CUALA MAINTAIN AHL DIVISION ONE CHALLENGE
ADULT HURLING LEAGUE DIVISION ONE
ST JUDE’S 0-16
By Daire Walsh
Cuala kept up the chase on Adult Hurling League Division One pace-setters Ballyboden St Enda’s with an impressive 12-point triumph over St Jude’s at Tymon North on Sunday morning.
Facing into a marginal deficit at the break (0-10 to 0-9), Willie Maher’s side secured their fifth win of the campaign with a powerful second half display. On a day when no fewer than 10 Cuala players got their names on the scoresheet, the contributions of Naoise Waldron (1-7) and Tom Ryan (0-4) paved the way for the visitors to come out on the right side of the result.
As ever, Fionn O Riain Broin and Diarmuid McLoughlin were in fine form for St Jude’s. They amassed a combined tally of 0-11, though it wasn’t enough to prevent their fourth league reversal of 2019.
Despite being without a number of their first-choice team – some of whom were on inter-county duty for Dublin in Parnell Park on Saturday – Cuala entered this contest in high spirits. Before playing out an entertaining draw with Ballyboden St Enda’s at Bray Emmet’s on May 13, the Dalkey men had recorded three wins in succession.
They most recently produced a late flourish to get the better of Craobh Chiarain, ensuring they remained just two points adrift of ‘Boden – albeit with a game in hand. While it has been a mixed season to date for Jude’s, their stalemate against Lucan Sarsfields on May 29 was preceded by an impressive victory at the expense of Ballinteer St John’s.
The two sides had already met in the Senior ‘A Hurling Championship in mid-June, which ended in a 2-27 to 0-16 success for Cuala at Monastery Road. The two-time All-Ireland champions edged in front early on courtesy of a Conal Kelly point, before Jude’s immediately responded through Colm O’Callaghan.
McLoughlin was then on hand to swing the pendulum in the home team’s favour, only for Nicky Kenny to immediately cancel it out at the far end. Nevertheless, with Cuala proving to be somewhat wasteful during the opening-quarter, their Templeogue counterparts sought to take advantage.
After full-forwards O Riain Broin and Waldron traded points, Jude’s created some daylight with a mini scoring blitz. Supplementing an O Riain Broin brace, centre-forward Paul Maguire was also on target during a fruitful spell.
It was anticipated that Cuala would find their feet as the action wore on and by the 25th-minute mark, they had restored parity to the play. Following swapped efforts between Colum Sheanon and McLoughlin, Cuala triumvirate Tom Ryan (a late addition to the team in place of Colm Cronin), John Sheanon and Waldron fired over three points in as many minutes.
Jude’s replied with unanswered scores of their own from O’Callaghan, O Riain Broin and corner-back Ciaran Hogan, but wing-forwards Kenny and Ryan ensured Cuala ended the half in a positive frame of mind.
Even though the tie remained finely balanced, it was significantly turned on its head within seven minutes of the resumption. Straight from the throw-in, Colum Sheanon levelled matters for a sixth time.
They subsequently moved back into the ascendancy via the stick of Waldron and he fired beyond the reach of Ross O’Reilly for the maiden goal of the game on 34 minutes.
This was a major psychological boost for Cuala and they followed it up with another series of points – Ryan, Niall Carty and roving defender Simon Timlin all finding the range. Jude’s finally interrupted this scoring sequence through Hogan’s second long-distance free of the hour, but it only offered them a temporary respite.
Waldron (free), Carty and John Sheanon raised white flags to give Cuala a 1-17 to 0-11 cushion on the three-quarter mark. The dependable O Riain Broin split the posts off a 50 metre set-piece as Jude’s looked to keep their challenge alive.
However, when Cuala pounced for a second goal in the 47th-minute, it effectively placed the outcome beyond doubt. Substitute Emmet Murphy was making his presence felt in attack and he superbly found the net at an awkward angle to provide his side with an unassailable lead.
Whilst O Riain Broin briefly halted their charge with a two-point salvo, Ryan grabbed another single in advance of a similar haul for Waldron. To their credit, Jude’s continued to battle as the final whistle approached.
They were awarded a penalty on 58 minutes, which O Riain Broin drilled narrowly over the woodwork. Following back-to-back Cuala points for Waldron and Kelly, McLoughlin’s third of the day rounded off the scoring in this top-flight clash.
Jude’s will aim for a return to winning ways when they face Na Fianna at St Mobhi Road on Saturday week (June 29). On the same evening, Cuala welcome Kilmacud Crokes to Shankill.
Scorers – Cuala: Naoise Waldron 1-7 (0-2f, 0-1 ’65’), Tom Ryan 0-4, Emmet Murphy 1-0, John Sheanon Colum Sheanon, Nicky Kenny, Conal Kelly, Niall Carty 0-2 each, Simon Timlin 0-1. St Jude’s: Fionn O Riain Broin 0-8 (6f, 1 ’65’, 1 pen), Diarmuid McLoughlin 0-3, Ciaran Hogan (2f), Colm O’Callaghan 0-2 each, Paul Maguire 0-1.
CUALA: Cormac Spain; Simon Timlin, Ross Tierney, Michael Conroy; Oisin Gough, Diarmuid O’Flynn, John Sheanon; Cian Waldron, Cillian Sheanon; Tom Ryan, Colum Sheanon, Nicky Kenny; Conal Kelly, Naoise Waldron, Niall Carty. Subs: Emmet Murphy for Kenny (32), Kenny for Carty (51).
ST JUDE’S: Ross O’Reilly; Ciaran Hogan, Cillian Smyth, Kevin Treacy; Eoghan Grant, Mark Maguire, Alan O’Beirn; Dave Kiernan, Liam Hayes; Colm O’Callaghan, Paul Maguire, Conor Nolan; David O’Callaghan, Fionn O Riain Broin, Diarmuid McLoughlin. Subs: Mark Hannon for O’Callaghan (half-time), Conor O’Keeffe for Smyth (34), Michael Brislane for O’Callaghan (54).
Referee: Chris Mooney (St Patrick’s, Palmerstown).