ADULT HURLING LEAGUE DIVISION ONE ROUND-UP
ADULT HURLING LEAGUE DIVISION ONE ROUND-UP: MAY 29
By Daire Walsh
Following their 0-14 to 0-11 success over St Brigid’s at Russell Park on Wednesday night, Ballyboden St Enda’s continue to lead the way at the top of the Adult Hurling League Division One table.
Joe Fortune’s men completed a league and championship double in 2018 and are showing no signs of slowing down in their pursuit of additional silverware. The club are also at the summit of the Adult Football League top-flight – leaving plenty of scope for optimism around Pairc Ui Murchu moving into the summer months.
Before sharing the spoils with Cuala on May 13, ‘Boden recorded impressive triumphs at the expense of St Vincent’s, Ballinteer St John’s and Lucan Sarsfields. They returned to winning ways on home soil five days later – on a scoreline of 3-18 to 1-20 against Na Fianna.
There has been mixed fortunes on the pitch for Brigid’s in their own campaign thus far, albeit they did overcome the challenges posed by Kilmacud Crokes and Whitehall Colmcille either side of a narrow reversal to Na Fianna.They gave a strong account of themselves in a tense round six affair, but it was the southsiders who ultimately prevailed.
Due to the postponement of their proposed meeting with Crumlin last Saturday week (May 18), Cuala have a game in hand on ‘Boden.
Courtesy of their flawless record either side of drawing with the holders, they are just two points adrift in second place. They entertained Craobh Chiarain at Bray Emmet’s on Wednesday and came through a dramatic finale to keep up the early chase on Ballyboden.
Thanks to strong displays in attack by Naoise Waldron and Colm Cronin, Willie Maher’s side made an encouraging start to the proceedings. However, Stephen Chester’s shrewd puck-out strategy enabled Craobh to secure a foothold as the opening period progressed.
Former All Star Alan McCrabbe was also prominent for the Clonshaugh visitors and while they found themselves two points in arrears (0-12 to 0-10) at the break, they had the wind behind them on the resumption.
Despite being reduced to 14 men, they edged in front and held a five-point buffer as the final whistle beckoned. Cuala are nothing if not resilient, though, and a blistering scoring burst helped them to overturn their deficit in the nick of time.
Ably-assisted by Michael Conroy, Oisin Gough and Diarmuid O’Flynn, full-back Ross Tierney provided Cuala with a strong platform to build out from the back. Waldron and Cronin continued to prosper, but it was the use of the bench that truly gave them flight in a rip-roaring finish.
Supplementing points for Liam Murphy and Emmett Murphy, Tom Ryan contributed a 1-2 salvo to help Cuala snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.
Breathing down their necks in third spot are last year’s finalists Na Fianna – comprehensive 3-31 to 1-12 winners over Crumlin at St Mobhi Road. In stark contrast to the Glasnevin outfit, the visitors were searching for their first league win of 2019.
Na Fianna had three victories and two losses under their belts and with Ciaran Murphy finding the net in clinical fashion, they brought a 1-16 to 0-6 lead into the interval. The influential attacker was in stunning form throughout, contributing an eye-catching final tally of 1-8.
He was supported in the scoring stakes by Sean Currie (0-5), Fergal Breathnach and Odhran O Maoileidigh (three points each), while AJ Murphy and Eoghan McHugh added further goals for the rampant hosts.
Elsewhere, Kilmacud Crokes extended their unbeaten run to three games with a 2-16 to 1-17 success over Ballinteer St John’s at Marley Park. In the neutral venue of Abbotstown, St Vincent’s had the measure of local rivals Whitehall Colmcille (1-17 to 1-8), while Lucan Sarsfields and St Jude’s played out a thrilling draw at 12th Lock.