Late surge sees O’Loughlin Gaels win

All images: Danny Lahart

A strong finish by O’Louglin Gaels saw them overcome Dicksboro in UPMC Nolan Park on Sunday.
The game started off at a lively pace and with marking being tight and time on the ball sparse, the quality of hurling to begin the game was hindered.
A good ball worked well out of defence to Liam Moore led to the first score, a point for Dicksboro. A great save by Brian Minogue in the O’Loughlin Gaels goal from a shot by Andy Gaffney led to a free in, after a wild pull by David Fogarty. The free was pointed by Shane Devlin. A further free by Mark Bergin after five minutes brought the score to 0:2 -0:1 in favor of Dickboro. A puck out collected by Evan Carroll and passed to Mark Nolan led to another point for Dicksboro. Excellent fielding by Robby Buckley where he scored a point from distance left O’Loughlin Gaels trailing by the minimum with six minutes gone.
Dicksboro were winning the long ball but with both sides showing strong in defence, there was very little between the sides, Dicksboro perhaps showing a little brighter. Bill Sheen scored a point after good work by Evan Cody. Dicksboro looked to be finding the target a little easier at this stage. O’Loughlin Gaels replied with a point by Mark Bergin from 45m out after getting a great pass from Gordon Molloy. O’ Loughlin Gaels still finding scores hard to come by because of the pressure Dicksboro were putting them under.
Dicksboro again worked the ball out of defence well which led to a point by Andy Gaffney. The ball was returned to the O’Loughlin Gaels back line from the puck out leading to a free which Mark Bergin pointed .The game was very even all over the field with play being dominated by both defences. A point from play by Mark Bergin brought the game back level, but a good score by Liam Moore, his second of the day gave Dicksboro the lead again.
Good play by Liam Moore after surviving a huge hit from Huw Lawler, he supplied the pass to Aiden Nolan who fed Andy Gaffney to score a great goal just before the water break. The Score now Dicksboro 1: 6 – O’Loughlin Gaels 0: 5

The goal gave Dicksboro great confidence and knocked O’Loughlin Gaels back somewhat, O’Loughlin Gaels needed to start the second quarter stronger and wrestle the game back from Dicksboro who now had the upper hand.
A free for Dicksboro from their own 45m taken by Shane Stapleton broke to Andy Gaffney but his effort was cleared off the line and O’Loughlin Gaels breathed a sigh of relief as that score could have been enough to close out the game. Dicksboro continued to break out of defence causing O’Loughlin Gaels problems but wasted a lot of chances.
A Stephen Murphy free which was caught by goal keeper Brian Minogue ended up in the net, put there by Jack Nolan, after the goal keeper’s hand pass was dropped by one of his defenders. The match turned on this piece of play, as Dicksboro were gaining in confidence and O’Loughlin Gaels looked to be in trouble, the goal instilled new life into the O’Loughlin Gaels team and another point by Mark Bergin put the scores even at 1:6 apiece. With seven minutes remaining of the first half new urgency developed in both teams and a sharper edge could be seen in each side’s efforts.
In the twenty forth minute Shane Stapleton scored a point from the half way line to give Dicksboro the lead again however slender. Although Dicksboro were working the ball well O’Loughlin Gaels were doing the hard work and were starting to get the better of their opposition. The game tempo had picked up and the intensity had increased.
A fowl created by over carrying the ball while it was being carried out of defence gave Dicksboro an opportunity to extend their narrow lead with a point by Shane Stapleton going into additional time.
The balance of play was slightly with Dicksboro but both sides were battling hard. O’Loughlin Gaels were back in with more of a chance after the way they reacted after they scored their goal.
A good move saw Mark Nolan score a point followed by a pointed free by Shane Stapleton and a point from play by Huw Lawlor ended the scoring for the first half.
Dicksboro 1:9 – O’Loughlin Gaels 1:7
The second half started with the intensity you would expect with both sides trying to put down a marker. Points by Mark Bergin and Huw Lawlor brought the game level. Stephen Murphy’s long puck out to Robbie Buckley brought a great save out of Brian Minogue when he turned the ball into the side netting. Mark Bergin put the resulting 65m over the bar. A fabulous move by Dicksboro involving Timmy Clifford, Aidan Nolan and Evan Cody resulted in a free which Shane Stapleton pointed. Two wides by Mark Bergin and a wide by Shane Stapleton suggested that the pressure and intensity of the game was showing in both sides, with O’Loughlin Gaels forwards losing out slightly to the Dicksboro backs .A point by Shane Stapleton after ten minutes was the highlight of the next seven minutes a period of “play” best forgotten not only for the three yellow cards given out but also for the ones not shown, as the referee took back control of the game. Shane Stapleton scored two points to take the game to the second water break.
The start of the third quarter saw both sides work hard and a pass by Conor Heary to Eoin Wall created a point which O’Loughlin Gaels needed. A quick free by Molloy and good work by Robbie Buckley led to a point by Mark Bergin, this with brilliant work by Huw Lawlor brought O’Loughlin Gaels back into the game. This was followed by another pointed free by Mark Bergin which leveled the game at1:13 each.
O’Loughlin Gaels were now back in a game that Dicksboro had looked to be well in control of. Dicksboro worked hard in defence and a lay off by Conor Doheny to Tim Clifford led to a fine score from distance with ten minutes left. A second goal for O’Loughlin Gaels scored by Jack Nolan after Dicksboro’s goalkeeper Stephen Murphy made a brilliant save from Paddy Deegan after great work by Robby Buckley. Mark Bergin followed this score with a point and now Dicksboro looked out of sorts after that goal against the run of play.
O’Loughlin Gaels lifted their efforts and instilled new urgency in their play and an Eoin O’Shea point added fire to the O’Loughlin Gaels challenge and Dicksboro looked to be tiring.
Dicksboro’s Robby Murphy got red carded for an off the ball action which further damaged Dicksboro’s chances with only two minutes of normal time to play. Dicksboro needed a big score going into additional time but a huge defensive effort by O’Loughlin Gaels ensured Dicksboro returned from the well empty handed.
A final point by Eoin O’Shea saw O’Loughlin Gaels turn around a game that Dicksboro had control of for long periods. The last fifteen minutes were all O’Loughlins and this was the difference in the teams. A final score O’Loughlin Gaels 2:17 –Dicksboro 1:14.
O’Loughlin Gaels; Mark Bergin 0:10 (0:5 frees 0:1 65m) Jack Nolan 2:0 Eoin O’Shea 0:3 (0:1free) Huw Lawlor 0:2, Owen Wall 0:1, Robbie Buckley0:1
Dicksboro; Shane Stapleton0:7 (0:7 frees) Andy Gaffney 1:1, Mark Nolan 0:2, Liam Moore 0:2, Timmy Clifford 0:1 Bill Sheehan 0:1.
O’Loughlin Gaels.
Stephen Murphy, Tony Forrristal, Mikey Butler, David Fogarty, Jordan Molloy, Huw Lawlor, Cian Loy, Jack Nolan, Conor Heary, Paddy Butler, Eoin O’Shea, Owen Wall, Robbie Buckley, Paddy Deegan, Mark Bergin. USED SUBS; Sam Johnston, Jamie Ryan, Conor Kelly.
Brian Manogue, Conor Doheny, Alan Phelan, Evan Carroll, Evan Cody, Cillian Buckley, Tom Kenny, Timmy Clifford, Joe Sheehan, Andy Gaffney, Shane Stapleton, Aiden Nolan, Bill Sheehan, Liam Moore, Mark Nolan. USED SUBS; Chris Kavanagh, Robbie Murphy, Oisin Gough.

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