Cuala 2 23 BBSE 2 17
Ballyboden Senior A hurlers’ final group match against Cuala in this year’s championship was likely to be their most difficult to date and so it proved in Parnell Park on Saturday 10th September. Both teams had qualified for the knockout stage of the championship so the prize for the win was direct passage to the semi-final.
A tentative start by both teams saw the sides going point for point with the odd wide thrown in. The highlight of this first quarter was a magnificent point from a sideline ball by Paul Ryan. Surely consideration should once again be given to rewarding such skill with a brace? There are not that many that have mastered it. Cuala led by 6 to 4 at the quarter, benefitting mainly from David Treacy’s placed ball accuracy. The second quarter was Boden’s best. Solid workrate by the forwards turned over possession on a few occasions. Also impressive was the fact that six players scored from play in addition to a pair of frees from Ryan, the highlight being a bustling goal by Conal Keaney, whose strength in the challenge was telling. Colm Cronin was impressive for Cuala in this spell with two points in succession from the right sideline under the main stand. Half-time Boden 1-12 Cuala 0-11.
Boden kept the pressure on at the start of the second half when, after a great run by Aidan Mellett. Niall McMorrow planted the ball in the Cuala net. This was followed by a Shane Durkin point after the ball unexpectedly landed in his path. This prompted a response from Cuala and it is fair to say that their forwards, who had been quiet up to that point, now had a spring in their step. Just into the final quarter and after a good run by Jake Malone, the ball was laid off to Mark Schutte within sight of the goal. He didn’t strike the ball cleanly but the ball looped into the Boden net despite the best efforts of Finn McGarry. The Cuala crowd responded and shortly thereafter, from a sideline ball, Schutte again broke towards goal. He was felled and from the resultant penalty, Sean Moran made no mistake. Cuala’s subs were used to good effect in the last ten minutes and with the momentum, the Dalkey side closed out the match on a scoreline of Boden 2-17 Cuala 2-23.
Cuala into the semi-final, Boden to face Lucan Sarsfields in a couple of weeks. Knockout hurling from now on!
Thanks to Clíona for the photos. Click here for more