Congratulations to our National Feile bound team on a fine victory in a top-of-the-table clash over Fingallians on Tuesday night.
U14 LEAGUE DIV 2 – Tuesday 26th June 2012, Swords.
CUALA 3 -11; FINGALLIANS 3 – 5
Cuala’s U14 Hurlers over-turned a 6 point deficit to win by 6 in this exciting and hugely entertaining Division 2 top-of-the-table clash in warm, humid conditions in Balheary on Tuesday 26 th June.
Fingallians were unbeaten in seven outings coming into this game and were hoping to maintain their flawless record in the League. But Cuala had other ideas! An outstanding second half performanceby the Dalkey men ensured the two points would cross the Liffey and propel Cuala back into contention for League honours.
The game started nervously. Both defenses were on top and scores were hard to come by. It wasthe Swords outfit that settled better and, with a goal from their outstanding mid-fielder ConorByrne after 8 minutes, Fingallians siezed the initiative. Cuala were off the pace at this stage, but kept in touch with two fine long range frees from Emmet Murphy and a lovely solo point fromMark O’Treasaigh from out on the right. Mickey Wylde and Cathal O’Floinn hurled magnificentlyduring the half and Oisin Marray was holding Donagh Williams, Fingallian’s most dangerous striker, scoreless. But despite their best efforts, the half-time score was 1.4 to 0.3 in favour of the Northsiders.
Whatever was said during the half-time interval would be worth a fortune if it was bottled! The Cuala team came out transformed in the second period. They played like men possessed! The team-sprit, enthusiasm and sheer work-rate shown by the Hyde Road outfit was a joy to behold. It seemed they had thrown off the shackles they had in the first half and began hurling like demons! O’Drisceoilat centre-back hurled out of his skin. He wouldn’t lie down in the face of bigger, stronger oppositionand hurled ball after ball into the Galls defense. Fingallians seemed to be ‘caught in the head-lights’as Cuala raised their game and a tsunami of Cuala attacks washed over them. Five minutes into thehalf, following another fine hand-passing move across the middle, Stevie Mc’ Donnell was through on goal. It needed a wonder-save from the Fingallians ‘keeper to keep him out. Almost immediately,Emmett Murphy was placed by O’ Drisceoil. He weaved brilliantly through the cover and struck awonderful ball heading for the top corner of the net. This time the Fingal full-back came from no-where to deflect the ball for a ’65. The Cuala faithful on the line held their heads in their hands – itlooked like it was going to be one of those days! To add insult to injury, against the run of play, theGalls no. 15, broke through the cover and scored a goal to put two clear goals between the teams. At6 points down early in the second half, it looked all over for the visitors.
The move of Joe Mahony to full-forward and Mark O’Treasaigh to the 50’ had an immediate effect.O’Treasaigh began to catch clean ball from the puck-out and was causing all sorts of problems forthe centre-back. Big Joe started to impose himself at full forward, began to dominate proceedingsand was breaking ball for the on-rushing forwards. On 40 minutes in a ‘purple patch’ for Cuala,Mc’Donnell followed in on a break-ball and drove a loose ball to the net. Four minutes later Mahonytook a clean catch from McCarthy at mid-field, turned and leveled the match with a wonderful
individual goal. The Fingallians defense was now creaking under the pressure as wave after wave of Cuala attacks confronted them. When on 48 minutes McDonnell burst the net with his second well taken goal, it looked like the end of the Northsiders challenge. But Fingallians are made of sterne stuff and didn’t give up. With 6 minutes left on the clock, Conor Byrne their outstanding no. 8,picked up a loose ball around the middle and soloed at pace through the Cuala defense. With greatskill, he outstripped the Cuala rear-guard and struck a wonderful ball to the roof of the net. The game was back in the balance! Cuala were now tentatively hanging on to a two point lead.
When the big Gall’s full-forward took possession out on the left and turned for goal, the large Dalkey contingent held their collective breaths. From 10 yards out, he ‘pulled the trigger’. From out of nowhere Tiarnan Lane threw himself into the strike, took the hit and prevented what looked like the winning goal. Brian Coronella and Oisin Marray cleared the danger. What a save! Despite that scare, Cuala showed huge resolve and self-belief and ensured that that would be the last attack forthe Fingallian’s side. Every player on the pitch raised their effort again, and the Cuala men took back control. Murphy & O’Treasaigh clipped over three points between them. Right at the death, Conor Newman showing great resolve and no little courage, took possession away from the Galls full-back and gave a deft pass inside to Mahony. Big Joe couldn’t miss and scored his second point of thegame. A great game of hurling! Well done to both sides. For the record, the score-line was 3.11 to3.5 in favour of Cuala.
Wonderful performances for the Reds all over the pitch, but the man-of–the-match accolade must go to Fionn O’Drisceoil who had an outstanding game at centre-back. He worked tirelessly for his team, cleared a huge amount of ball and displayed a ‘never-say-die’ attitude from start to finish.Fingallians stay top, but Cuala and Lucan are now tight on their heels!
Footnote: well done to Cuala’s second U14 Hurling team who also had a great win to keep them top of their division.
Next up: Ballinteer St. Johns, U14 Hurling League on Saturday 1st July 3.30pm in Thomastown orHyde Road.
Team: Ryan De Felice, Oisin Marray, Brian Coronella, Tiarnan Lane, James Murphy, Fionn O’Drisceoil(0.1 ’65), Cathal O’Floinn, Daniel Johnson, Thomas McCarthy , Emmet Murphy (0.5 all frees), JosephMahony (1.2), Michael Wylde, Stephen McDonnell (2.0), Conor Newman, Mark O’Treasaihgh (0.2)Subs: Diarmait Maas, Fionn Myers (0.1), Dairmaid O’Floinn , Jack Twomey.
Substitutes: Diarmait Maas for James Murphy (25 mins), Fionn Myers for Joe Mahoney (inj. 50mins), James Murphy for Thomas McCarthy (55 mins), Diarmuid O’Floinn for Diarmait Mass (inj. 55mins).