Whitehall Colmcille consolidated their position at the summit of the Go Ahead Senior Two Hurling Championship Group One table with a 4-15 to 2-18 victory against Castleknock at Somerton Park last Saturday evening.
Following their success at the expense of Ballinteer St John’s (1-23 to 3-12) in Collins Avenue on July 20, Whitehall were eager to remain on a winning trajectory. They received a bye for the second round of fixtures on July 23, but displayed no signs of rustiness for their visit to Castleknock.
Their opponents were hoping to make amends for a 3-12 to 0-18 away reversal to Naomh Fionnbarra last month and ‘Knock played plenty of enterprising hurling on their home patch. Nevertheless, Whitehall’s eye for goal was in and they led 3-7 to 0-13 at the midway point in the action.
Dublin senior footballer Cormac Costello - who featured in three All-Ireland minor hurling championship finals with the Sky Blues - was in fine scoring form throughout and played a big part in the visitors establishing this interval supremacy. Either side of setting up a three-pointer for Conor Sheedy, Costello twice found the net with typical aplomb.
His current inter-county colleagues Lee Gannon and Eoghan O’Donnell (the latter regarded as one of Dublin hurling’s brightest stars in recent years) also featured on the day and Whitehall looked set to ease home after Costello completed a hat-trick of goals in the second half of the contest.
Credit must go to a resolute Castleknock, however, who simply refused to give up the ghost on the day. Over the course of an impressive late rally, Cian Boyle claimed a brace of goals to leave the Whitehall faithful on tenterhooks.
Yet with Paddy Spellacy, Daire Gray and Eddie Moran doing their bit for the cause, Colmcille ultimately did enough to hold out.
Photo Credits: Niall O'Connell
Despite losing out to Whitehall on the opening day of the campaign, the aforementioned Ballinteer are keeping up the pace at the summit of the table heading into the next round of fixtures on August 27. Having dug deep to get the better of Scoil Ui Chonaill at Clontarf Road on July 23 (on a final scoreline of 1-20 to 2-12), St John’s squeezed past the challenge of Naomh Fionnbarra with two points to spare (0-16 to 0-14) at Marley Park on Saturday.
In a game where every score was going to be vital, the likes of Danny McCarthy, Rob Aherne, Donal Gormley and Glenn Whelan came up trumps for Ballinteer. Indeed, the home team were in a commanding position on the stroke of 50 minutes - a five-point stranglehold edging themselves towards the victory that they craved.
However, Fionnbarra rallied with four unanswered scores and John’s had to keep their nerve before eventually finding a way over the line.
In Group Two, Ballyboden St Enda’s overcame Thomas Davis in a derby clash at Kiltipper Road on a final scoreline of 3-12 to 0-18.
Although this is ‘Boden’s second-string side, there were plenty of players within their ranks who have featured for the club in the top-tier of the Adult Hurling Leagues. Included amongst this batch were Conor Robinson, Cian Mellett, Finn McDonagh and Davy Keogh.
Despite missing some notable faces, Davis’ were able to call upon the likes of Eanna O’Toole, Daire Kerr and Sean Reilly. The Tallaght men had lost out to Kilmacud Crokes ‘B’ in their previous game on July 23 and were hoping to avoid a similar result on this occasion.
‘Boden had also lost out to southside rivals Faughs on the opening day of the group (1-21 to 1-13) at Pairc Ui Murchu and had designs on giving their own campaign a much-needed shot in the arm. Thanks to a keen eye for goal, they managed to do just that.
Green flags also proved critical for Faughs on the Osprey pitch at Tymon Park on Saturday as they cemented their status as Group Two leaders with a 3-13 to 0-15 win over Kilmacud.
Supplementing a coolly-converted penalty from James O’Brien, Eamonn Hennessy and Colm Foley also claimed majors for Johnny Greville’s side. Carl O’Mahony also shone throughout as Faughs showcased their AHL1 experience to come through a potentially tricky outing.
Currently sitting on three wins from three in the group, the Templeogue-based outfit will next face Thomas Davis on home soil on August 27 before receiving a bye on the final weekend a fortnight later.