Good Counsel crash to opening round defeat
Dublin North 1-12 Good Counsel 2-8
Five unanswered points, including a Lee Gannon winner in added-time, condemned Good Counsel to defeat in Round 1 of the Top Oil Post Primary Schools Senior A Hurling Championship in Eire Óg, Carlow on Wednesday afternoon last.
With the rain belting down, and the pitch cutting up badly, the New Ross boys let a four point lead slip in the final quarter with the Dublin North winner coming in the 61st minute after a clever, short free from Micheál Murphy picked out an unmarked Gannon.
It's hard to put into words how bad the conditions were. Seldom do you see so many lads involved in a game delving into every trick in the book to keep warm when the ball was out of play, or even just at the other end of the field.
The conditions made the game a complete lottery but it was the boys from the capital who found the crucial scores at the right time.
On the balance of play they probably just about deserved the win but Counsel certainly couldn't be faulted for their commitment in the circumstances.
The Super Blues looked the more likely winner in the opening half. The sides were level at a point each when Richie Foley's long free broke into the path of Kevin O'Donoghue and he whipped a shot across goal to the rigging from a tricky angle.
Dublin North missed their fair share of chances in the half but scores from their accurate free-taker Micheál Murphy did keep them right in the game as the second quarter progressed. However, Good Counsel found a little extra just before the break and a trio from Oisin Knox left them 1-7 to 0-5 ahead at the interval.
It took a mere 13 seconds for Dublin North to deliver a telling blow after the restart. Murphy hared away and fed Billy Ryan and the nipping corner-forward made no mistake with a blistering high finish past Jack Byrne Doyle.
The fast start was a produced of a different intensity level
from the Metropolitans and their increased work rate saw them pull level by the 38th minute. However, when Knox's point was quickly followed by a classy Sean Nolan goal in the 44th minute, it looked like Good Counsel had weathered the storm.
They didn't score again. Instead, Murphy (twice), Gannon and a questionable Billy Ryan point got Dublin North level by the 58th minute and they won it with Gannon's strike from just inside the '65 in added-time.
Good Counsel now move into Round 2 in the 'losers' side of the draw. There, they and the three other defeated first round sides will be drawn to create two matches, the winner of each will advance to the quarter-finals.
Dublin North: John Salmon; Jack Fagan, Andrew Dunphy, Sam Beirnes; Tommy Kinnane, Kevin Burke, David Phelan; Sean Foran, Enda O'Donnell; Micheál Murphy (0-7 frees), Cillian Hayes, Sean Clerkin; Billy Ryan (1-2), Liam Dunne (0-1), Cian Derwin. Subs. - Liam Foley for Hayes (31), Lee Gannon (0-2) for Fagan (31), Sean Farrell for Foran, inj (43), Eoin Gleeson for Dunne (52).
Good Counsel: Jack Byrne Doyle; Ben Ronan, Michael Cleere, Padraig Dempsey; Gavin Sheehan, Richie Foley, Padraig Bailey; Diarmuid Kehoe, Sean Nolan (1-0); Michael Galvin (0-1), Kevin O'Donoghue (1-1), Ciaran O'Brien; Sean O'Connor, Oisin Knox (0-6, 5 frees), Dylan Morrissey.
Referee: David Hickey (Carlow)