Kevina, take a bow! The fitness, speed, agility and physical strength of the Cuala Minor hurlers was plain to see in this challenge game on a perfect evening for hurling on Sunday 18th August.  With the foundation work done in the Cuala Hall over the winter months, and the intensity building over the past 6 weeks, Kevina has stepped up the fitness training for this talented bunch of players. They are now in great shape coming into the Championship season.

This work-man-like performance was brim full of speed, movement, off-the-ball running and great teamwork, and bodes well for the challenges ahead. The younger Dublin U16 Development squad tried to contain Cuala, but a two year age difference takes its toll at this level.  The Dubs stuck to their task and were strong in the finish scoring 6 points without reply in the final quarter, but they had too big of a mountain to climb, and ran out of road.

Cuala were winning most of the battles around the mid-field ‘diamond’ and gave a good supply of ball into their inside forwards – the movement and speed of thought in the Cuala attack did the rest. Points were flashing over from all directions and all six starting forwards and both mid-fielders got their names on the score-sheet.  Con O’Callaghan took the first goal on 20 minutes but it ended a move that started way out-field where Shane Murphy and Seán Treacy were dominant. The ball was quickly moved inside to Kyle Braine who linked up cleverly with Justin Byrne before trusting O’Callaghan with the finish. Kevin Killian was again immense at the back with Donal Lane and Lee Harrington mopping up any loose balls on the flanks. Seán O’Bráináin in nets is growing into a quality keeper, made a couple of tidy saves and marshaled his back-line very well. Byrne, Dowling and Drummand were working well as a unit on the half-back line and delivering low ball in front of an ever-moving forward line. Luke O’Giolláin and Conor O’Sullivan linked up well on the right flank and Braine and Byrne were combining very well on the left. It was the central axis of Andrew Murphy and Con O’Callaghan did most of the damage. Treacy finished on 12 points, 7 from the placed ball and showed real class in making some unbelievable catches. Shane Murphy’s passing accuracy put players in space for scores. At half-time, the footballers from the morning were taken off, and Mattie Higgins, Eoghan O’Naoire and Martin Cahalane were introduced to add fat to the fire. Cahalane announced his arrival with a point. On 40 minutes, O’Naoire took a pass from Shane Murphy and his shot from distance deceived the Dublin keeper to end up in the net.


Next up: We expect the 1st Round of the A Championship to be played away to Ballyboden on Sunday 1st September. Cuala have Na Fianna, Boden and Whitehall in their Group. Kilmacud, St. Vincents, Faughs and St. Judes are in the other Group. The Cuala 2nd team take on St. Vincents B, Na Fianna B and O’Tooles.

Footnote: The Dublin U16 Development squad now take on Cork and Wexford in their section of the Arrabawn Tournament to be held in Thurles on August 28th and 29th. Good luck to the Cuala boys who are part of the panel.

Team: Seán O’Bráináin, Lee Harrington, Kevin Killian, Donal Lane, Cian Byrne, Seán Dowling, Seán Drummand, Seán Treacy, Shane Murphy, Luke O’Giolláin, Andrew Murphy, Kyle Braine, Conor O’Sullivan, Con O’Callaghan, Justin Byrne

Substitutes: Mattie Higgins for Kevin Killian (30 mins), Eoghan O’Naoire for Con O’Callaghan (30 mins), Martin Cahalane for Conor O’Sullivan (50 mins).

Ref: Tony Barron