Jude’s and Faughs end all square
Sutcliffe’s late point earns St Jude’s a share with neighbours Faughs
DANNY Sutcliffe came to the rescue of St Jude’s in a pulsating Dublin Senior ‘A’ Hurling Championship Group Three showdown with arch rivals Faughs at O’Toole Park last Saturday afternoon.
Faughs looked set to claim the spoils when full-forward Chris Bennett’s superb strike rattled the net deep into stoppage-time. There was enough time for Jude’s to salvage something from the contest, however, and Sutcliffe’s 12th point secured what could yet prove to be a valuable draw for John McCarthy’s side.
This was the first competitive game of hurling within the county in more than four months and it produced an abundance of thrills and spills throughout. Due to issues over crowd restriction, this mouthwatering fixture was moved from the original venue of Tymon Park – the home turf for both of these teams.
It was Faughs who initially adapted to the neutral surroundings with corner-forward Carl O’Mahony clipping a brace of points for Johnny Greville’s outfit. Jude’s issued a swift response through the dependable Sutcliffe, only for their fired-up opponents to once again flex their muscles.
Centre-back Conor O’Shea and ace marksman O’Mahony (free) restored Faughs’ two-point cushion. While John Carty narrowed the gap with a fine score on the run, Jude’s fell further adrift as the action progressed.
David Croke, O’Mahony and Ciaran Brennan all found the target in quick succession to keep the 31-time champions in the driving seat. Following Sutcliffe’s third of the tie, Shane Doherty unleashed a two-point salvo to propel Faughs into a 0-9 to 0-4 buffer on 18 minutes.
It was at this juncture in the play that referee Paul Faughnan opted to give both teams a water break. This offered Jude’s a much-needed opportunity to realign and they were a completely different team for the remainder of the half.
The increasingly-influential Sutcliffe got his side back in the mix with two points in quick succession and he was later on hand to cancel out a Bennett effort. An O’Mahony ’65’ kept Faughs firmly in the ascendancy, but it was Jude’s who enjoyed the stronger finish to the opening period.
Sutcliffe (two) and half-back Aidan O’Donovan registered unanswered scores to leave the bare minimum between the teams at the break (0-11 to 0-10). Although momentum appeared to be with Jude’s, O’Mahony found the range either side of a Sutcliffe free to ensure Faughs remained in front.
Substitute Fionn O’Riain Broin and Sutcliffe wiped out this advantage with successive points and though Fergal Heavey later raised a white flag for Faughs, Jude’s were in pole position by the time the second water break arrived. After the ball was transferred out to the right-hand side, the elusive Diarmuid McLoughlin fired clinically beyond the reach of opposition netminder Liam Gleeson.
The pendulum had swung significantly in the favour of Jude’s and they subsequently found themselves three points to the good (1-17 to 0-17) at the end of normal time. O’Mahony bolstered his already substantial tally with three converted frees – he finished with 0-11 to his name – but Manus Malone, Sutcliffe (two) and Ciaran Mangan were also accurate at the opposite end.
Nevertheless, another O’Mahony point kept Faughs in the hunt and when Bennett grabbed a dramatic goal with 64 minutes on the clock, they looked set to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. Sutcliffe had other ideas, though, as he split the posts in magnificent fashion on the right-wing.
Faughs will now seek to build on this positive performance when they face Whitehall Colmcille at Cloghran on July 29. Whitehall suffered a comprehensive defeat on Saturday evening against St Brigid’s – who play St Jude’s at O’Toole Park in the second round of the group.
FAUGHS: L Gleeson; S Casey, E McKenna, J Kenny; C Brady, C O’Shea, J McVeigh; J Moore, C Nagle; C Brennan, D Croke, F Heavey; C O’Mahony, C Bennett, S Doherty. Subs: C Leahy for Moore (35), G Kenny for J Kenny (44), N Bennett for Croke, R Doyle for Doherty (both 49), R Hennessy for Brady (52).
ST JUDE’S: G Hogan; E McLoughlin, E Grant, C O’Keefe; A O’Donovan, M Maguire, C Managan; D Kiernan, A Connolly; S O’Brien, D Sutcliffe, C Nolan; D McLoughlin, M Malone, J Carty. Subs: B Moran for O’Keefe (20), F O Riain Broin for Nolan (h-t), K Lahiff for Carty (37), D O’Callaghan for Moran (53), L Hayes for Malone (57).