Ballyboden/St Enda’s Vs Cuala : Match Report
Ballyboden/St Endas 1-18 Cuala 0-17
The Dublin hurling faithful were treated to a free scoring, high tempo affair in Parnell Park yesterday evening. This was championship hurling, but with both teams not at full strength and the safety net of the group format, it wasn’t quite the contest we could expect from these two teams if they were to meet again in a knock out game.
From the outset, and for more or less the entire sixty minutes, both teams went man on man all over the pitch.
Most noteworthy was that Paul Schutte moved out of his centre back berth to man-mark Simon Lambert, leaving Seán Moran to face off against Paul Doherty at 6/11.
Perhaps the most interesting match-up was Stephen Hiney on Mark Schutte on the edge of the Boden square.
Hiney dominated the battle when Schutte remained close to goal. However, when Schutte moved further out the field and stretched his legs, he became far more influential, scoring 2 points and putting another on a plate for Treacy in a short period of time.
Boden, playing with a strong wind in the first half, played the ball high and long into their forwards. The Cuala backs, and in particular Cian O’Callaghan, were well on top in the early exchanges in the air.
Cuala, playing into the wind, were looking to play bullet like puck outs to their half forwards on the move.
All four midfielders, Finn McGarry and Conor Robinson and Jake Malone and Darragh O’Connell, fit the modern mould for the position; light, fast, full of running. All four played tight on their marker for the hour so rarely found space to set up attacks. Both number 8s dropped quickly on opposition frees and communicated well with their defences.
The scoreboard was kept ticking over for the opening 10 minutes, mainly from frees at each end by Simon Lambert and David Treacy.
During the next 10 minutes, Ballyboden began playing the ball low in front of their forwards and reaped the rewards from it, scoring 5 points from play including two beauties from Niall McMorrow.
The only goal chance of the half came when Conal Keaney rose highest in the half forward line, turned and ran at goal. He didn’t make the cleanest of strikes with the ball but it still brought a decent save from Sean Brennan.
Cuala were struggling to gain possession in their half forward line, with only Treacy seemingly having the beating of his man. As a result, Brennan began playing short puck outs to his full back line. Crucially, the Cuala defenders, as soon as they gained position, turned and attacked the ‘killer quarter’ and were able to deliver the ball into space for their forwards,
With Mark Schutte moving out the field for the last ten minutes of the half, Cuala were able to finish the half stronger than they had started, scoring four points during this period, reducing the half time gap to 0-10 to 0-7 to Boden.
Early in the second half, Cuala were caught in possession in their own full back line after a short puck out which resulted in a free for over carrying. This, plus the wind they now had at their back, led them to abandon their short puck outs and revert to bullet like pucks to their half forward line.
Things had looked promising for Cuala in the opening minute of the second half when Ross Tierney set off on a strong run and looked to have broken the Ballyboden line. However, he was pulled up for catching the sliotar three times. That proved to be the only real chance they would have for the next several minutes.
Ballyboden, now playing against a stiff breeze, began routinely playing the ball into space for their forwards. McMorrow looked threatening anytime he got the ball, while Lambert and Niall Ryan kept the scoreboard moving during the half. Boden would run up six points to two in the opening nineteen minutes of the second half, to lead by 0-16 to 0-9
That was before Cuala’s strong running from the middle drew five frees in eight minutes that Treacy was happy to convert. Cuala, now running at their markers almost constantly, reeled Boden in to within a point with three minutes of normal time remaining, with Boden struggling to slow the Cuala runners down. There began to be a sense of a draw about the match.
However, after another point each had been traded, Conal Keaney had other ideas. He reacted well to a sideline that came fast across the face of the Cuala goal, breaking the ball in front of himself and kicking it to the net. It wasn’t the prettiest goal ever but it was a testament to Keaney’s strength and determination to get across his man, and it put the result to bed.
Cuala, with Mark Schutte moving out the field to gain possession, and with Con O’Callaghan away with the Dublin U-21s, lacked the goal threat that has made them such a formidable outfit.
Boden will be happy with their display, particularly with their half backs dominating Cuala’s puck outs and with not conceding a genuine goal chance throughout.
For Cuala, it was a first serious outing since the highs of St Patrick’s Day and they know there are bigger days to come.
Ballyboden/St Endas: Gary Maguire, Kenny Wigglesworth, Stephen Hiney, Mal Travers, Shane Durkin, Stephen O’Connor, Cian Mellett, Finn McGarry, Conor Robinson, Simon Lambert, Paul Doherty, Conal Keaney, James Roche , Aidan Mellet , Niall McMorrow. Subs Eoghan O’Neill (Doherty 35) Niall Ryan, (Roche 36) David O’Connor, (Travers 54) Rob Leddy (Durkin 60)
Cuala: Seán Brennan, Oisín Gough, Cian O’Callaghan, Simon Timlin, Paul Schutte, Seán Moran, Ross Tierney, Jake Malone, Darragh O’Connell, Cian Waldron, Colm Cronin, David Treacy, Colum Sheanon, Mark Schutte, Nicky Kenny Subs : Niall Keane (Sheanon 45)
Scorers : Ballyboden/St Enda’s : S Lambert 0-8 (4 frees), C Keaney 1-1, N Ryan 0-2, N McMorrow 0-2, P Doherty 0-1, J Roche 0-1, A Mellet 0-1, E O’Neill 0-1, D O’Connor 0-1. Cuala D Treacy 0-12 (9 frees), M Schutte 0-2, N Kenny 0-1, J Malone 0-1, N Keane 0-1.
By Conor Dunne