Today St Brendan’s Birr and Good Counsel College arrived into this afternoons fixture knowing their future in the competition was on the line. Both had suffered defeats in the opening round with the Offaly men falling victim to Dublin North while Good Counsel succumbed to a strong St Kieran’s outfit.
The Wexford men hit the ground running early on racing into a 4 point to no score lead. Forwards Cathal Doyle and Sean O’Connor were causing St Brendan’s a lot of trouble. This almost culminated in a killer blow when Birr keeper Sean Thompson was called into action in the tenth minute pulling off a fantastic save to ensure the Offaly side remained in the contest. This save rallied to Faithful men and they began to claw their way back into the game. The resulting pressure led to a number of free’s which were duly converted by Rory Carty. Five of these place balls lead to the Birr men going in only 3 points down on a score line of 0-09 to 0-06.
In a similar vein to the first half Good Counsel came out of the blocks the quickest racing into a 0-12 to 0-07 lead. Cathay Doyle was once again to the fore contributing two of the three scores since the break. Party continued to prove his worth from dead balls as the Offaly side refused to go down easy two more frees and a 65 left it finely poised at 0-13 to 0-11. Then came the decisive moment of the game came as Good Counsel found themselves the recipients of good fortune. A long range effort from Doyle rebounded off the upright and fell to the grateful Coleman O’Sullivan and the centre forward duly dispatched it to the net. However as we had seen earlier the Birr men never gave up. They had almost an instantaneous reply when DJ Mcloughlin broke through the Good Counsel rear guard to see his effort kept out by a fine save from Kyle Martin. Two more scores from Carty gave St Brendan’s hope going into the dying stages however it was not to be their day. Good Counsel finished as the had started by slotting the two final scores to leave them up 1-15 to 0-14 at the final whistle.
For St Brendan’s it is unfortunately the end of the line. On the day Rory Carty was prolific from place balls and open play while DJ McLoughlin and net minder Sean Thompson gave valiant efforts. Good Counsel now progress to the Quarter Final stages thanks to some fine performances. Cathay Doyle finished the day within an individual tally of 7 points, AJ Redmond contributed 4 of his own and Sean O’Connor was a constant threat up front.
Birr: Rory Carty (0-10, 7Frees, 1 65′), DJ McLoughlin (0-02) Mick O’Brien (0-01) Don O’Donoghue (0-01)
Good Counsel: Cathal Doyle (0-07, 4frees)AJ Redmond (0-04, 2 65′), Coleman O’Sullivan (1-00), Emmett Cullen (0-01), Jack Kehoe (0-01), Conor Kehoe (0-01), Sean O’Connor (0-01)