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07 Oct 2022

Celbridge turn on the style against diligent Leixlip in Kildare SHC

Celbridge turn on the style against diligent Leixlip in Kildare SHC

Gerry Keegan, hit 1-7 for Celbridge as they defeated Leixlip comfortably in the SHC

UPMC Senior Hurling Championship Group B, Round 3

Celbridge 4-30

Leixlip 1-18

Celbridge claimed victory over Leixlip to claim top spot and an automatic semi-final place from Group B. The loss unfortunately sends Leixlip down and they will operate in Senior B for the 2023 Hurling Championship.

The final score tells its own story of how Celbridge took control of this one but there was nothing to separate these two sides after 20 minutes of this game as Leixlip were not going down without a fight.

The teams sat at 0-3 each after seven minutes and Leixlip would send a shock through the Celbridge camp when full-forward Darragh Melville turned his man and finished past goalkeeper Fiachra O'Muineacháin to give his side a goal advantage.

The sides traded scores but Leixlip will no doubt be disappointed with how they gave up the lead they had worked so hard to get. A quick Celbridge counterattack and some slick passing found Conor Treacy who I would say could scarcely believe the amount of time he had to himself through on goal. Treacy did not overthink the chance and smashed it past Liam Murray in the Leixlip net.

However, that was far from the end of Leixlip’s fight as they responded with three consecutive points to restore their lead. It wasn’t Treacy’s goal that they did the damage to this game but rather Jamie Connolly’s.

The Celbridge forward found the net after 21 minutes, bringing about a spell of dominance for the favourites that would see them nine points clear at the break. The second green flag was a real gut punch to Leixlip who had worked their socks off to get level just prior to Connolly’s goal. 

Leixlip’s Cian Bracken would get a score in quick reply but Celbridge would follow Bracken’s free with seven points without reply, sending their side in the lead at half time by 2-16 to 1-10.

It looked ominous for Leixlip who gave a superb performance against the odds but had come up nine points short against a clinical Celbridge side. Credit must be given to Celbridge who’s quality shone through and ultimately it would be a goal from one of their star men that would kill this tie.

At the restart, hope of a resurgence for the underdogs was soon put to bed as Celbridge’s Gerry Keegan broke away from his marker and drove towards goal. Keegan would find the net and end any hopes of a potential comeback. The forward finished as his side’s top scorer on the day with a brilliant 1-7.

Celbridge were in cruise control from here and all began to get in on the act with only five members of the starting fifteen not getting on the scoresheet come the end of this one. Leixlip’s Cian Bracken maintained his cool throughout the game and when called upon, put his set-pieces between the posts. The half-forward was superb on the day.

Substitute James Dolan got the final goal of the game as the leaders put some shine on the scoreline with Leixlip finishing as 4-30 to 1-18 winners.

Scorers

Leixlip, Cian Bracken 0-11, Cathal Melville 1-1, Darragh Melville 0-3, Jack Travers 0-2, Ciarain Masterson 0-1.

Celbridge, Gerry Keegan 1-7, Conor Treacy 1-3, Sam White 0-6, Billy White 0-4, Leo Quinn 0-4, Jamie Connolly 1-0,  James Dolan 1-0, Michael O'Donovan 0-1, Aaron Doran 0-1, Andy Shanagher 0-1, Niall O'Regan 0-1, Fergal Conway 0-1, Paul Hogan 0-1.

LEIXLIP: Liam Murray; Conor Burke, John Doran, Kian Myles; Sean O'Connor, Conor Higgins, Ryan Doyle; Jack Travers, Daithi Martin; Stephen Ryan, Ciarain Masterson, Cian Bracken; Cormac Keegan, Cathal Melville, Darragh Melville.

Subs: Daithi Martin on for Brian Nicholson (23 minutes).

CELBRIDGE: Fiachra O'Muineacháin; Sean O'Sullivan, Tom Finnerty, Pa Curtin; Kevin Murphy, Fergal Conway, Aaron Doran; Billy White, Michael O'Donovan; Gerry Keegan, Leo Quinn, Sam White; Conor Treacy, Andy Shanagher, Jamie Connolly.

Subs: Niall O'Regan on for Andy Shanagher (16 minutes), Niall O'Muineacháin on for Billy White (39 minutes), James Dolan on for Jamie Connolly (48 minutes), Tadhg Halpin on for Pa Curtin (50 minutes), Paul Hogan on for Fergal Conway (50 minutes).

Referee: Alan Lagrue

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