MFL – Div 4
Cicero, standing on the Hyde Road sideline at the end of the match on Wednesday was heard to say “Perfer et obdura; dolor hic tibi proderit olim“. “Versus, Cicero, meus vetus amicus. Versus!” replied coach Johnny Sheanon. Five points ahead with ten minutes remaining and it looked as if Cuala were going to win out over the league leaders. It was not to be. Despite a magnificent performance Cuala lost by a six point margin that did not fairly reflect the balance of play over the whole match. Keeper Cillian Sullivan gave a confident display and distributed the ball well from the kick-out. Corner backs Jack Curtin and Eoin Collopy defended heroically and both managed attacking runs in the second half. Kevin McHugh playing his first full match at full-back stood up to the pressure and got the better of his marker for most of the game. Half-backs Tadgh Blake, Daniel O’Keeffe (who broke forward for a magnificent first half goal) and Shane Errity (switched from mid-field in the first half) combined strong defensive play with effective passing. The two mid-fielders were outstanding: Oisín Breathnach fielded, passed the ball to his forwards and tracked back tirelessly throughout the match; and Donal Ennis (switched from half back in the first half) was deservedly man-of-the-match as time after time his tackling, interceptions and movement off the ball helped turn rugged defence into attack. The half forward line were individually and collecively superb: Barry Sheanon scored a point in each half and covered every blade of grass on the pitch; Andrew Brady was in the thick of the action throughout and set up crucial scores; Paul James, with three points and two second half goals, once again showed what an exceptional player he has become. The full forward line of Fiachra Ó Brolchain, Stephen Giblin (with a goal and a point in the second half) and Seán MacAodh kept the pressure on the opposition from beginning to end. Second half subsititutes Jack McCarthy, Owen Burke, Michael Shanahan and Maurice Goodwin all contributed to a display that shows the great potential of this team.
Cuala 4-6; St Peregrine’s 3-15.