Kinvara hold off Gort challenge

posted 6 Mar 2011, 09:32 by Unknown user
Kinvara 3-5
Gort 2-2
A spirited performance from the Kinvara lads in the second half saw off the tough challenge from a lively Gort side in this Brendan Linnane tie played in Kinvara.
Although Kinvara played with the hill and breeze in first half, it was Gort who got the better start when they worked through for a well taken goal.  The Kinvara backs were caught with loose marking, but settled very well after that. Ollie Nilan got Kinvara's first score from a pointed free, and he followed this up with a well taken point after some good work by Keelan O'Rourke. Gort however got the ball up the field again, and after the Kinvara backs fouled, they duly pointed the resulting free.  Another pointed free from Ollie followed, and then he struck for a goal. In fact Kinvara should really have scored a few more goals in the first half, but for some very good goalkeeping, stout Gort defending and some poor finishing from the Kinvara forwards. Half-time Kinvara 1-3, Gort 1-1.
So in the second half Kinvara had it all to do, with a narrow lead and with Gort playing with the breeze and into the scoring goals. However an early attack by the Kinvara lads saw Gary Kilkelly kicking the ball to the roof of the net. Ollie Nilan scored well when he shot over the bar from a tight angle. However Gort now upped their game and searched for scores. A fine effort was shot to the roof of the net, and they followed with a pointed free. The game now was on a knife-edge, with only 2 points separating the sides. However Kinvara stood firm. Some great defending was matched with a couple of great saves from Oisin Fahy. The final scores came from Kinvara who through Ollie scored a goal and a point.
So a great win for Kinvara and all spectators were entertained by both sides to a lively and exciting game of hurling. Credit to Gort, who played their best all over the field, and will surely do well later in the year.
For Kinvara, no one player could be singled out as there was many fine performances. Oisin Fahy in goals had a solid day. All backs played with great passion, with John O'Donohue and James Cronin-Rodger leading the way down the middle. They were ably assisted by Mark Deegan and Sean Linnane who both have very good games. Joe Tully and Conor O'Shea also played ther part and intercepted many a Gort attack.
In midfield both Whelans, Eoin and Patrick, played well and worked right till the end. All forwards did well and worked their socks off. Keelin O'Rourke and Alan Keane on the wings played some good stuff, while both Ollie Nilan and Gary Kilkelly contributed well to the scoreboard. Corner forwards Liam Byrne and Thomas Fordham did all they could with every ball that came their way and hassled the Gort defence well.
The subs also did well, with Cathal O'Dwyer, Seanie Cahill, Brendan Connolly, Neil Huban and Gerard Linnane all coming on. Mention too to young Simon Whelan in the subs.
Overall a fine win and can give some optimism for the year. However there will be tougher matches ahead. All players today know that there is areas to improvement be it getting the ball first time, or blocking and hooking. So, a lot to work on, but going in right direct so far.
Next game is against winners of Clarinbridge v Craughwell in the semi-final.
By C. Culann