SENIOR HURLING LEAGUE DIV 1 – SUNDAY 30TH MARCH 2014, TYMON NORTH, TEMPLEOGUE.
CUALA 3-12; FAUGHS 2-09
Conditions were deplorable – heavy over-night rain had turned the pitch into a bog. Early on, referee Terry Carton from Naomh Fionnbarra was walking the pitch and considering postponing the game, but then the sun came out. Those in attendance were treated to a game of speed, skill and huge endevour from both teams despite the conditions under-foot. Cuala were down 10 players, most of them away on Dublin duty, and asked four eighteen year-olds to answer the call. They didn’t fail. The mixture of youth and experience was exhilarating to watch.
Cuala got out of the traps the quicker and within five minutes Barry Connolly, Scott O’Brien and Seán Treacy had registered a score. Treacy’s score came directly from a direct puck-out from Sean Ó’Braináin who was excellent in nets for the Reds. Faughs stirred themselves into action. Two frees from Emmett McKenna and one from play from Ciarán Brennan leveled the game on 15 minutes. But Cuala’s pace, their fast-striking and their ability to find the loose man in space was devastating in its simplicity. Niall Carty, Bobby Browne and Simon Timlin in the half-back line and Seán Treacy and Scott Ó’Brien in the middle were in lethal form. The rear-guard of Seán Barron, Rob Reid and Niall Ó’Dowd were always in control and used their possession sensibly. With a steady supply of ball from the back, Barry Connolly, Kyle Braine and Colm Sheanan hit a brace apiece. Paul Butler at wing-forward caught a puck-out from Ó’Braináin under heavy pressure and stuck it straight between the sticks. Cuala were up by seven with 20 minutes on the clock. Faughs clawed back a couple but Cian Waldren’s goal just before half-time drove a spear into the heart of the Faugh’s defence. Kyle Braine was tormenting his opposite number at corner forward. He broke a high ball perfectly in front of Waldren who dispatched the goal with aplomb. Eoghan Breathnach in the other corner was hooking and blocking everything that moved and terrorizing the Faughs full-back line. Cuala went in to the huddle 1-10 to 0-5 up. Faughs were scratching their heads looking for answers.
McKenna opened with his third free a minute into the second half. Connolly answered with a side-line cut way out on the left that soared between the sticks. Braine, Connolly, Treacy and Waldren tagged on another four points without reply as Cuala went into over-drive. It looked as if the game was over as a contest. Waldren hit the butt of the post after good work by Treacy on the left but the ball deflected to safety with the keeper stranded. Within a minute, Treacy rampaged down the left, threw another perfect pass into Braine who outpaced the defenders and found himself clean through on goal. Trevor Ó’Donohue came off his line and the shot hit him as he charged out and deflected it for a ‘65. With 15 minutes to go, Faughs got a lifeline. A ball wasn’t cleared out from the Cuala defence and the ball found its way into the Cuala net. The Faughs players were energised and surged forward. Two 20m frees were awarded as Cuala’s defenders felt the pressure. Ó’Braináin stopped the first pile-driver but the second from Ciarán Brennan was deflected to the net. Faughs were now within five of Cuala, but Cuala never lost control. Connolly and Timlin rounded off the scoring for Cuala and both teams left the ‘ploughing championships’ in Tymon North on a score-line of 1-21 to 2-13
Footnote 1: Great to see four of last year’s minors stepping up to play with the senior hurlers. None of them looked out of place and it will be a headache for management when the returning Dubs resume active duty with the Club.
Footnote 2: After two games, Cuala are mid-table on 2 points joining Faughs, Na Fianna and O’Tooles. St. Judes lead the table on 4 points.
Footnote 3: See alternative Match Report on Grassrootsgaa.ie HERE
Next Up: Saturday 6pm, St.Patrick’s (Palmerstown), Shankill.
Team: Seán Ó’Braináin, Seán Barron, Rob Reid, Niall Ó’Dowd, Simon Timlin (0-1), Bobby Browne, Niall Carty, Seán Treacy (0-3), Scott Ó’Brien (0-1), Paul Butler (0-1), Colm Sheanan (0-4), Barry Connolly (0-8; 5 frees, 1 s/l), Kyle Braine (0-2), Cian Waldren (1-1), Eoghan Breathnach.
Substitutes: Andrew Murphy for Eoghan Breathnach (45 mins), Odhrán Waldren for Seán Barron (inj. 55 mins).