Today saw Round 2 of the Top Oil Corn Ui Dhuill “A” Hurling Championship get under way with two games being up for decision. St Peter’s welcomed St Kieran’s to Wexford GAA Centre of Excellence in Ferns while Parnell Park hosted the all Dublin clash of Dublin North and Colaiste Eoin.
St Kieran’s and St Peter’s College Wexford both arrived into today’s fixture fresh from their opening Round victories prior to the Christmas break. The Kilkenny side had a comprehensive victory over Good Counsel while the Slaney men had plenty to spare in seeing off Borris VS. Both teams had racked up high scores in these encounters so a mouth watering contest was in prospect.
The Kilkenny side got the better of what turned out to be a cagey opening quarter with free’s from the ever reliable Eoin Cody putting them 3 points to 1 up. The crucial moment of the first half came when Peter’s corner forward Mossy Murphy grabbed a ball inside the small rectangle before having his shot brilliantly saved by Ballyhale Shamrocks net minder Dean Mason. The resulting clearance was gathered by the Kieran’s men and dispatched over the Peter’s crossbar for what looked to be a 4 point swing. Just before the half time whistle the game really came to life, Mason was red carded for an off the ball incident and moments later the hard working Cody blocked an attempted clearance before firing home a cracking goal from a tight angle. This left St Kieran’s with a lead of 1-08 to 0-05 at the break.
The second half saw the Kilkenny side really take control with Graigue-Ballycallan man Aaron Brennan to the fore, he fired home their second goal following an assist from the hard working Conor Hoban at full forward. This proved to be the killer blow as they went on to dominate the remainder of the game. Cody and Brennan continued to perform well while Conor Kelly got in on the act firing a number of scores in the second half. For St Peter’s Patrick O’Connor and Mossy Murphy both of Blackwater were shining lights on what was a difficult day for the Wexford side. The final score was 3-17 to 0-12.
The other game today saw Colaiste Eoin take on Dublin North. Again both teams arrived on the back of opening round victories with Colaiste Eoin having seen off Kilkenny CBS and Dublin North overcoming St Brendan’s Birr.
Similar to the first game the opening quarter was a cagey affair as both sides sought to settle into their grove. This however all changed when Donal Leavy set off on a winding run before setting up Padraig Purcell who duly dispatched the ball to the North men’s net. This left Colaiste Eoin 1-03 to 0-03 up after 15 minutes. Liam Dunne on free taking duty kept the reigning Champions in touch. Just before the half time break Colaiste Eoin broke through again this time it was the turn of Tom Ahearne to finish off a well worked move. As the half time whistle blew Colaiste Eoin looked comfortable as they went in 2-06 to 0-04 up.
Dublin North knew they needed a quick start to the second half and that was exactly what they got. The momentum most definitely swung, as they scored six unanswered points with Luke Swan, Sean Foran and Dunne again all contributing. The comeback looked well and truly on, as Dublin North began to show the form that had led them all the way last season. However as the game entered the last ten minutes the killer blow came when Padraig Lenihan went for a long range score for Colaiste Eoin. His effort came back off the very top of the up right and the resulting rebound was netted by Rian Malone. This proved decisive as Dublin North had to try for goals from here on out. With Colaiste Eoin proving able to soak up the pressure they ran out victors on a score line of 3-12 to 0-11.
Both St Kieran’s and Colaiste Eoin are now safely through to the Semi Final stages. While Dublin North and St Peter’s will now await and see who they will face in the Quarter Finals on January 30th.