GREAT DOUBLE LEAGUE VICTORIES FOR U15A & B TEAMS
U15B’s CONSOLIDATE TOP 2 SPOT WITH EMPHATIC WIN OVER Na FIANNA!
U15 Hurling D Qualifier Aug 22 2021: Na FiannaB 1-6 Kilmacud Crokes B 5-20
(Match report by Niall Bermingham.)
WIth the help of a number of U14s and Ryan Crowley from the U13s, Crokes got off to a good start and never relinquished the lead in rest of the match.
With long puck outs from U14 Goalkeeper Mark Beggins, Josh O'Reilly and Ryan Crowley recycled a lot of posession to the forwards. Ross Gargan(1g + 3 pts), Ronan McNamara, Ryan Crowley and Noah Bermingham (1f) notched up a good lead by the first water break, 1-7 to 0-2.
By half time Crokes added another 1-4 to make it 2-11 to 0-4. Na Fianna's low score was mainly down to a very energetic display by all the backs: Milo Garry, Andy Dunne, Joe Tuliani, Eoghan O'Donovan and Sean O'Riaigan.
With some positional changes at half time and keeping the direct first time passing approach, the scoring continued: Daithi Lenihan notched up another goal and a few points in addition to goals by Eoghan O'Donovan and Ryan Crowley and more points by Sean O'Riaigan, Mark Sheerin, Noah Bermingham (1f) and Ryan Crowley. Our defence were dealing very well with most of Na Fianna attacks into our half and were able to set up a decent platform down the wings to allow Crokes forwards advance into Na Fianna's half. The reshaped defence and some very good shot stopping from Mark Beggins , kept Na Fianna to a goal and 2 more points. Indeed Na Fianna’s only goal came from a penalty which Beggins was very close to saving.
Crokes however remained well ahead and ended up with 5-20 to 1-6
Kilmacud Crokes U15 B team now lie second in the U15 Hurling D league and on target to make the plays offs (top 4 into a semi final).
They have one more league game against Cuala C on Sept 26th
Team: Mark Beggins, Joe Tuliani, Milo Garry, Andy Dunne, Mark Sheerin, Eoghan O'Donovan, Sean O'Riaigan, Josh O'Reilly,
Ryan Crowley, Daithi Linehan, Ross Gargan, Conor Mullen, Noah Bermingham, Ronan McNamara
Goals: Ryan Crowley, Ross Gargan (2), Eoghan O'Donovan, Daithi Linehan
Points: Mark Sheerin, Sean O'Riaigan, Noah Bermingham (+2f), Ryan Crowley, Ross Gargan (+1f), Daithi Linehan, Ronan McNamara
65s: (1) Mark Beggins
On Sunday, Crokes U15A team had established a 10 point lead early in the 3rd quarter before losing their way to trail by a point by the 2nd half water break and then re-established control to run out 5 point winners with an impressive “backs to the wall” final quarter performance.
Crokes began brightly when corner forward David Purcell scored 2 very tidy points from the right in the opening 3 minutes. Lucan got their 1st point after 7 minutes before Centre Forward Gearoid Flannery picked out Purcell with a great cross field ball from the left about 30 metres out; Purcell beat 2 defenders and then took a heavy shoulder challenge but, unfazed, continued his run before driving the sliothar into the bottom right corner of the net. (1-2 to 0-1)
Crokes midfielders Patrick Clancy and Brian Walsh were putting enormous pressure on the Lucan puck out and from a turnover the ball was worked to Flannery who struck a fine point from 30 metres on the right.(1-3 to 0-1)
Lucan hit back with a point but Purcell was a constant threat and after 18 minutes he was in the danger zone once more and laid the sliothar off to the better placed full forward Michael Kennedy whose shot was deflected wide by Lucan goalie Freddie Haran.
Flannery stroked over the resulting 65. (1-4 to 0-2)
After the water break, left half back Cathal Crean hit a great long ball into Purcell who struck over from 30 metres on the right.(1-5 to 0-2)
Purcell could have had another goal on 18 minutes but his effort was brilliantly saved by the busy Freddie Haran! Lucan then kept in touch with 2 points (1-5 to 0-4) but Crokes U14 Goalkeeper Conor Coogan pucked out to Clancy who caught cleanly before delivering a crisp pass to Purcell and he split the posts from 40 metres for Crokes most “efficient” score thus far! (1-6 to 0-4)
Crokes continued to build the scoreboard with 3 more points (Flannery free, Oran O’Keefe 2 frees) before wing forward O’Keefe struck a fine point from play following a turnover of a Lucan puckout. Lucan kept in touch with 3 points and the score was 1-10 to 0-7 when Centre Back Seán McBarron caught Coogan’s puck out and delivered a long ball into Purcell on the 20 metre line just to the right of the goal. Purcell didn’t get hold of his shot but Goalkeeper Haran parried it out into the path of O’Keefe who needed no further invitation to drive the ball into the net. (2-10 to 0-7)
From the puck out, the breaking ball found Flannery on the right sideline and he struck a magnificent point from 45 metres which just curled inside the right post. (2-11 to 0-7)
Haran managed to find one of his midfielders from the puck out and Lucan worked the ball up the right side of the pitch before transferring to an unmarked forward on the left of the square who gave Coogan no chance with a powerful drive to the net.
With the advantage of the “hill” in the 2nd half, this gave Lucan a life line as it narrowed the gap to 7 points. (2-11 to 1-7)
Crokes began the 2nd half in no nonsense fashion and had restored the lead to 10 with points from Flannery, Purcell and O’Keefe in the 1st 3 minutes.
At this point, Crokes withdrew Purcell who has only recently come back from a long term injury. Lucan attacked but were thwarted by some bad wides until the 39th minute when they hit 3 points in a row in the following 3 minutes. Lucan sensed the momentum swing and having regained possession, one of their midfielders ran strongly at the heart of the Crokes defence before off loading to a forward who drove it into the top right corner of the net. (2-14 to 2-10)
A minute later, Lucan were awarded an indirect free from half way and they dropped it into the Crokes danger zone where the breaking ball fell to a Lucan forward who hit it first time into the bottom left corner. Crokes seemingly impressive 10 point lead had been whittled down to 1 in the space of 5 minutes and they were reeling! (2-14 to 3-10)
Crokes had a bit of a reprieve as Lucan had 2 wides but a minute before the water break they struck the equalizing point and followed up with a 65 which went over off the right upright to put them in the lead for the 1st time in the match! (2-14 to 3-12)
Crokes mentors Rory Flannery & Dominic O’Keefe now had 2 minutes to “resurrect” their team.
Whatever tactical nous and motivational skills they engaged, it seemed to work as Crokes attacked from Coogan’s puck out and u13 sub Rory Óg Flannery won a free on 20 metres and his brother Gearoid tapped over to restore parity. (2-15 to 3-12)
Following the puck out, midfielder Clancy was fouled and Flannery edged Crokes back in front. Better was to follow as Clancy again won the next Lucan puckout and sent a long ball into Flannery(the elder) who struck a great point from 30 metres. (2-17 to 3-12)
On 53 minutes, Lucan drove a ball deep into Crokes territory but it was mopped up by Danny “Denis Irwin” O’Sullivan who fed full back James Dunphy who in turn hit a good ball out to wing back Cathal Crean in a bit of space; Crean evaded his opposite number before hitting a sublime pass to Rory Óg Flannery who turned and struck over a sweet point from 30 metres. (2-18 to 3-12)
From this point the Crokes revival looked complete as they continued to deal efficiently in defence with anything that Lucan threw at them and James Dunphy was “imperious” at full back.
With 5 minutes remaining, O’Keefe found Rory Óg Flannery on the left of the square and he had goal on his mind but was dragged down. Once again Gearoid tapped over the resultant free to extend the lead to 4 points. O’Keefe and Gearoid Flannery added 2 more points to make it a 6 point game. (2-21 to 3-12)
Lucan attacked desperately in the final minutes but Goalkeeper Coogan managed to scramble the ball away the couple of shots they got on target and a 65 was all they could manage. (2-21 to 3-13)
The final whistle sounded shortly after much to the relief and satisfaction for the Crokes supporters.
This win puts Crokes in a more favourable draw for the “round robin” section of the Feile Championship next month but it also showed the character of the team to come back in the final quarter having lost a big lead and looking “ragged” at the water break!
KILMACUD CROKES U15A HURLERS:
Subs: T.Curtin for C.Kelly, R.Quinn for D.Purcell, J.Dillon for D.Mattimoe, R.Flannery for J.Dillon (all 2nd ½).