Neil Plunkett Inspires Junior Hurlers Come Back Vs Castleknock 2012-04-17 12:50:00

St. Brigids 2-12 Castleknock 0-14

St. Brigids claimed their third consecutive league win, with victory over rivals Castleknock in this entertaining AHL8 clash in Porterstown Park. The hosts started the brighter winning the early exchanges and were four points up inside the twenty minute mark. But points from Ciaran O?Reilly and Neil Plunkett steadied the Brigids ship. Scoring opportunities from play were limited with both defences on top, and with their free taker on song, the Castleknock men punished the Brigids defence to finish the first half strongly and lead by six points at the break.

Harsh words must have been exchanged at the break as a revitalised Brigids team took to the field for the second half, with Alan Thyne and Eoin ?Ozzy? Mulvihill setting the tone in the midfield area. A long ball driven in by Rory Dunne was picked up by James Campbell who fed Alan Thyne for the first score of the second half to kick start the Brigids comeback. Shortly after Neill Plunkett and John Cussen scored points to close the gap to three.

Castleknock stopped the rot and added a score to extend their lead to four points. But with John Cussen?s energy and pace causing problems for the Castleknock defence, and after he was hauled down, the referee was given no choice but to award a penalty midway through the second half. Neill Plunkett?s penalty was saved, but he made no mistake with the resulting 65 and pulled Brigids to within three points.

Suddenly it was all one way traffic and a fantastic run from Fergal Counihan split the Castleknock defence and he laid it off to talisman Neill Plunkett who made no mistake from fourteen yards to level the game. Brigids were dominant, and with Ciaran O?Reilly and Mossy Sweeney winning great ball around the middle, Plunkett again added a score to put Brigids in front. Both sides exchanged scores as the game entered the final ten minutes to set up a grandstand finish.

Castleknock broke the Brigids resistance with two quick scores to retake the lead with five minutes left on the clock. And just when it looked like that might have been enough; the inspirational Alan Thyne raced through the Castleknock defence and fired to the sliothar into the net sending the Brigids line into raptures. Castleknock pressed hard for a goal in the final minutes and it took an immense block from Damien Fitzsimons to keep Castleknock at bay. The Brigids defence stood tall aided by the gallant defending of Mark Hanley and David Grogan.

As the game entered injury time Plunkett put the icing on the cake and fired over the reassurance score to ensure that Brigids would come away with all two points. Both sides can now look forward to their opening Championship fixture which have been fixed for Sunday the 29th of April.

St Brigids GAA Club,
Russell Park, Navan Road, Dublin 15