A powerful team performance brim full of passion, determination and clinical finishing gave Cuala’s 2nd team hurlers an emphatic win over Scoil Ui Chonaill in the Junior ‘A’ Championship. Cuala dominated this game from start to finish and are improving with every outing. Such was their dominance that Cuala had 23 scores to Scoil Ui Chonaill’s 8, they had 9 different scorers and could afford 11 wides over the course of the game. This team is a potent mixture of strength and finesse with Eoghan Breathnach, Bobby Brown, Scott O’Brien and Cian Byrne providing the heavy lifting and Justin Byrne, Shane Murphy, Sean Gibney, Eoin Brennan, Dara Twomey and Jack Lahart adding the finesse. Breathnach in particular was very dominant moving to the wings to take clever puck outs from Butler in nets, driving at the heart of the Scoil defense, and scoring 1-2 in the process. Scott O’Brien was everywhere. His willingness to run straight for goal caused havoc every time he got on the ball. He drew the defense and was responsible for a number of off-loads most notably the goal he threw to Breathnach at the finish. He scored 1-4, his goal on 4 minutes was a fortuitous mis-hit from a 35m free that went all the way through the cover. Cian Byrne at the back has a knack of reading where the ball is going to be and between himself and Bobby Brown they stopped Scoil from getting through for scores. At the back Neil Kelly, Niall O’Dowd and Martin Cahalane had a quiet enough evening and in the first half, competently dealt with anything that Scoil could muster in attack. Stephen ‘Cluxton’ Butler in nets is becoming a very assured keeper. His puck-outs are very clever and he is very confident under the high ball. With all the Dalkey free-takers ‘gone-fishing’, he came out of nets to show the forwards the way by converting 5 long-range points from placed balls way out the field. Colm Murphy and Conor Hayes blocked and harried everything that moved around the middle, and put a stick into the Scoil engine every time it tried to fire. From the eleventh minute Cuala had clocked up 0-7 to 0-1. Justin Byrne played like a man with a mission up front. He was on fire. He tormented the Scoil defenders all evening. His goal on 5 minutes was a beauty when Breathnach put him through with a hand-pass. The half-time score was 2-8 to 0-5, and Cuala looked in total control.

Scoil Ui Chonaill to their credit came back at the start of the second half. A deflected clearance fell nicely for the centre-forward who buried their first goal 9 minutes in. Cuala got back on message and Byrne, Butler and Murphy responded with six points of their own. Scoil took their second goal and final score with 10 minutes to go. Their number 12 and their best player, tore past the cover down the left, threw a pass across to the full-forward who couldn’t miss from 8m out. But it was too little, too late. Cuala responded with points from O’Brien, O’Dowd, Twomey and McGee and a killer third goal from man-of-the-match Breathnach to seal the victory in style, 3-20 to 2-6.

Match Photos: HERE

Next up: League game on Sunday 8th June 10:15 against Raheny in ShanganaghPark.

Team: Stephen Butler (0-5, 4‘65s, 1 free), Neil Kelly, Niall O’Dowd, Martin Cahalane, Cian Byrne, Bobby Browne, Conor Hayes, Colm Murphy, Scott O’Brien (1-4, 1-0 free), Shane Murphy (0-2), Eoghan Breathnach (1-2), Seán Gibney (0-1), Justin Byrne (1-3), Eoin Brennan, Seán Magee (0-1). Substitutes: Ruari Stanley, Matthew Higgins, Odran Waldron, Dara Twomey (0-1) for Seán Gibney, Liam O’Dowd (0-1, free) for Eoin Brennan (35 mins.), Jack Lahert for Martin Cahalane (inj. 25 mins.), Kevin O’Shea.

Wides: Cuala had 6 wides in the first half, 5 in the second. Scoil Ui Chonaill had 4 in the first half and 3 in the second.

Referee: Martin Grehan.