ADULT HURLING LEAGUE DIVISION ONE ROUND-UP: MAY 18
By Daire Walsh
Following a narrow midweek reversal to Na Fianna on home soil, St Brigid’s got their Adult Hurling League Division One campaign back on track with an impressive 0-25 to 2-15 victory over Whitehall Colmcille at Collins Avenue on Saturday.
They now move level on points (six) with both Na Fianna and Craobh Chiarain at end of round five - keeping them in the early reckoning for a play-off spot. The Russell Park outfit had recorded earlier triumphs at the expense of St Jude’s and Kilmacud Crokes, but had fallen short against Cuala prior to the Na Fianna reversal.
For their part, Whitehall entered the weekend’s contest on the back of an encouraging display at home to Kilmacud Crokes three days earlier. Without a win since their opening phase success at the expense of Crumlin, the northsiders were moments away from claiming the scalp of Anthony Daly’s men.
However, they were ultimately pegged back by a Sean McGrath ’65’ deep into stoppage-time - resulting in a sharing of the spoils (1-17 to 0-20). Playing on familiar terrain for a second game in succession, Whitehall created a 1-6 to 0-7 cushion on 22 minutes. Yet with Johnny McGuirk and Eoghan Dunne in splendid scoring form, Brigid’s got themselves back on level terms (1-8 to 0-11) in time for the interval.
Whitehall were playing with plenty of confidence, but the Brigid’s defence gradually came to terms with their challenge as the play progressed. Eoghan McKeigue, Mark Kavanagh and Donnacha Ryan produced powerful displays, while Keith Mullally and former Dublin hurler Daire Plunkett were in superb form throughout.
Supplementing a Plunkett effort, Sean Dunphy, Andy Dunphy, Conal Burke and Ciaran Kellett also added their name to the scoresheet. Nevertheless, it was McGuirk and Dunne who proved the scorers-in-chief for Brigid’s on the night.
McGuirk contributed an outstanding haul of 0-15, including two excellent scores from play. Dunne caught the eye with a brace of sideline cuts and eventually finished with five points to his name. While a spirited Whitehall bagged a second goal, it wasn’t enough to halt the march of St Brigid’s.
Second-place Cuala were initially due to face Crumlin at Pearse Park on Saturday, though this was ultimately postponed as a mark of respect to the late Noel Ryan - who was a prominent member of Crumlin.
‘Boden are now three points clear of their southside rivals, albeit with a game more played. Building on their last-gasp draw with Whitehall, Crokes had the measure of St Vincent’s at Silver Park (1-13 to 1-11).
The aforementioned Craobh Chiarain had begun the campaign in fine spirits - recording back-to-back victories over Kilmacud and Whitehall. They were subsequently edged out by Vincent’s on March 24 before also losing out to Ballinteer St John’s last Wednesday.
This meant they could ill afford another slip-up and they responded with a morale-boosting 1-20 to 3-11 success against Lucan Sarsfields at Clonshaugh. Meanwhile, St Jude’s moved up to ninth in the top-tier table by getting past Ballinteer St John’s at Tymon North (1-17 to 0-13).
In spite of the gap that existed between the teams in the end, Jude’s still find themselves behind Ballinteer on score difference ahead of the round six action on Wednesday week (May 29).