Go Ahead AHL 1

Ballyboden St Endas 2 23 Cuala CLG 0 21

Long Fella reports from PUM

On an evening of competition between a low setting sun from the west and a fresh cooling wind from the east, two of the big guns in Dublin hurling provided scintilating Wednesday evening’s  entertainment at HQ in round 5 of the Adult Hurling League. The sides produced a full sixty minutes of top quality entertainment, highlighted by sparkling performances by two men in the senior years of their hurling careers. Boden’s Timmy Hammersley capped an evening of real endeavour with a second half tally of 1.05, a performance which was matched by Cuala’s David Treacy, he rolling back the years in terms of his interplay as well as his perfect return from placed balls.

From the throw-in by “let-it-flow” referee Paul Faughnan, the combatants went at it at top speed, working the ball to gain maximum advantage. The Boden approach of applying maximum pressure when not in possession yielded early scores with Conor Dooley despite falling over, landing the opening score, a point from thirty metres. Pearse Christie doubled the home tally with the advantage rule in his favour. Boden’s mid-field of Conor McKeon and Niall Ryan combined to see the latter point on the run. After Dooley added to his tally with a free, Cuala were awarded a penalty, but Treacy’s shot to the top left corner of the Boden net was spectacularly deflected out for a sixty-five by custodian Conor O’Donoghue. Treacy gained some compensation with a point from the placed ball. Ryan set out his intentions for the evening with an attacking run down the wing and an accurate shot over the black-spot. Dooley and Treacy traded points before Boden’s Shane Durkin found in turn both McKeon and Hammersley for smashing points. Score 8 to 2.

The quality play continued with Cuala closing the gap with a Colm Cronin point from eighty metres. Treacy and Dooley again traded scores, the latter an assist from the clearly in-form Ryan opening the space for the opening goal of the game. He (Ryan) popped up again within a minute with another link-up, this time with Kevin Desmond for a point of real quality. McKeon brought the Boden score to 1.10 after Christie provided the telling pass. The Cuala reaction was swift with Colm Sheanon, Darragh O’Connell and Liam Murphy bagged points on the bounce. In reaction Boden replied with white flags from Luke McDwyer and Durkin, a deft pass from McKeon. Cuala again came up with the goods with Kevin Kirwan, Sean Treacy and Murphy all pointing to bring the score to 1.12 to 0.10, the half-time score.

Desmond’s first possession in the second half brought Dooley to the spot for yet another free and his running tally of 1.04. The points kept coming with Treacy, Hammersley (his second), Sean Treacy,  Sheanon and David Treacy yet again, now just a goal in the difference. Ryan worked hard in the engine-room to create the opportunity for Hammersley to point from forty metres. Treacy replied quickly to close the gap to a brace. Some good mid-field work from Boden opened a goal chance for Ryan, but he was “held-up” by the Cuala goalman Cormac Spain at the expense of free pointed by Dooley. The score-board keeper was kept busy with more adjustments after Treacy (twice) and Desmond pointed. Hammersley popped up thrice for yet more points for the home side, a brace of which Niall McMorrow had worked the leather into his territory. But Cuala were not prepared to head for Dalkey empty-handed and Sheanon and Treacy both scored in quick succession. Dooley and Christie kept Boden’s total on the up after some good work by Ryan. Yet again the Cuala man in form Treacy found the target. The final chapter was written by Hammersley with a cracker of a goal, but not before senior debutant Leon Kennedy had marked his evening with a classy point.

For Boden Hammersley showed why he had caught the eye of the Premier County selectors, albeit when his legs were younger and fresher. Amusingly a wag on the rail suggested that the only came to life after receiving a ‘sup from the magic bottle’ when stretched on the turf after receiving a dunt. Dooley, McKeon, Desmond and the ubiquitous Ryan were in top form as well as Durkin. Boden’s defensive efforts restricted Cuala to just a single goal chance, a credit to the rear-guard led by Luke Corcoran and backed up by a developing Barry Maguire. Along with Kennedy, Boden also introduced Fergal Ryan to senior hurling. Cuala’s need for Treacy for the full hour was obvious as well as was Sheanon.  Both management teams will have taken much from the evening, a performance worthy of championship hurling with silver-ware on the offing.

Squad; Conor O’Donoghue, Stephen O’Connor, Barry Maguire, Luke Mulligan-Lynch, Dean Curran, Luke Corcoran, Shane Durkin, Niall Ryan, Conor McKeon, Luke McDwyer, Kevin Desmond, Conor Dooley, David O’Connor, Timmy Hammersley, Pearse Christie, Finn McGarry, Niall McMorrow, John Maguire, Leon Kennedy, Fergal Ryan, Paddy Dunleavy.

Thanks to Miriam Doyle for the photos. Click here to view