9th of July , 7.30pm at Kells Rd Referee: Eugene Ryan
The scorelines at halftime ( O’Loughlins 0-6 to 2-11 Danesfort) and at full time suggest a game of two halves but in truth Danesfort were in total control here but for a late flurry from the St. John’s men. Danesfort’s Richie Hogan brought his county form to the occasion and danced his way around the Kells Road venue causing irreparable damage to O’Loughlin Gaels chances of maintaining their winning run in this competition.
Within a few seconds Danesfort were off the mark with a fine point from Paddy Hogan and had registered two more by the end of the second minute through Richie Hogan (Free) and Colm Phelan. O’Loughlins did return one after Sammy Johnson got on the end of some good play to guide it over from out on the wing but Danesfort hit back again with two more from Richie Hogan including one from a sideline cut from 60m. Danesfort were benefitting from a strong wind in this first half but their play was also very crisp and movement purposeful while O’Loughlins looked static and couldn’t get to grips with the game. Danesforts Colm Phelan made his contribution count and notched the second of his four points before Martin Comerford got a rare chance and converted O’Loughlins second and Phelan immediately returned with his third and Danesfort’s seventh giving a healthy five point advantage at half way through the first half. Then on eighteen minutes Paddy Hogan launched a free from his own forty that went all the way for a goal. And within three minutes the Gael’s task of bagging these league points became almost insurmountable after Danesfort added a further point ( R Hogan Free) and a goal. The goal came from another long range effort that seemed to wobble in the wind and confused the defence as it deflected off defenders before bouncing off the post and nestled into the goal. Danesfort capitalised on their good fortune and finished out the half with three more points while freetaker Mark Bergin got the better of the swirling wind to convert four points three of which were placed balls.
The sizeable crowd were expecting the second half wind advantage to favour the City men but some wayward shooting and stout defending by Danesfort insured the points would go their way. No access towards goal was granted to the O’Loughlins attack who manged just six points, but could have been more, over the next twenty five minutes. The Danesfort lads got a better handle on the conditions however and kept the pressure by converting four points in the same period. Then a bit of luck for O’Loughlins and the third goal of the evening also resulted from a long range free. Paddy Butler’s free going directly to the net from sixty yards. He immediately hit again with a converted ’65 and within another minute Alan Geogheghan had found the net and with only five minutes on the clock a robbery looked like it might take place as the difference was suddenly only two points. Danesfort’s half forward Paddy Hickey was having a fine game and steadied the flow with point to give that three point lead again. And as the game approached the final whistle Mark Bergin stole in behind his marker and struck for goal but only to see it soar over the crossbar for a point. Danesfort win by two and with a few weeks to the final round there’s plenty to work at training.
O’Loughlin Gaesl: B Leydon, A Forrestal, A Kearns, E Kearns, P Butler (1-1, Free, ’65)), B Hogan, N Bergin, P. Deegan, D Burke, Comerford (0-2), M Kelly (0-2), D Loughnane (0-1), S Johnson (0-1), M Bergin (0-7, 5f), A Geoghegan (1-0), S Bolger .
Danesfort: C Hackett, D Booth, R O’Keefe, R Leahy, P Walsh, C, O’Neill, P. Murphy, J Phelan, R Walsh (0-1), P Hickey (0-1), P Hogan (1-2, (1-1 frees)), R. Hogan (0-6, 2f, 1’65), C Phelan (0-4), G Dunne (0-1), B Cullen, G Tynan (0-1)