CUALA 4-27; CLONTARF 4-9
It was wonderful to watch. Some of the movement, the passing and the striking was sublime. This Band of Brothers are definitely something to behold when they are in full flow, and this was one of the magic performances of the season by these young Cuala-men. To score 31 times in a match means creating a score every 2 minutes, and the spread of scoring, with nine players troubling the score-board, shows they work as a team. Cuala began at Championship pace and were up by 2-4 to 0-2 within six minutes. Joe O’Mahony had rattled the net twice with Fionn O’Drisceóil and Tiarnán Lane playing him in. Himself and Nessan MacGearailt were was terrorizing the Clontarf defence. Direct hurling and direct running were creating over-laps and Clontarf simply couldn’t cope with the craft of the Cualamen. Diarmait Maas was outstanding at mid-field and threw himself into every ‘ruck-ball’ situation to win possession for his team. Stevie McDonnell and Fionn Myers were buzzing around the forward line and creating openings for others. Craig Finn clipped over a sweet point. It was a display of awesome scoring and wonderful inter-play. Lane is becoming an accomplished free taker and didn’t miss one all night. At the back, James Murphy was reading the game very well and covering acres of ground at centre-back. Cathal O’Floinn and Danial Johnson were holding their own on the wings and throwing clever ball forward to the ravenous forwards. The full-back line of Rory McMahon, Jack Hartnett and Thomas McCarthy had little to do for most of the half but let two slip by them against the run of play. The score at the interval was 2-20 to 2-7. Clontarf upped the pace in the second period, but were now playing for pride. Their two mid-fielders worked hard all through but needed oxygen to climb the Cuala mountain. The no. 9 would take two goals in the second half, one a magnificent pull in the air to the Cuala net. Not surprisingly, Cuala sat back towards the end but are nicely positioned to meet the challenges of the upcoming Championship. Final score, 4-27 to 4-9.
Footnote 1: Cuala lie fourth in the League behind Na Fianna, Ballyboden and St. Vincents. Cuala’s score today was the highest by any team in the League so far, and in their last two matches, Cuala have amassed a huge total of 10-40. That’s some achievement in an U16 League that has just been proven to be the best in the country!
Footnote 2: Congratulations to Diarmait Maas and Ryan Di Felice on winning the inter-countyArrabawn Tournament last weekend in Tipperary. This is the first time that Dublin has won this all-Ireland competition in the 27 year history of the competition. The young Dubs took Kilkenny to extra-time in the final and won on a score-line of 1-9 to 0-9.
Next up: St. Vincents in Shanganagh Park in the 1st round of the U16 Hurling Championship on Saturday 6 September at 3.30pm.
Team: Ryan Di Felice (0-1, 1‘65s), Rory McMahon, Jack Hartnett, Thomas McCarthy, Danial Johnson, James Murphy, Cathal O’Floinn, Diarmait Maas (0-1), Tiarnán Lane (0-11, 6 frees), Craig Finn (0-1), Fionn O’Drisceóil (2-6), Stephen McDonnell (0-3), Fionn Myers, Nessan MacGearailt (0-1), Joe Mahony (2-2). Substitutes: Fionn O’Tighernaigh for Craig Finn (30 mins.), Mickey Power for Thomas McCarthy (35 mins.), Cian Rellis (0-1) for Fionn Myers (50 mins.).