The Jun A Hurlers fantastic run in this years championship came to an end on Sunday morning away in Blunden Drive.
Playing against a very strong and physical O’Tooles team the game lived up to all of the pre-match expectations.
With a full complement of of players to pick from apart from the injured Josh Hogan, team selection was going to be difficult as all squad members had been going well in training.
Sean Smith in goal was assisted at the back by Mick Maher,James Aherne & Andy Dolan. In at a sweeper role was Paddy O Reilly behind the formidable trio of Eamon Mc Keown, Colm O Rian and Oisin Chambers. Midfield was Dan Mc Carthy & Eoin Coffey.
The forwards line up was made up of Kevin Davis Ciaran Brennan & Danny Quinn assisted upfront by Rob Aherne and Colm Morrissey.
From the throw in, the level of commitment and determination shown by both teams was evident to all in attendance.
BSJ matched their opponents physicality with a level of guile and skill. Space and possession in the first 20 minutes was hard to come by as O Tooles game plan was to stifle any fluid movement of the BSJ midfield and forward lines.
Scoring opportunities were limited. After a couple of missed frees BSJ took the lead with a well taken point from play from Danny Quinn. O’Tooles responded straight away and replied with 2 pts .
Additional points were added by Danny Mc Carthy and Eoin Coffey and Ciaran Brennan leaving the teams level heading in half time at 0-4pts each.
Both teams knew heading into the final 30 minutes that a place in the final was within their grasp.
It was obvious now that whoever could establish a slight lead would possible maintain it till the end.
O Tooles pressed hard and added a couple of pts to go into the lead.
BSJ replied with a free by Mc Carthy. O’ Tooles pushed again and scored a rather fortuitous goal when a miss hit shot spun off the bat of BSJ keeper Sean Smith. This left BSJ 4 pts down with 15 min remaining. A serious shoulder injury to Paddy O Reilly who had performed admirably in his sweeper position meant changes had to be made. Daragh Morrissey replaced O Reilly and Colm Morrissey was replaced by Simon O Reilly. BSJ pushed on again and added 2 pts from frees by Aherne and Mc Carthy. Momentum was now on the BSJ side with the score now at 1-7 to 0-9 O’Tooles were on the rack. BSJ unfortunately missed a couple of scoring chances to tie up the game and with injuries starting to mount on both sides the break up in play favoured O Tooles coming into the closing 2/3 minutes. They added 2 more scores ensuring that BSJ needed a goal to tie the match in the dying seconds. To their credit O’Tooles held out resiliently till the final whistle.
Final Score O’Tooles 1-9 BSJ 0-9.