County League – Kilruane V Burgess20 Mar 2007 by Gilbert Williams
In the second round of the County League, played in MacDonagh Park on Monday March 19th, the senior hurlers had a narrow two point victory over Burgess on a 2-12 to 2-10 scoreline.
Arctic like conditions made hurling difficult for both sides who served up an entertaining game on a pitch which held up remarkably well despite the overnight snow. The major investment in the drainage work carried out a number of years ago was now paying rich dividends.
MacDonaghs had first use of the strong wind but it was Burgess who were first on the scoreboard with a point from a free. Ray McLoughney got Kilruane off the mark with a pointed free. Eoin Hogan added a good point from play before Burgess replied with two points to leave the sides all square. Seamus Hennessy hit three points in succession, one from play, followed by a brace from a 65 and a free. Ray McLoughney scored his second point to give MacDonaghs a four point advantage. Burgess tacked on two points before Seamus Hennessy got the final point of the half to leave the halftime score 0-8 to 0-5 in favour of Kilruane. Considering the strength of the wind a three point interval lead looked far from adequate.
For the second half the selectors introduced Shane Quinlan and Mickey Costello into the attack. Kilruane began the second half in determined fashion and a great run by Shane Quinlan almost brought a score. Seamus Hennessy was on target from another free to open the second half scoring. Ray McLoughney kicked home a great goal in the fourth minute as MacDonaghs seized the initiative. Seamus Hennessy chipped in with another point from play to open up an eight point gap. Kilruane were playing great hurling at this stage into the teeth of the wind.
Hesitancy in the home defense allowed Burgess in for a goal in the seventh minute. Kilruane responded immediately with a point from Seamus Hennessy and a cracking goal from Shane Quinlan in the thirteenth minute to leave nine points between the sides. With an ever strengthening wind at their backs Burgess stormed back into the game and hit 1-4 without reply to leave just two points between the sides with five minutes remaining. The ever reliable Seamus Hennessy steadied the ship with another point. Burgess piled on the pressure for the equalising goal but their only reward was a point which left the final score 2-12 to 2-10 in favour of MacDonaghs.
This was a very encouraging win with the whole team showing great determination to carve out a win which didn’t look likely at the break. The team played some great direct hurling, particularly in the second half. The selectors will be hoping to build on this encouraging start in the final group game away to Killenaule where a win will secure a place in the final.
Team: Kevin O Brien, Brian Gaynor, Martin Walsh, Gavin McAvinchey, Stephen Murphy, Pat Williams, Colm Williams, Kevin Quinlan, Eoin Hogan ( 0-1 ), Alan Ryan, Denis Cahill, Seamus Hennessy ( 0-9 ), Ray McLoughney ( 1-2 ), Mark O Leary and Shane Williams. Subs: Shane Quinlan ( 1-0 ), Mickey Costello and Jonathan Cahill.