CURRAN THE KEVIN’S KING
Forward’s late effort lands Saints title after a nail-biter
GAELIC GAMES: DUBLIN SCHOOLS SENIOR ‘C’ HURLING FINAL
DAIRE WALSH – 19 DECEMBER 2013 02:30 PM
DAVID CURRAN was the match-winner for St Kevin’s College in O’Toole Park last Thursday afternoon, when his goal two minutes from the end sealed a dramatic one-point victory for the Ballygall Road side at the expense of Oatlands College in the final of the Dublin Schools Senior ‘C’ Hurling competition.
Oatlands – who include Tom O’Dwyer (brother of current Dublin hurler Ryan) amongst their management team – had performed exceptionally well throughout the course of the contest, but thanks to the intervention of Curran, a persistent Kevin’s secured the silverware on offer.
In a cagey start to the proceedings, an opening point by Oatlands corner-forward Tiernan Lane was cancelled out by his opposite number Curran, but Oatlands nevertheless managed to build a two-point cushion following a brace of successful frees by midfielder Cillian O’Shea.
Their opponents had struggled to settle into their usual pattern of play, but in the space of just four minutes, they announced their arrival into the reckoning in spectacular fashion. A 25-metre free by full-forward Eoghan McHugh reduced the Kevin’s deficit to a minimum and after Cathal Buckley and centre-back Paul O’Dea added quick-fire points, Curran was on hand to pull emphatically to the net after O’Dea’s long-delivery had dropped into the large parallelogram.
This was certainly a setback to the Oatlands challenge, but they responded in admirable style, as a third point from O’Shea, along with an excellent goal from close-range by the physically imposing Daniel Galvin, brought them on level terms four minutes before the interval.
However, a tremendous pointed free from inside his own half by defensive linchpin O’Dea gave Kevin’s a slender 1-5 to 1-4 lead at the midway stage, and six minutes after the restart, they doubled their advantage with a fine individual point by Conor Carney.
Once again, though, it was the Oatlands boys who took the game by the scruff of the neck, and with 20 minutes remaining in the showpiece, they had moved back into the ascendancy when another O’Shea effort was added to by a Lane goal from a tight right-hand angle.
With the tension increasing heading into the final quarter, Oatlands increased their cushion to three with a coolly converted ’65’ by O’Shea, but when McHugh fired past goalkeeper Cillian Fleming 49 minutes in, the sides were inseparable once more.
Back-to-back scores by O’Shea gave Oatlands confidence during the closing moments, but despite making a fantastic save from point-blank range moments earlier, Fleming was powerless to prevent Curran finding the net for a second time after 58 minutes.
The south Dublin school had opportunities to force the game into extra-time – a long-distance Fleming free flew agonisingly past the post – but St Kevin’s CBS ultimately emerged with top honours on the day.
SCORERS – St Kevin’s College: D Curran 2-1; E McHugh 1-1 (0-1f); P O’Dea 0-2 (1f); C Carney, C Buckley 0-1 each. Oatlands College: C O’Shea 0-7 (0-6f, 0-1 ’65’); T Lane 1-1; D Galvin 1-0.
ST KEVIN’S COLLEGE: J Keoghan; L Finnegan, C Reilly, J Byrne; C Staunton, P O’Dea, E King; C Carney, C Buckley; D McArdle, E O’Dwyer, M Morrison; C Donohue, E McHugh, D Curran. Subs: J Grafton for Buckley (41), D McHugh for Donohue (43).
OATLANDS COLLEGE: C Fleming; D Murphy, K Doyle, D Byrne; P Linehan, D Lane, C Cahill; A Power, C O’Shea; J McCarthy, F Robinson, M Connor; F Myers, D Galvin, T Lane. Sub: P Dillon for Connor (53).
Referee: T Gleeson (Naomh Fionnbarra).