Referee Colm Schwer had a tough assignment on his hands as it was a much anticipated game between the Blues and the Gaels. Some questions were answered and others being asked after the Blues secured a convincing 6 point win. The Blues were clearly up for the game after last week's draw against Kerry, while the Gaels may have been complacent after a big win in their last game. In the end the Blues proved to be too strong for the Gaels who made a last gasp attempt to turn the tide, but it was not enough to turn a Blues team that were focused on getting the job done.
|Darragh Treacy tries to keep ahead of Enda Gorman.|
It was hard hitting stuff in the first half with the Blues ending the first period with a decided advantage. The Blues defenders were up for the challenge of stopping a formidable Gaels forward line, and limited them to 2 points over 30 minutes. At the other end the Blues made hay with the possession to their forward line. Barry John Keane converted 3 times, Anthony Duffy and Darren Dolan also added to the Blues column as the Gaels back line were under heavy pressure for most of the half. At the break it was the Blues ahead by 5 points, 0-7 to 0-2, the Gaels points coming from Kevin McGrath and Damien Comer who were given no room over the first period.
|Barry John Keane lines up a point.|
The Blues continued to keep the door locked in the second half. The midfield pairing of Tony Taylor and Barry Hartnett won plenty of ball and the Blues were first to the breaks. It was one way traffic for 20 minutes and the Blues pointed 6 times to the Gaels 2. Hopes faded among the Gaels supporters in the crowd as it became clear that the Blues were simply outplaying their side. Three more points came from the boot of Keane, Taylor, Duffy and Sean Moriarty, who finished a sweeping move extended the Blues lead to 9 points. After making several substitutions to add some robustness around the middle of the field, the Gaels lifted their game and ate into the Blues lead, but time was on the side of the Blues. An Ian Burke goal raised Gaels hopes, and even more so when followed by points from Graham and McGrath. What seemed an impossible lead to overcome was down to points, though with 2 minutes to go hopes were still slim. The final critical scores went to the Blues however. Kieran Hurley, who entered as a sub, and Duffy sealed the fate of the Gaels with a point each, and it is the Blues who are joint top of the table with Christopher's after 4 games.
Blues: D. O'Brien, K. Hartnet, G. Ryan, P. Domican,
S. Brosnan, S.
Moriarty (0-1), B. Hartnett, T. Taylor (0-1), A. Duffy (0-5), D. Treacy, D.
Doolan (0-1), C. McHugh, BJ Keane (0-6).
Sub: K. Hurley (0-1). Gaels: E. Connolly, K. O'Donnell, S. Conneely, C.
Seoighe, E. Gorman, P. Varley, R. Hyde, N. Graham (0-2), M. Lundy, D. Comer
(0-1), C. Mulryan, K. McGrath (0-3), Ian Burke (1-0).
By Rory O'Donnell