We acceded to Kilmacud Crokes B team’s request for the match to be brought forward to midweek owing to challenges with player availability on the Bank Holiday weekend thus it had to be played on the meadow in Loretto rather than the better Hurling surface of Marlay Park.
There’s no shortage of fodder in Nutgrove whatever about the rest of the country ! The length of the grass was clearly an issue for both teams but Crokes seemed to handle it better and were able to rise the sliotar with greater ease while we lost advantage and left the ball behind more than once after a failed attempt at a jab lift. This extended even to the taking of frees and we failed to convert the easiest of frees from 21 meters in front of the posts on more than one occasion. By contrast Paul Comerford was able to put the sliotar over the bar from frees even within his own half of the pitch and did a lot of damage to Ballinteer’s hopes from such scores as well as his scoring from open play. Playing the match midweek meant that Paul was able to start for the Kilmacud Crokes A team the following Sunday against Nh Fionnbarra and thus help both their Division 1 and 2 teams to victory in the same week – a little like Hermione’s use of the Time-Turner in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.
There was some magical play from the Ballinteer lads too and Mícheál enjoyed some great spells of superiority on the right wing where he combined beautifully to bring BSJ back into contention with a wonderful cross to pick out Briain who made no mistake from short range on the opposite side of the goal. His under 16 colleague Patrick also made a huge contribution and helped Ballinteer to recover after early setbacks in each half put us on the back foot.
There was very little between the sides but a couple of lapses in concentration cost us dear and we conceded goals in each half as a consequence.
Briain had the consolation of the last word, holding off two backs and executing a perfect strike to place the sliotar beyond the reach of the keeper inside his right post. With the initiative having swung firmly to Ballinteer there were great hopes for one last attack but the referee’s whistle sounded to signal the end of the match and another one that got away.
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