City Jet SHC Rnd 1
St Gabriels 0-15
Fr Murphys 1-12
By Damian Dolan
A last-gasp Conor Kerr 65 gave Fr Murphys a deserved share of the spoils after a titanic tussle with St Gabriels.
Played out in appalling conditions at Greenford, there was never more than three points between sides at any stage, as they traded blow-for-blow for 60 minutes.
Michael Gordon’s goal 14 minutes from time looked like it might prove the catalyst for Murphys to power on to victory, and they duly led by a point with a minute to go.
But substitute David Nolan levelled the scores and Michael Ivors’ injury-time free looked to have snatched victory for Gabriels, only for Kerr to hold his nerve to bisect the posts with the last puck of an absorbing game, which neither side deserved to lose.
Sean Howlin opened the scoring for a Murphys side who were up for the battle throughout.
But Kevin Coen levelled within a minute, and so the tit-for-tat tone for the match was set, with neither side able to break the shackles, before being reeled back in.
Kerr’s accuracy from frees was excellent, although his successful opening attempt was cancelled out by two frees from Ivors .
Gabriels were fortunate to survive when Sean O’Sullivan’s ball in was batted down by James Barrett in front of his own goal, with Eoghan Pierce getting back to clear off the line after Patrick O’Donovan swung on a ground ball.
Three points on the bounce from Kerr (two frees) and Stephen Casey saw Murphys open up a two-point lead, but it was short-lived as Gabriels were back on level terms within a few minutes.
The sodden conditions underfoot and the unrelenting rain, only added to the fierce nature of the contest, as both sides competed for every ball.
ST GABRIELS: James Barrett; Eoghan Pierce, Fankie Tierney, Fergus Fahy; Michael Coady (0-1), Enda Cooney, Daragh Skehill (0-1); Ronan Royston, Neil Rogers (0-1); Michael Ivors (0-7, 2f), Eoin Tuohy (0-1), Ciaran Cunningham (0-2); Luke Hands, Kevin Coen (0-1), David O’Gorman. Subs: Scott Conroy for Hands, David Nolan (0-1) for Coen, Chris Maloney for O’Gorman.
FR MURPHYS: Michael Casey; Shay O’Donoghue, Darren Howlin, Daniel McGuigan; Shaun Brennan, Conor Kerr (0-6, 1×45, 5f), Conor Fitzgerald; Sen O’Sullivan, Kenneth Watchorn; Stephen Casey (0-3, 1f), Sean Howlin (0-1), Conor Hallissey; Patrick O’Donovan, Michael Gordon (1-2), James Kennedy. Subs: Chris Weller for O’Donovan, Dave Kelly for Sean Howlin.