Minor Quarter Final v Cuala Sep 29 2005


The minors' season continued to roll on impressively when they beat a strong Cuala side in the championship quarter final on Sept 29th at Parnell Park in the first Dublin hurling championship match ever to be played under floodlights.

In terrible conditions, playing into the wind and rain, Crokes started well and were 3 points to nil up after 10 minutes. Barry O'Rorke skinned his man for the first and Ross O'Carroll did likewise for the second. Shortly afterwards Rob O'Loughlin burst through the Cuala defence, rounded the goalkeeper and finished to an empty net only to be called back and awarded a penalty for a foul by the 'keeper. Shane O'Rorke struck the penalty well but it just cleared the bar.

Crokes were dominant throughout at this stage. The entire back line was unshakable, Shane Crossan was dominant at midfield and every time Crokes got the ball into the full forward line they looked like scoring. Cuala did manage to pull a point back but after 15 minutes Shane O'Rorke popped a nice pass down the wing to younger brother Barry who rounded his man, headed straight for goal and confidently passed the ball to the net to put 'Crokes 5 points up, 1-3 to a point.

Cuala's strongest line was their half-back line, and an attack launched from that sector resulted in another point from play, but Ross O'Carroll quickly restored the 5 point margin with another fine point. A pointed free for Cuala reduced the deficit again before Barry again skinned the second corner back Cuala had tried on him. Ha came in toward the goal from the right but his shot was marginally too high and only resulted in a point when a goal was the obvious intention.

At 1-5 to 0-3 Crokes looked comfortable but a couple of defensive mistakes handed Cuala a lifeline just before halftime. Hopkins won a ball at full back but was disposessed and a point resulted. Shortly afterwards, Rory O'Carroll was blocked while attempting to clear. The resulting shot should have been deflected over the bar by John Barry but it rebounded off the crossbar and was finished to the net after a goalmount scramble. In fairness to Hoppy, O'Carroll and Barry it was their only lapse and they did not make another mistake all night. Cuala then scored a point off a soft free and the sides were level at 1-5 each at halftime.

The marking was tighter in the second half and each defence had a stronger hold on their opposition than previously. Ross shook off his man to open the scoring early on but it was a full 10 minutes later before the next score, a fine point from centre forward, William McEvoy. There was the odd scare around the 'Crokes goal in the second half but the defence stood firm. Clinton, Garvey and particularly Gillen were outstanding at half back and Crossan, now joined by Shane O'Rorke, was still on top at midfield. 2 points, one from a free, from Shane O'Rorke gave Crokes some breathing space with 10 minutes to go before Barry O'Rorke tapped over a fine point to register the last score of the game with 2 minutes to go.

A 5 point win, 1-10 to 1-5, was recorded and it was a testiment to the hard work of the 'Crokes team from 1 to 15 that they did not concede a score in the second half.

Team: John Barry, Rory O'Carroll, Andrew Hopkins, Fergus Monnelly, Peter Clinton, Fergus Garvey, Shea Gillen, Sean Mangan, Shane Crossan, Brian Sheehan, Wlliam McEvoy, Shane O'Rorke, Barry O'Rorke, Ross O'Carroll, Rob O'Loughlin
Subs: Conor Clinton for Sean Mangan
Subs not used: Kevin O'Loughlin, Andrew Greene, Ronan Sweeney, Kevin Dalton, Stephen Russell, Brian Mahon, Timmy Ryan, John Nestor, Stevie Lambe, Gareth Fox, Shaun Rowan, Karl Diaz, Niall Butler