Jamie Power (Carrickshock) opened proceedings with a pointed free with just seconds on the clock. Mark Kelly then signalled his intentions early, by making a great catch under pressure. Kelly was fouled & his namesake – Bergin, struck the free straight and true to level matters. Power pointed another free before Kelly once again, got in the thick of the action – to make a great block. Mark Bergin was on hand to pick up the spoils and supply a superb finish, for a second equalizer.
Carrickshock were giving as good as they were getting at this juncture and the tussles were tough, tense and uncompromising. It was great to see young Gary Bryan during this passage of play, take a catch on the run and force the southerners into fouling, to prevent him clearing his lines. Power and Bergin would share four more white flag dead balls to leave matters level at four points apiece midway through the opening half. Both defences were under pressure and forced at times to improvise. Eddie Kearns may have been watching too much samba soccer over the past month. He lost his hurl but not his head and neatly side footed the sliotar along the ground to avert the imminent danger.
Martin Comerford made an inspiring catch from a puck out and MB reliably pointed the resultant free. Then came the pick of the scores, up to that point. The ever industrious Jack Nolan won a ball and drilled it low to the on running Conor Bergin, who turned and flashed his shot “thar an trasnan”. Martin Comerford seemed inspired by this score and added two on the trot – as well as a bone shaking shoulder for good measure! The Continent seemed to be getting into its stride at this point and would turn in a devastating last four minutes to the half.
Mark Kelly had earlier shown a clean pair of heels to his opponent and was unlucky his lay-off did not find the back of the net on that occasion. However, in an almost identical run moments later - he backed himself and struck a beauty off his left to the right hand corner. Cul! This was followed almost immediately by a Conor Bergin green flag which came on the back of a ‘Shock defensive mix-up. Conor kept his cool though and finished well. On the stroke of half time – Martin Comerford crashed to the roof of the net for another goal, after brave Mark Kelly had done the spade work.
H/T O’Loughlin Gaels: 3-07, Carrickshock: 0-07
The second half saw the introduction of five replacements. Davy Burke, Seamie Cummins, Danny Loughnane, Kevin O’Brien and Huw Lawlor entered the fray and each one acquitted himself well. The OLG defence was well and truly on top now. The Kearns brothers – Eddie and Andy made their presence felt. The former thwarted a certain ‘Shock goal and the latter was in the thick of the action throughout the hour. Conor Bergin equally showed he wasn’t afraid to take a little punishment and did so to release Mark Kelly – who hit a screamer for yet another goal. The dispatching of four goals either side of the break in truth ended the contest. We were still treated to some great scores though, such as a wonder point by Mark Bergin off his left hand side, from the main road side of the field – close to halfway! Stephen Murphy also chipped in with what at this stage has become his customary white flag and Conor Bergin finished off a lovely move that saw Paddy Deegan and Sammy Johnston combine well. Sammy raised two white fags of his own in a row before Danny Loughnane flicked to the net for a fifth and final goal – to bring proceedings to a close.
F/T O’Loughlin Gaels: 5-17, Carrickshock: 1-13
Stephen Murphy 0-1 (1f), Gary Bryan, Eoghan Grant, Eddie Kearns, Andy Kearns, Brian Hogan, Jason Quan, Mark Bergin 0-7 (5f’s), Paddy Deegan, Sammy Johnston 0-2, Conor Bergin 1-2, Jack Nolan, Martin Comerford 1-3, Mark Kelly 2-1, John Doyle 0-1 Replacements: Seamie Cummins, Kevin O’Brien, Davy Burke, Danny Loughnane 1-0, Huw Lawlor