The senior and junior hurlers both recorded losses this weekend showing that just like the Kilkenny hurler’s they too are human. The senior hurlers had been on a fine unbeaten run stretching back to their victory over Ballyboden in the SHC while this was the juniors first loss of the year in AHL 5.
Nh Mearnog spring surprise win over Seniors
Cuala 1 – 8 Naomh Mearnog 3 – 5
Friday 6th July 2012 AHL 1
With Mearnog striving to stave off relegation and weather conditions akin to a monsoon John Dermody warned his players that this would not be a game of hurling but a battle. So true were his words but it was Mearnog’s greater desire to win that drove them on to take a 2-2 to 0-0 lead in the first 20 minutes. Cuala finally woke up in the 21st minute with a well taken point from Scotty O’ Brien and things got better as Dan Keating helped himself to two further points with brother Luke chipping in with a stylish individual point. With 30 minutes on the clock Cuala would have settled for 2-3 to 0-4 as a half time score but with virtually the last puck of the first half Cuala lost concentration in the full back line and Mearnog drove home a goal off a break ball.
Half Time Cuala 0-4 Nh Mearnog 3-3
Mearnog only scored 2 points in the second half, one with 8 minutes to go and their last 1 minute into added time. Cuala improved considerably in the second but with Mearnog dropping a man back, and long distance points at a premium due to the extreme conditions, scores were hard to come by. Shortly after Mearnog had a goal chance, which came of the post, Cuala started to press harder and the continual pressure resulted in the Mearnog corner back deflecting a cross ball into his own net. Game on. With 12 minutes to go Mearnog had a man sent off for a second yellow offence but Cuala could’nt turn their dominance in possession into scores. B Fitzgerald took three points from frees and Shane Kiely added another. Unfortunately time beat Cuala and Mearnog ran out deserved winners with a 3 point margin.
With two games to go Cuala are still well placed at the business end of the table and this result should only be seen as a blip as they look forward to the championship quarter final.
Fintan O’ Brien, Shane Holden, Shane Kiely,(0-1) Simon Timlin, Sean Barron, Sean Moran, Shane Stapleton, Bobby Browne, Scott O’ Brien, (0-1) Cian Waldron, David Cunningham, Brian Fitzgerald,(0-3f) Dan Keating,(0-2) Andrew Browne, Luke Keating,(0-1) Subs Rory Cole, Jamie Brennan & Niall O’ Dowd
Management : Harry Roberts, John Dermody, Gerry Comerford, Barry O’ Halloran & David Cunningham.
Juniors still in the mix for promotion despite loss to Scoil Ui Chonaill
Cuala 0 – 11 Scoil Ui Chonaill 3 – 14 Sun 8th July 2012 – AHL 5
Do not think for one moment that this was a run away victory for Scoil in this top of the table clash in division 5. On a very wet day in Clontarf both teams went hammer and tongs at each other in this very intense battle for promotion. Only 2 points separated the teams with 5 minutes to go and everything was up for grabs however Scoil tagged on a 59th minute point which was really the winning score of the game. All of Scoil Ui Chonaill’s goals came in the two minutes of added time at the end of the game.
Probably a truer reflection on the game was that of Cuala’s total of 11 points only 1 was scored from play. On the other hand Scoil only had to rely on 4 points from frees out of their 17 scores.
In the first half Cuala toiled hard with Jack Phelan, Eoin Cronin and Rory Cole to the fore and on several occasions threatened to push ahead of Scoil. However an evenly contested first half ended with Scoil edging ahead 0-6 to 0-4.
In the second half Cuala battled hard but not break the 2/3 point lead that Scoil maintained throughout. Eoin Sheanon was impressive in setting up most of the Cuala attacks whilst Breathnach and Brennan threatened every time they were on the ball. Eoin Cronin kept slotting over the frees but at the end Scoil had enough to run out winners.
It was great to see Gary Loonan come on as sub for his final game with Cuala before he heads off to Canada.
Sean Brennan, Declan O’ Rourke, Colman O’ Drisceoil, Eoghan Dalton, Patrick Holden, Rory Cole,(0-1) Jack Phelan, Oisin Whelan, Eoin Cronin (0-10 all frees) Eoin Sheanon, Colm Murphy, Ruairi O’ Gillion, Eoin Breathnach, Jamie Brennan, Sub Mathew Higgins
Management : Shay Hayes & Brendan Spillane.