JUDES GET PAST CUALA IN THE AFL DIVISION 1
ADULT FOOTBALL LEAGUE DIVISION ONE
ST JUDE’S 2-11
By Daire Walsh
Colm Murphy and substitute Dara Kavanagh grabbed goals in either half at Tymon Park on Thursday night to give 14-man St Jude’s victory over Cuala in Division One of the Adult Football League.
This sealed a fifth win on the bounce for the 2018 county championship finalists, who overcame the 29th-minute dismissal of Ciaran Fitzpatrick on their way to a nine-point success. Ahead of the remaining top-flight games on Saturday, Jude’s have moved up to second in the table – marginally edging out Kilmacud Crokes on score difference.
Cuala had been in a rich vein of form themselves, following up their May 8 draw with Skerries Harps at Hyde Park by recording three straight league victories. On the same weekend they put Fingallians to the sword (3-14 to 0-10), the in-form Jude’s had the measure of Skerries on the road.
They were back on home soil for this round eight encounter, and despite playing in testing conditions – which led to handling errors on both sides – David Sheehy squeezed them in front with a second-minute point.
The move that led to this deadlock-breaking score began with Luke Kelly turned away a goal-bound effort from Jude’s wing-back Tom Lahiff. Cork native Niall Coakley doubled their cushion with a sweet strike off his left-foot and they generally controlled the tempo of the play during the opening quarter.
Cuala struggled to make an attacking impact early on but following a period of sustained possession, an injection of pace by Conor Mullally got them inside the Jude’s half. He picked out David McMahon at the end of a blistering run, only for the latter to fired marginally past the target.
The hosts subsequently stretched their advantage on 14 minutes, when Murphy flicked home Mark Sweeney’s diagonal strike on the right-wing. Even though there was claims of a foul on Cuala netminder Kelly, the goal was allowed to stand.
Jude’s were forced to replace the injured Lahiff in the direct aftermath of Murphy’s major, though former Kildare footballer Fitzpatrick appeared to be an ideal replacement. With 19 minutes gone on the clock, Cuala finally opened their account through lively corner-forward Niall O’Callaghan (brother of Dublin senior footballer Con and senior hurler Cian).
He beat the advanced Liam Mailey to a long delivery and proceeded to split the uprights with an impressive curled effort. Jude’s responded immediately with a Diarmuid McLoughlin point, before Padraic Clarke converted a free with consummate ease.
It was beginning to look ominous for Cuala, until they received a timely boost in the closing moments of the first half. After Colum Sheanon and Fitzpatrick wrestled on the ground, they were both brandished with yellow cards.
This brought Fitzpatrick’s evening to an end as he had already been cautioned a couple of minutes earlier. The Dalkey outfit were consequently presented with a fighting chance and Jamie Keenan kicked his maiden point of the tie to cut their deficit to 1-4 to 0-2 in time for the interval.
While O’Callaghan and Luke Keating both went close to rattling the Jude’s net on the resumption, they could never quite make their numerical supremacy count. Inside forwards Clarke and Coakley pointed to keep the home team on the right track and following Mark Sweeney’s superb break, Coakley produced an outstanding stop out of Kelly.
Cuala’s third point arrived via Keating’s free in the 38th-minute, though this only provided them with a temporary respite. Corner-back Andy Sweeney surged forward to round off another patient move and Murphy also raised a white flag to give Jude’s a 10-point buffer.
Cuala were not prepared to throw in the towel, however, with Keenan and Mullally offering them some hope inside the closing-quarter. Keenan also knocked over a close-range free on 52 minutes but with the excellent duo of Clarke and Coakley bolstering their personal hauls either side of it, a win was effectively out of their reach.
As the final whistle approached, Coakley and Cuala’s Mark Treacy traded points in quick succession. Kavanagh was eager to make an impression for Jude’s off the bench and after he had been fouled for a Coakley free, he drilled a shot beyond the reach of Kelly in stoppage-time.
A Sheanon shot marginally cleared the crossbar in the final minute of play, but Jude’s were assured of maximum points by that stage. They will be back in action of Wednesday week (June 19) at Martin Savage Park – where St Oliver Plunkett’s/Eoghan Ruadh will provide the opposition.
Cuala will aim to bounce back when they welcome St Brigid’s to Glenageary on the same night.
Scorers – St Jude’s: Niall Coakley 0-4 (3f), Colm Murphy 1-1, Dara Kavanagh 1-0, Padraic Clarke 0-3 (1f), Andy Sweeney, Diarmuid McLoughlin, David Sheehy 0-1 each. Cuala: Jamie Keenan 0-3 (2f), Conor Mullally, Colum Sheanon, Mark Treacy, Luke Keating (f), Niall O’Callaghan 0-1 each.
ST JUDE’S: Liam Mailey; Andy Sweeney, Jack McGuire, Cillian O’Reilly; Tom Lahiff, Mark Sweeney, Alex Hassett; Colm Murphy, Kieran Doherty; Conor Mackle, Diarmuid McLoughlin, David Sheehy; Niall Coakley, Simon King, Padraic Clarke. Subs: Ciaran Fitzpatrick for Lahiff (15), Dara Kavanagh for Mackle (46), Sean Kavanagh for King (50).
CUALA: Luke Kelly; John Fitzsimons, Dylan Treacy, Jack Flynn; John Sheanon, Conor Mullally, Oisin Murphy; Brian Smith, James Power; Colum Sheanon, Mark Treacy, Luke Keating; Niall O’Callaghan, Jamie Keenan, David McMahon. Subs: Niall James for McMahon (44), Cathal O’Giollain for Keating (51), Philly O’Donnell for Murphy (58).
Referee: Seamus Farrelly (Ballinteer St John’s).