Thomastown was the venue for O’Loughlin Gaels first ever S.H.L. win on Saturday last. OLG’s opponents were Rower Inistioge – table toppers of their respective group. Both teams served up a hot and heavy contest in front of a large crowd, in the unseasonably warm October sun.
Jason Quan was out of the blocks early, making an expert block to thwart a Rower attack. Anthony Forristal made two catches in quick succession and cleared his lines on both occasions. But it was Mark Bergin who would open the scoring from the middle of the field with a superb strike, with two minutes on the clock. The Rower responded well and were on level terms – moments later.
The industrious Paddy Deegan used his brain and his boot to propel the ball forward to John Doyle, who turned neatly and struck off his left to raise a welcome white flag. Mark Kelly showed county class by taking one from the clouds and making a surging run through the heart of the Inistioge defence. He was unlucky not to be rewarded for his efforts with a goal. The Rower turned defence into attack smartly however and Tom Murphy struck an instant three pointer for the first goal of the game.
Jack Nolan (like Kelly before him) also charged through the Inistioge defence. He too was unlucky to be denied but the St John’s Parish Boys were making inroads. With eight minutes on the clock, Paddy Deegan seemed to roll an errant pass down the length of his stick. He then struck off his left for one of the scores of the game. Now the deficit was just two points. Amazingly however, Inistioge responded almost immediately with their second goal – a strike by James Cashin. More good Mark Kelly work then released Sammy Johnston in the corner. Sammy pinned his ears back and headed for goal. He coolly slotted home to raise a green flag to give OLG some much needed momentum in what was an action packed period of the game.
The Rower would add only three more points in the first half but the midfield pairing of Deegan and Bergin chipped in with two points each before the opening thirty was up. Danny Loughnane and Martin Comerford also raised white flags – Comerford’s effort from the sideline –undoubtedly the score of the half.
H/T: O’Loughlin Gaels 1-10, Rower Inistioge 2-05
The second half saw the introduction of Conor Bergin, Paddy Butler and Davy Burke. A Michael Grace free for the Rower opened proceedings and brought the deficit down to the minimum. The Continent responded well though, with three points on the spin – two Mark Bergin frees and another Gorta special. Niall Bergin was coming into his own at this point and mopped up an amount of ball from his half-back berth. Eoghan Grant and Eddie Kearns also worked well together and combined, to clear their lines.
Moments later, Deegan struck the woodwork but Mark Kelly was on hand to convert the rebound for his first point (well deserved) of the game. The Rower tried desperately hard to stay in touch and played well to the final whistle. Conor Bergin’s introduction was timely though. CB made a great catch and struck a beauty to keep daylight between the teams. The final act of the game saw Brian Hogan’s long delivery being caught by Danny Loughnane. Danny was pulled down in the square and Mark Bergin wisely tapped over the resultant penalty for a deserved two point win.
F/T: O’Loughlin Gaels 1-18, Rower Inistioge 2-13
Captain Niall Bergin collected the trophy on behalf of the team and thanked the OLG management team of Aidan Fogarty, Colin Furlong, Nigel Skehan and Dinny Tyrrell. He wished Inistioge well for the remainder of the season and called for the traditional three cheers for the Rower boys.
Stephen Murphy, Anthony Forristal, Eoghan Grant, Eddie Kearns, Jason Quan, Brian Hogan, Niall Bergin, Paddy Deegan 0-3, Mark Bergin 0-9 (5f’s & 1p), Martin Comerford 0-2, Jack Nolan, Sammy Johnston 1-0, John Doyle 0-1, Mark Kelly 0-1, Danny Loughnane 0-1, Subs used: Conor Bergin 0-1, Paddy Butler, Davy Burke
U16’s Are County Champs!
O'Loughlin Gaels regained the Duggan Steel U-16 Roinn A County title with a superb display of skill and speed that saw them overwhelm last year’s winners Dicksboro in Bennettsbridge.
The conditions were summer-like and from the very first ball O'Loughlin Gaels made their intentions known when Eoin Wall pointed after Robbie O'Driscoll found him in space. Better was to follow for the St John’s outfit moments later when Ben Maher latched onto a breaking ball, to send the green flag waving. Edward Moylan responded for Dicksboro with two quickly pointed frees before O'Driscoll scored a great individual goal.
Moylan again pointed for Dicksboro and it took until the 20th minute for the next score to arrive with the deficit being cut to three via a Justin Cahill point. O'Driscoll, Sean Bolger & Wall all pointed with Dicksboro's sole score during the middle quarter coming from Mark Nolan. The last score of the half came from O'Driscoll, leaving O'Loughlin Gaels leading 2-5 to 0-5 at the break.
Many were expecting a tight second half instead it was game, set & match by the 43rd minute with O'Loughlin Gaels out scoring their opponents 2-4 to 1-1 to gain an unassailable lead. Wall was again to the fore, pointing from the restart with Eoin O'Shea & Sean Bolger (2) each grabbing points. Sean Bolger then split the Dicksboro defence going on a 45 yard which ended with the midfielder sending the ball to the roof of the net. Liam Kennedy hit with back with a goal after some neat work by Evan Carroll. Edward Moylan briefly lifted hopes with a pointed free but Eoin Wall finished the game as a contest when he goaled. O'Loughlin Gaels had strangled the life out of their opponents and added further misery with a Ben Maher goal. The St John's outfit will take great delight in this victory with star performances from Eoin Wall, Sean Bolger, Shane Mahony & Robbie O'Driscoll and Tervine Wallace.
O'Loughlin Gaels: Stephen Scanlon, Joe Banville, Jordan Molloy, Charlie Deegan, Peter Collins, Shane Mahony, Jay Leahy, Sean Bolger, Eoin Kelly, Ronan Buckley, Tervine Wallace, Ben Maher, Eoin Wall, Robbie O'Driscoll, Eoin O'Shea.
Subs: Adam Power, Kevin Murphy, Ryan Poyntz, Joe Murphy , John Delaney.
Geoghegan The Great!
Ballyragget under lights was the unique Sunday night setting for the keenly awaited city derby in this Section B final of the J.H.C. When the Continent and the Village collide – there’s sure to be fireworks and this occasion proved to be no different. In the end – An Alan Geoghegan master class would be the difference between the teams.
Paddy Cantwell got in an early block to signal intent but Conor McQuillan and Eoin McCormack of James Stephens were to get the first two scores of the game. The same Paddy Cantwell struck a beauty from the sideline to reduce the deficit to a single point. Alan Geoghegan’s equalizer was a cracker off his left and was a portent of things to come. Brian Murphy looked solid around his own house and rose high to take one from the floodlit sky. Huw Lawlor also emerged from his defence twice in as many minutes to clear OLG lines.
Martin Gibbons won possession around the middle and quickly found Brian Dowling who struck to put O’Loughlins in the lead for the first time – on twelve minutes. The Village hit back however with a double of their own to once again take the narrowest of leads. Padraic Meaney was prominent at this point and could be seen mopping up an amount of ball. Danny Bolger struck the equalizer on seventeen minutes on the back of some neat Daniel DOC O’Connor work. The game was interrupted at this point by a good old schmozzle - both teams wanted this one badly.
Danny Bolger found Alan Geoghegan who fired a miracle shot from the sideline over the black spot – whatta score! The Village were not to be outdone however and finished the half with four fine points of their own (McQuillan bagging two more). Ricky Leydon battened down the hatches in defence with a superb catch and clearance and OLG added two more points to their tally – a Geoghegan free and a Danny Lenihan special to end the half one point adrift.
H/T: O’Loughlin Gaels 0-07, James Stephens 0-08
An Eoin McCormack free stretched the Village’s lead to two points before OLG hit three on the spin. Two in a row from Danny Lenihan (both from narrow angles) and a neat Brian Dowling point once again, put The Continent out in front. The see-saw nature of the game was to continue – with the Village once more wrestling back the advantage with two unanswered points. But cometh the hour..............that man Alan Geoghegan fired the leveller on eighteen minutes. Then, came the decisive score of the game. Danny Bolger cracked his shot off the crossbar and Paddy Cantwell followed up the rebound to pull hard for a precious three pointer.
The Village were not done yet and added four more points but Alan Geoghegan would strike two beauties (one from a free and one from play) to ensure OLG would run out two point winners of this highly entertaining game.
F/T: O’Loughlin Gaels 1-13, James Stephens 0-14
Sammy Johnston, Alan O’Brien, Brian Murphy, Andy Cantwell, Huw Lawlor, Ricky Leydon, Padraig Meaney, Vinny Wallace, Martin Gibbons, Alan Geoghegan 0-6 (2f’s), Paddy Cantwell 1-1, Daniel O’Connor, Danny Bolger 0-1, Brian Dowling 0-2, Danny Lenihan 0-3, Subs Used: Sheamie Cummins
There was no jackpot winner of this week’s club lotto. The numbers drawn were 4, 11, 20, 21 and the bonus number was: 12. Tickets can be bought from the usual selling agents or by asking at the clubhouse bar. Remember – if you’re not in; you can’t win the jackpot prize of €20,000. Best of luck!
Kilkenny Cancer Support Charity Shop
Urgently require volunteers for our shop due to expansion. We need men and women possibly retired or school leavers, unemployed people or people who have four hours a week to spare. You will be fully trained in retail and customer service. We have a lovely team environment and it will be good for you C.V. to add volunteering as part of your service to your community for a local Kilkenny Charity such as Cois Nore. Please call Margaret on 085171100 or 0567715001 or call into the shop anytime.
Be sure to log onto our parish website – stjohnskilkenny.com – and click on Virtual Tour to see the beautiful wide-angled views of the exteriors and interiors of our three parish churches.