AIB Leinster Club Intermediate Hurling Semi-Final
19 November, 2016
Bray - 13 v Celbridge - 15
A lovely day in Bray Emmet park with quite a large crowd supporting the home team so we were in for a very entertaining afternoon.
It wasn’t long before news filtered around the ground that Mikey Lee was after coming down with the vomiting bug and was unable to play, this was a huge blow before the game started but some better news was that Paul Cunningham was fit to play having broken a bone in his hand against Carnew in the county final and missed the Castletown match last day.
Luke Maloney was given the task of marking Gerry Keegan the Celbridge talisman and John Henderson picked up Leo Quinn another sharp shooter for the Kildare men.
Celbridge started well and showed they going to be tough opposition, Fergal Conway was popping up everywhere in the early few minutes, but it was full forward Mark Maloney that opened the scoring with a well taken point from play. The first ten minutes were intense and physical with a few yellow cards issued to two Kildare boys Fitzgerald and Quinn.
Celbridge led 4 points to 1 but Paulie and Diarmuid sent over two points to make it 4 to 3, Gerry Keegan pointed from a free and Quinn pointed from play and the lead is back to three points, Christy struck two frees over and Ronan Cunningham landed a long-range point to send us in level 6 points each at half time.
Keegan had been guilty of missing four frees in the first half so we could feel rather fortunate to be level at the break although we also butchered two good goal chances of our own, one by Ronan who fired wide and another by Christy who was hooked just as he was about to pull the trigger.
John Henderson was keeping us in this game with some heroic defending, that and the wides from Celbridge so the second half was there for us if we could get going and get the big home support behind us.
It was Celbridge that got out of the blocks early again firing over three points on the trott and piling on the pressure with only minutes on the clock. It was at this point Fergal Conway was shown a red card for an off the ball incident by Michael O’Sullivan.
Cian O’Byrne had replaced Padge Doyle after half time and Arran Murphy had started to push forward at every opportunity, Mark Lennon fired over two great points for Bray and the Bray boys were really coming into the game.
Enda Forde came on for Ben McCormack and it was now or never for our lads to push on for the win with only one point between the teams and a fourteen man Celbridge, but it was Gerry Keegan that showed his class and fired over two more lovely points from play and was causing the Bray defence untold problems coming down the home straight.
Christy pointed a 65 and Masterson a point from play, Lennon fired over his third but Keegan and Maloney pushed the lead back to three going into injury time, Peter Walsh had come on for Ronan, we needed a goal at this stage to save the day and when Forde fired narrowly over the chance was gone, the final whistle sounded and Celbridge were winners by 15 points to 13 and one would have to say we could have no complaints, the better team on the day just pipped us.
Remember we have the final of the play off on Tuesday night at 8.30 over in St Bridgets.
Many thanks to all panel for their commitment and dedication, you have made the club & county so proud, to all the supporters and families, to the back room staff, we couldn’t have done it without you all, our Physio Cameron, Olan Savage our strength and conditioning coach, John Henderson and his selectors Liam Kenny and Bill Maher, Colm McDonagh the best kit man ever.
God Bless you all and hopefully four in a row next year.