Intermediate Hurling League
Sat. Feb. 25th at Church Rd.

Blackrock 2 - 20 V Castlelyons 2 - 17

Report:  Roger Ryan

Our Intermediate Hurlers made a winning start to the new season's competitions with a great win over a strong Castlelyons side at Church Road on Saturday, running out winners on a score of Rockies 2 - 20, Castlelyons 2 - 17.
Despite the lovely sunshine, it was bitterly cold and windy but that didn't cause any great problems for either team as they both strove might and main to open the season with a win. 

The first half started lively and following an opening point by Kevin O'Keeffe, Castleyons nipped in for the opening goal and added a point to lead by 3 points. A point from James Walsh and 2 from Kevin soon had us back on level terms. Castlelyons edged ahead with a point before Kevin and John O'Sullivan scored a point each to put us back in the lead again 0 -06 to 1 - 02. Castlelyons levelled but Kevin and Ryan Sweeney edged us ahead again with a point each to leave the score at Rockies 0 - 08, Castlelyons 1 - 03. Castlelyons replied with the next two points to level once more. From that point to the half time whistle Kevin with 3 and John O'Sullivan with 1 point had us ahead by 4 points at the break Rockies 0 - 12, Castlelyons 1 - 05.

Castylelyons opened the second half with a long range point but Fionn Coleman replied with an excellent goal to push ahead by 6 points 1 - 12 to 1 - 06. Further points by Kevin and Fionn increased our lead to 8 points but then Castlelyons hit back strongly with the next 3 points on the trot to reduce our lead to 5 points. A point from Kevin increased our lead to 6 points. Castlelyons then added 3 points to their tally to reduce that lead again to 3 points. The pace really picked up at this stage and Castlelyons were really pressing hard for scores but Kevin and P.J.Linehan with a point each pushed us ahead by 5 points 1 - 17 to 1- 12. But Castlelyons weren't finished yet and came back strongly with 3 points to reduce that lead to a dangerous 2 points 1 - 17 to 1 - 15. Kevin and Sean Healy responded to the challenge though with a point each to ease us into a 4 point lead again. Eoin O'Farrell with a great goal increased our lead to 6 points. Castlelyons then rattled the net for their second goal and followed up with a further point to reduce our lead to 2 points. With full time imminent, Kevin with a late free added the safety point and thus brought the game to a close with the Rockies ahead by 3 points, 2 - 20 to 2 - 17.
Despite the fact that it was the first game of the year, the standard of hurling was excellent by both sides with some great scores accruing and tough tackling the order of the day. Some resilient defending by our backs kept the Castlelyons boys at bay particularly as they threatened to take over at times. Kevin O'Keeffe was in excellent form and very accurate from both p-laced balls and from open play. John O'Sullivan also showed up well and all the forwards played their part in a great victory.

Scorers: Kevin O'Keeffe 0 - 13(06f), Fionn Coleman 1 - 01, Eoin O'Farrell 1 - 00, John O'Sullivan 0 - 02, James Walsh 0 - 01, Ryan Sweeney 0 - 01, P.J.Linehan 0 - 01, Sean Healy 0 - 01.

Team: Ross Browne, Sean Healy, Gary Norberg, Richie Laide, Oliver Mc Adoo, Ciaran Cormack, Diarmuid Cormack, Kevin O'Keeffe, Darragh Browne, Ian O'Keeffe, John O'Sullivan, Ryan Sweeney, Luke O'Donovan, James Walsh,
Fionn Coleman. Subs Used: P.J.Linehan, Leo Sullivan, Eoin O'Farrell, Tom Grainger, Jack O'Farrell.
Referee: Niall Fahy.