uala v Wild Geese – last league match – 7 October

The combined Cuala U14 Orange and U15B hurling group put up a strong showing in their last league match on Sunday 7 October against Wild Geese.

This team, put together from two age groups to ensure that players who wanted to go on hurling could do so when there wasn’t a full squad in their age group, has had a hard season. They’ve sometimes struggled for numbers and had some very tough results. But they have persevered and stuck with it.

On Sunday, there were lads from four different squads on the U15B team. Jason Doyle, Shane Grogan, Conor Murphy and Ronan Brennan – the 1997s – all contributed well. Doyle and Brennan were solid in their positions and Grogan and Murphy’s size and speed were noticeable.

Malachi Ó Marcaigh, Neasán Mac Gearailt and Cathal Scanlon were dogged in defence. There were a few scrambles in front of goal, but the full backs pushed them out to the sides and up the park.

All around there were strong performances from U14 Reds and Blues. To pick out just a few, Lorcan McGrath and Conor Newman put in serious work in the middle. Fergus O’Rourke did a great job in nets in the first half and up the pitch in the second. Shane Molamphy read the play well and did some great BBC.

For the Oranges, Conán Ó Muirí and Niall Morrissey worked hard in the front line but the very strong backs and keeper made it difficult to capitalise. Cillian ­Ó Feinneadha was a serious presence, winning a lot of ball, breaking through and making use of it.

Joint men of the match were  Tiernan Lane, who was like a hurricane of energy and skill, and resilient when he took several knocks, including one that earned the author of it a straight red card; and Shane Grogan, who played outstandingly, with some dazzling catches and blazing runs forward, leaving the opposition behind him

It’s hard to single anyone out at the end of a season like this. It was a group effort. And some of those who weren’t there on the last day made a big contribution earlier, including Rob Behan, Sean Moiselle and Conor Doherty.

The scores may not have gone our way this season but if there was a county-wide prize for heart and resilience the Cuala U15B group would win it. Very few clubs in Dublin – maybe none – could put on the show of solidarity and support across A, B and C teams and two age-groups by players, mentors and supporting parents that this group has done.

Team: Ronan Brennan, Jason Doyle, Shane Grogan, Tiernan Lane, Neasán Mac Gearailt, Shane Molamphy, Niall Morrissey, Conor Murphy, Conor Newman, Cillian Ó Feinneadha , Malachi Ó Marcaigh, Conán Ó Muirí, Fergus O’Rourke, Cathal Scanlon, Lorcan McGrath