Realt Dearg C 2-11 O’Dwyers 0-6
29th June 2017
Realt Dearg jump-started their league campaign on Thursday with a comprehensive win over the Balbriggan outfit.
The ruff weather and tight after-work turnaround wasn’t enough to dissuade these hardcore hurling hardmen from fulfilling this postponed fixture. However, some O’Dwyers men arrived in drips and drabs due to a crash on everyone’s favourite Dublin ring road. There was a sense that the man in the middle had reffed bigger occasions and possibly had a date with ‘Love Island’ later in the night. His time waited for no man and one Dwyers man was seen hopping to the pitch putting on a football boot; an incredible feat. As most amateur sportsmen will tell you, it’s a delicate balancing act negotiating your way out of work on these midweek evenings and few of us have the resources available to quit the old day job, live on ‘resources’ and concentrate on the hurling career. Apropos nothing; this writer came across Richie Hogan’s Twitter account recently. Sure, isn’t he beavering away, supporting @fordireland @elverys @sure and also ironically @e-frontiers.ie ‘the Recruitment specialists’.
From the throw in, Realt Dearg started strongly, with the new and improved midfield combination of Colln Deveraux and Mick Conlon fetching ball and neutering their counterparts. Dwyers crowded the midfield and hounded the middle two but neither could be subdued and the opposition looked like they had bitten off more than they could chew. It wasn’t long before the Stars’ tails were wagging. A hopeful ball was crossed into the full forward line and á la vintage DJ Carey, fellow cats man Canice Ryan sprung up towards the incoming sliotar and whippet into the back of the net.
All eyes were on the new stopper, and Bernard Hurlily did not disappoint. He lorded the small rectangle and barked out orders like a veteran stepping in to fill a gap at under-16. He certainly lived up to his own pre-match billing where he was telling all and sundry about various tips that he had learned during his time under Derek McGrath. Derek this, Derek that, you’re holding your hurl wrong; Derek told me... He’s a confidence player and he literally grew into the game. So filled up with confidence and pride he was towards the end of the game that his chest nearly burst through the helpless No.1 jersey. ‘How many did I concede?’ ‘How many got past me? Well? WELLLL?’ In fairness to him, he led from the back and his puck-outs found red and black retrievers on the vast majority of occasions.
As the forwards kept ticking the scoreboard over with reassuring regularity, it looked increasingly unlikely that O’Dwyers would come back into the game and after all of fifteen minutes, defensive Rottweiler Aodan decided that enough was enough and called to the line, ostensibly with an injury. That was after one of his comprehensive ‘anywhere will do’ clearances got caught by a freak gust of wind and was carried over the bar to the bemusement of all present. He didn’t mean it. Some have noted that the Limerick man never gets injured after a rake of Saturday night pints so we will have to see if the theory is true on the 9th July.
Keith Murphy decided to show coach McEvoy why he should be a regular starter with a tasty points haul. He further hoped that the aforementioned gaffer didn’t notice that O’Dwyers forgot to mark him for the whole match. But still he put in an assured performance littered with long range mega-volt scores.
As is customary, Paddy Ryan tumbled like a boxer with a glass jaw. It looked impossible that he could continue. This was surely the end of his hurling career. Ten minutes later, his spectacular touchline effort from the 65 dropped agonisingly short. The legend continues.
The coach decided on a bold strategy, four attackers in the back seven. Some had remarked that his home tactics board may have been flipped by a mischievous housemate but a 6 point concession showed that the Deise man had not been conned. Aodan was replaced at centre-back by the free scoring forward Ray Cahill and the defensive setup looked more prophetic than experimental. Surely now, back to front teams will spread through the GAA like fleas through a puppy farm.
With respect to Keith Murphy’s free man heroics, this writer’s man of the match was a ‘Dub’; James ‘Redzer’ Brooks. The erstwhile forward was covering corner-back with such assurance that now surely Gavin Deacon will be confined to the eternal dalmation of the bench. Them are the breaks when you go following your dreams it seems. Let it be a lesson to any star who decides to enjoy life to the detriment of their hurling career. Redzer hounded forwards from start to finish and if he wasn’t nipping at their heels he was clearing ball over the shoulder to howls of ‘gwwwan’ or ‘sthufff Jamie-boyyyy’.
A special mention to Mark Dunphy who goaled on his debut. Since I didn’t witness it, I’ll go out on a limb to say it was the goal of the day. He has a 50% chance there, well done new man.
Team in full: Bernard Hurlihy, Ross Kelly, Gavin O’Connell, James Brooks, Cillian Thornton, Aodan Hurley (Ray Cahill), David Lynch, Colin Deveraux, Mick Conlon, Mark Dunphy, Keith Murphy, Patrick ‘Canice’ Ryan, Peter McElhone, David Sheehan, Shane Murphy (Paddy Ryan)