Victory for Inters in difficult conditions

St. Brigids Blackwater 0-14 v 1-07 Monageer/Boolavogue

Bitterly cold wind mixed with sleight and snow is what greeted our intermediate hurlers in the first round of the league. Even after all the rain, the pitch was in exceptional condition which made life somewhat easier for the teams.

Our lads settled in the quicker with Dean Whelan placing a nice ball to Nobbs who soloed well to pick off a score which was followed up by a Topar free. Monageer were unlucky not to goal a minute later and were level after 4 minutes. Topar and Monageer swapped frees before disaster struck when Monageer won a penalty. There was no mistake hitting it well to the Peters left. Our lads though responded well and played the better in the first half. Peter hit a puc out to Darren who caught on the run and placed a handpass to the onrushing Diarmuid who slotted over. A cross field ball to Denis O’Brien and he held it up well to place another  crossfield ball to Blake who sidestepped the oncoming Monageer forward to point. Topar had the sides level with a free with 15 gone before Diarmuid and Darren combined well to win back the ball and win a free. Tight angle and difficult wind but no bother to Topar. Blake was unlucky not to goal after he made a super run from the half back line and shot across the face of the goal wide but Monageer were level again with 10 left. Peter made a good stop before Monageer moved in front. Nobbs though as he had done with his first score soloed through to point with Topar and Monageer swapping points before half time to leave the sides level.

The second half was more of an act of attrition with Monageer only managing one point on the Denis Carroll electronic controlled scoreboard for the 30 minutes with that coming from a free in the first 30 seconds. Darren equalised a few minutes later with Anthony Roche, playing a man of the match performance getting in a goal saving flick which looked like a certain goal for M/Boolavogue. He did brilliantly a few minutes later showing years of experience soloing out, flicking it over an oncoming player and winning a free which Din Brien scored. Diarmuid made one of his trademark runs from midfield to win another free in front of the posts. Conditions started to get worse with both teams finding it difficult to find their men and with cold hands and plenty of balls being dropped. It wasn’t until the final 4 minutes that the lads started to pull away, Darren unlucky not goal after shifting a few heavy challenges with the Monageer keeping making a great save. He scored the 65 with the wind swirling before Diarmuid was denied a certain goal from a point blank range save when the Monageer keeper ran out to block. Darren scored a free with only a minute left before the game petered out.

While the game at times was sloppy, conditions were difficult for both teams and its 2 points on the board and a winning start for the new management team.

Team: 1. Peter O’Brien (c)  2. Robert McGuinness 3. Eoin O’Neill. 4. Anthony Roche. 5. Aaron Culleton. 6. Ennae Carroll. 7. Richard Blake (0-1). 8. Topar Corrigan (0-5fs). 9. Diarmuid Murphy (0-1). 10. Dean Whelan. 11. Paul O’Leary. 12. Darren Byrne (0-3, 0-2fs) 13. Jake Nobbs (0-2). 14. Denis O’Brien (0-2fs). 15. Paul Murphy

Subs used: Ben Redmond for Kevin Corrigan inj, Kieran Roche for Aaron Culleton, Lar Lacey for Ennae Carroll inj.