The Bridge were away for this fixture V’s Kilmaley on a cold showery Sunday morning with a very strong wind blowing diagonally down the field which the Bridge lads had to play against in the first half. Kilmaley made all the early running and were rewarded within two minutes of throw in when a powerful strike at goal was brilliantly deflected by the Bridge keeper Cian Fawl.
The rebound came back in front of the goal and Liam Hickey from Kilmaley was quickest to react to scramble the ball over the line for the first score of the game. It was a huge blow for the Bridge because not only had they conceded a goal so early they also lost two of their backs in the process. Evan O’Callaghan and Ferdia O’Lionain collided with each other trying to stop Hickey’s shot at goal and O’Callaghan had to be carried off the field with O’Lionain following 3 minutes later. Scott Kirkland and Adam Murray came on in place of the two lads. To their credit the Bridge boys dug in and held Kilmaley scoreless from play for the rest of the half with Aaron Gubbins getting two more points from frees. The Bridge hit 3 points in the first half with Matthew Hurley very unlucky on 26 minutes when after a lovely pass from David Kennedy he hit a lovely strike only for it to ricochet off the crossbar. So trailing by 2 points 1-02 to 0-3 at the interval with strong wind advantage to come things were looking good for them.
The second half start was a mirror image of the first with the Bridge now playing all the hurling and Matthew Hurley left the minimum between the sides 5 minutes in with a lovely point. He followed this up five minutes later with a strange sort of goal. He struck a ball from probably 40 yards out across the goal and it went past everyone including the Goalie and trickled into the right corner of the net. David Kennedy hit a smashing free out on the wing to put the Bridge lads clear by 3 points and they looked like they were coasting. Kilmaley management however then made a change and it proved to be the turning point of the game. They switched Mark Connellan from midfield into full forward. He didn’t get a whole lot of ball but what he got he made good use of. With his blinding pace he kept running at the depleted Bridge full back line and scored 2-2 in the next ten minutes putting Kilmaley 6 points clear coming up to full time. The Bridge battled hard to score a goal but to no avail. Evan Murphy scored a point from a free on 30 mins to leave 5 points between the sides at full time. Kilmaley fully deserved their victory but you got the sense that this was one the Bridge left behind them.
For Sixmilebridge, Conor Morey, Morgan O’Connell and Adam O‘Sullivan played very well considering they lost two of their backline so early.
For Kilmaley, Mark Connellan played some lovely hurling especially when moved to forwards. Aaron Gubbins and Liam Hickey also acquitted themselves well.
Sixmilebridge: Cian Fawl, Conor Morey, Ferdia O’Lionain, Morgan O’Connell, Adam O’Sullivan, Evan Murphy(0-2F), Evan O’Callaghan, Mathew Dillon (0-1), David Kennedy (0-1F), Noel Flynn, Mathew Hurley (1-1), Scott Kirkland, Eoin Morby, Luke O’Halloran(0-1), Conor Maxwell, Dylan Dunne, Edmond O’Grady, Adam Murray, Colm Flynn, Seamus O’Connell.
Kilmaley: Padraig Browne, John Lillis, Alex Rynne, Eoghan Clancy, Luke Griffin, Jamie Clancy, Conor Hayes, Brian McNamara, Mark Connellan, Sean Keane, Brian Barry, Mark Halpin, Aaron Gubbins, Luke McMahon, Liam hickey, David Neylon.