New York and their visitors Kevin Boland’s served up a rousing game of hurling on Friday evening at Gaelic Park, with the decision going down to the wire before New York pulled away one final time.
The game was a close contest throughout with never more than five points separating the sides.
When it came down to the wire, a penalty save by Eddie Hogan from Liam Cahill, strong defensive work by Eoghan Kyne, Liam Butler and Brian McNaughton with crucial scores up front by Dermot Hehir and Donie Broderick sealed the issue for the winners.
Cahill was a guest player for Boland’s as he was in town for the Matthew Macklin fight on St. Patrick’s night. The former All-Ireland winner posed for photos both before and after the game and really enjoyed his evening back at the Mecca. He won four New York medals in his career with his beloved Tipperary.
New York opened by putting sustained pressure on their opponents, but they couldn’t parlay it into scores. Cahill had the first point of the contest in the fifth minute before full forward Pat Egan scrambled the ball to net for a New York goal.
Kevin’s pulled back level with points from Liam and Sean Cahill, and then went ahead with another all-star score. New York were level again, however, when a great run by Robbie Jackson resulted in an excellent point.
The sides split four points evenly with Paul Loughnane and Richie Hartnett, who had just arrived off the bench for New York, while John Whelan and James Tracey replied for the battling Dubs.
After 20 minutes Hartnett had the ball in the net when he was set free by an intelligent pass by Loughnane. New York had further chances that went a begging while their opponents capitalized on some short puck outs to create at the other end. Liam and Sean Cahill again had scores.
The final five minutes resulted in both sides adding to their totals, Hartnett and Donal Broderick for New York while Conor McGovern and Liam Cahill for Kevin’s left the score 2-6 to 0-10 at the break.
There were a flood of scores in the second half and it started almost immediately. James Tracey had the opening score, but Dermot Hehir replied with a superb goal after an excellent pass from Donie Broderick.
Broderick followed with a point from distance. Sean Cahill hit a brace but Hehir picked off two very fine scores to leave it 2-10 to 0-13 points with 10 minutes gone.
Brian Flannery had a score for Kevin’s to again narrow the lead, but another point from Hehir and a goal from Pa Ryan extended the advantage to six.
At the midpoint of the half the visitors made a valiant effort to get back on level terms. It could have been worse, however, for New York.
A Tracey point and a goal from Liam Cahill narrowed the gap amid intense pressure. Points were swapped by Pa Ryan and Liam Cahill before Iarlaith Nolan was fouled for a penalty. Liam Cahill’s low shot to the Eddie Hogan’s left was expertly stopped by the young Irish American.
The save inspired New York as Hehir with two and Loughnane pushed their advantage out again to 4-14 to 1-16.
There was one last hurrah in the Dubs, and it came in a 2-2 flourish. Points from Andrew Grattan and Ronan Devery, who had both pushed forward to help the attack, preceded goals from Devery and Martin Kenny.
The sides were now level with time ticking down. Broderick and Hehir capitalized on great work at the back by Kyne and Butler to add four closing points in quick succession to again grab the lead for New York, and time ran out on the valiant Kevin’s.
The visitors had excellent displays from Ronan Devery, Brian Flannery, young James Tracey (first half) and Sean Cahill. Liam Cahill impressed in open play, but the New York defense knew that they had to double and triple team him on the ball. This curtailed his impact in the second half.
For New York both goalies did well. Brian McNaughton used his towering puck outs to put the opposition back on its heels, while Hogan’s penalty stop was just one of three important saves by the youngster.
Matt Cashman was very strong in the full back line while Liam Butler, Eoghan Kyne when introduced and Connor Costigan all had valuable inputs. Butler enjoyed the challenge, and his charges out the middle were inspiring. McNaughton also helped out the back line when the chips were down.
Robbie Jackson was a big loss to the side when he went off with a nasty injury -- we wish him well. Donie Broderick stepped up as a sub and was a tremendous force.
Manager Eddie Gowran introduced a host of effective subs over the 75 minutes including Richie Hartnett and Dermot Hehir, who had 2-9 between them. Pa Ryan also had a good contribution off the bench.
With the Cavan seven a side in two weeks, the year is under way. The New York side included hurlers from both the junior and senior circuits, and the new season in both divisions promises to be an exciting and enjoyable one.
Kevin’s: Mike Conlon, Ronan Devery (1-1), Andrew Grattan (0-1), Graham Dunphy, Aaron McManus, Brian Flannery, Martin Kenny, (1-0), Steve Harrington, Liam Cahill (1-5), James Tracey (0-3), Conor McGovern (0-1), John Flannery (0-1), John Whelan (0-1), Iarlaith Nolan, Sean Cahill (0-5) Sub: Eamon Cahill.
New York: Brian McNaughton, Matt Cashman, Gary Donoghue, Alan Sherlock, Conor Costigan, Liam Butler, Aaron Farrell, Robbie Jackson (0-1), John Power, Sean Brennan, Paul Loughnane, (0-3), Eddie Hogan, Paudie Kyne, 14 Pat Egan (1-0), 15 Jason Daly. Subs: Richie Hartnett (1-2), Donie Broderick (0-4), Kieran O’Keefe, Dermot Hehir (1-7), Eoghan Kyne, Pa Ryan (1-1), Liam Walsh. Eoghan Hogan.