit a purple patch and hit three scores in a row. Two of those points coming from Jack on the free taking duty to open up a 3-point lead. Ballygiblin forced another score back, but we went in at the break leading by 3 points again after Jack converted another free, to leave the score 1-07 to 0-07 in our favour. In the stop start nature of the game, it was an OK place to be, but crucially, we had left a number of scores out there, and had not taken all of the available chances.
Those missed opportunities, we would come to rue in the second period.
Ballygiblin came flying out of the rest period at half time and Mark Keane, probably their most dangerous forward on the day scored a fine goal in the second minute, to bring parity to the score line once again. Ballygiblin then took the lead with a pointed free, only for Jack O Connor to equalise again in the 4th minute, with a converted free of his own. Our defence was under pressure in several areas, and we coughed up another score in the 5th minute for Ballygiblin to go in front again. Our liveliest forward on the date, Jack scored again from play in the 7th minute to bring us level again, after an initial good play from Brian Cotter found Jack in space. Ballygiblin though are seasoned campaigners at this Junior A Level and tacked over two quick fire points, to be leading by two, after eleven minutes, 1-11 to 1-09.
We had missed some opportunities though, and in a tight game, those spurned chances are crucial. Barry Murphy got a point back for us, in the 13th minute from a difficult free, but Ballygiblin went into the water break with their two point lead restored after raising the white flag in the 15th minute, from open play. Ballygiblin lost a player to a shoulder injury at this juncture and we wish him well, in his recovery.
We needed a big final quarter if we were to triumph. This opening couple of minutes after the break were very cagey, and it was not until the 21st minutes that a score was raised, when Liam Cronin, so impressive over the hour for us, scored a long range free. One point game, but Ballygiblin were to score next in the 22nd minute and crucially were to be 3 points ahead with 26 minutes gone in the half. We eked a point back from a Jack O Connor free in the 30th minute but that man Keane strung with the decisive score, another goal to seal our faith. We plugged on, until the very end, got a point back from Eoghan Buckley, but never, in honesty, threatened to breach the determined rear guard of Ballygiblin, and get in for another goal.
Final Score 2-14 to 1-13
The team was ;
Paul O Sullivan
Liam Cronin (0-01F)
Mikey O Connor
Eddie Cotter (1-00)
Eoghan Buckley (0-02)
Jack O Connor (0-09, 0-06F)
Barry Murphy (0-01F)
Darragh O Grady
Seamus O Mahony for Darragh O Grady
Ronan Barry for Barry Murphy.