Dromina boss full of praise for ‘iron man’

“It’s a great night for us, the pressure is off, and from now on we will be able to hurl with freedom and without fear,” were Dromina coach Gary Morrissey’s words of praise after his side scraped past Dripsey in round three of the IHC in Kanturk on Saturday night.

After previously coming out on the wrong side of scorelines against Kilworth and St Catherines, Dromina finally booked their spot in the knockout stages thank to this win.

“We have a lot of good hurlers out there but, as usual, Andrew O’Shaughnessy was an iron man for us, at nearly 39 years of age he is a credit to Dromina and a great servant to our club,” said Morrissey.

Key to the victory was undoubtedly the accuracy of O’Shaughnessy. The veteran number 12 was clinical from the placed ball as he slotted over seven dead balls along with one from play, in a tie that was always likely to be low-scoring.

However, O’Shaughnessy contributed a lot more than frees as he linked up superbly with fellow attackers Pat Hayes and Jonathon Jordan to cause plenty of problems for the Muskerry side’s defenders.

Hayes, in particular, shone as he grabbed two superb points from play in the ever worsening conditions.

Other credible displays came from Mike and Billy Naughton in the midfield, with Johnny Delee and John O’Connor also putting in very credible shifts.

Dripsey’s disappointment was obvious at the finish as they head into a relegation play-off game against either Blackrock or Éire Óg.

The loss to the Avondhu side will be difficult to take but it is particularly hard on their centre-back Conor Hayes.

He had a splendid game in the centre of his side’s defensive six and was well worth the man of the match award.

Dripsey’s Hayes was a tower of strength under the high ball and also proved to be a great platform from where most of the Dripsey attacks were initiated.

Other Dripsey players worthy of mention on the night were Pat O’Riordan and Shane Burke in the middle, and Mark O’Sullivan at centre-forward.

In a real tense affair, the teams could only manage a brace of points in the first quarter.

Things went up a gear soon after, as O’Sullivan landed a quartet of frees while O’Shaughnessy hit back with two frees of his own to leave Dromina trailing by two points at the turn, 0-7 to 0-5.

Another four points from the Dromina talisman after the interval, along with classy points from Hayes and Jordan put the Avondhu men in control of the tie with time almost up.

Dripsey had some chances late on but the final whistle ended their chances of progressing in this year’s championship.

Scorers for Dromina: A O’Shaughnessy 0-8 (7f), P Hayes 0-2, J Jordan 0-1.

Scorers for Dripsey: M O’Sullivan 0-5 (4f), D Buckley 0-2, D O’Sullivan (1f), S Burke, B O’Regan 0-1 each.

DROMINA: K O’Callaghan; D O’Shaughnessey, J O’Connor, G Hayes; P Hassett, J Delee, D Carroll; B Naughton, M Naughton; R Morrissey, P Hayes, A O’Shaughnessy; J Jordan, B Bowles, K Hayes.

Subs: P Burke for B Bowles (45), J Hamilton for K Hayes (52).

DRIPSEY: A Buckley; B Kelleher, T Aherne, R Daly; J Carey, C Hayes, S Murray; S Burke, P O’Riordan; D Buckley, M O’Sullivan, D Buckey; B O’Regan, D O’Sullivan, P O’Regan.

Subs: D O’Riordan for B O’Regan (51).

Referee: E Sheehy (Newcestown).

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