Ardent Tide Senior Hurling Senior Championship Quarter Final
Cu Chullainns 0-14
Sean Treacy’s 2-12
by Fiona O’Brien
They say goals win games and never was the sentiment more true than in the senior hurling championship quarter-final last weekend, as Sean Treacy’s progressed to the next stage.
Goals within minutes from John Cusack and Sean Clancy secured the vital win for their team, who had let a domineering lead slip momentarily in the second half, and consigned Cu Chullainns to a relegation play-off against Brothers Pearse on October 24.
Cu Chulainns started the sharper in the game, with Damian Moloney setting up Peter Phelan for the first score within the first couple of minutes of the game.
Treacy’s bombarded the Cu Chulainns half for the next while, but while dominating possession never really got a clear-cut scoring opportunity until after seven minutes when Cusack’s effort went wide.
Soon after John Murphy found himself in on goal, but the sliotar was blocked and cleared to safety by keeper Sean Reilly.
Phelan had Cu Chullains next chance, but Dave Maher defended the attack well and Moloney was only able to put the rebound effort wide.
It took until the game’s 11th minute for Treacy’s to open the scoring, through a Kevin O’Loughlin free, and soon after Harry Horgan put his effort wide. Treacy’s were still dominating territory, but Cu Chullains would add another through a long range Eamonn Kelly score from the centre of the field.
The next play saw Andrew Kavanagh make a good run in towards goal, but good work from Mark Devlin forced his opportunity to go awry, until O’Loughlin’s accurate shot from in front of the posts made the effort a success.
John Delahunty got the next point for Cu Chullains as he emerged strongest from a crowd of bodies in front of Shane Gilbert’s posts, but as the game turned into real end-to-end stuff Darren Moore responded immediately with his own point and equaliser.
Peter Murphy brought down Ger Quilligan to concede a free to O’Loughlin, who took his set-play superbly almost out at the sideline and 60 metres out to give his side the lead for the first time, and mid-way through the first half.
Kavanagh would get the next point, another huge effort from in-play on the 65m line, and at this time Cu Chullains looked as if they had started to fade again, with Kavanagh adding another straight from the puck out.
Treacy’s had the momentum, getting their last three points in the space of 90 seconds, and they would get the next score through an O’Loughlin free.
Cu Chullains hadn’t given up yet, and some good work from Joe Cashman to win the next puck-out nearly set up Moloney for the next score but again it went amiss.
The pair were involved again for the next attacking play, as Cahsman’s long ball found Delahunty on the right wing, he put the ball across goal to Phelan, but Fionn Byrne could not make his pass to him account when it mattered.
Phelan got the next score soon after with a free just inside Sean Treacy’s half, but Kavanagh responded immediately with his own score, before Phelan secured another free from 45m out.
A pin-point pass from Darren Moore set up Cusack, and the corner forward did well to hold off John Brady to give his side a four-point lead at the break (0-09 to 0-05).
O’Loughlin opened the scoring of the second half almost immediately, but within two minutes Cu Chulainns got their own score through an Eamonn Kelly shot from play.
It would be the start of his side’s purple patch, and a comeback that might have given them the win if not for their opposition’s killer goals later in the half.
Phelan drove the ball in to Delahunty for the next score, and although it went loose Fionn Byrne managed to convert it into a point as he battled two players on the right wing to get his shot away.
Moloney fouled Cusack near the goals for the next free, and although Phelan went for a three-pointer his effort was blocked and put over the bar for safety, but it was a point that meant there was now only two between the sides.
Tom Brennan took the ball excellently in the air in the next 50/50 challenge, and passed it to Phelan, who offloaded to Moloney for the next attempt, but his shot was well defended and cleared to safety.
Moloney was rewarded for his efforts soon afterwards as he made a powerful run down the left wing and dissected the posts to put just one point between the sides again.
Cu Chullains would have the next attempt too, and when Phelan’s shot was put wide by O’Loughlin he stepped up to equalise with the resultant ‘65’.
They were back in the match, but not for long as Sean Treacy’s took their next chance against the run of play.
O’Loughlin’s found himself in front of goal, and while his shot was saved, Clancy was on hand to get the rebound and give his side some breathing room again.
Eamonn Kelly responded with a point from the left wing soon after, but the killer blow was dealt in the next run of play when man-of-the-match O’Loughlin put in a brilliant ball to Cusack in front of goal who made no hesitation of burying it in the back of the net.
It was a shame for Cu Chullains, in such a closely-fought tie, and who had done so well in converting their point opportunities, but they had left it too open in front of their goal in pursuit of getting the lead.
O’Loughlin set up the next point too as he passed it to Ger Quilligan to score from play and to put two full goals between the sides (2-11 to 0-11).
But Cu Chullains hadn’t given up yet and spurred on by the time they could see left on the new scoreboards got three points in quick succession when Phelan set up sub Karl Rogers before auccessfully pointing two frees of his own.
A Kevin O’Loughlin free soon after ensured that Cu Chullains would need more than a goal to get any result out of the game in its dying moments, and the last chance which fell to Devlin in the centre of the pitch went wide, so the game finished up 2-12 to 0-14.
Sean Treacy’s: Shane Gilbert, Aiden McKeogh, Dave Maher, Donal O’Leary, Declan Gahan, Dave Maher, Martin O’Keefe, Harry Horgan, Darren Moore (0-1), Ger Quilligan (0-1), Andrew Kavanagh (0-3), John Murphy, John Cusack (1-1), Sean Clancy (1-0), Kevin O’Loughlin (0-6, 4f)
Cu Chulainns: Sean Reilly, John Brady (18), Eoin Scully, Gary Walsh, Conor O’Keefe, Tom Brennan, Mark Devlin, Peter Murphy, Brian White, Peter Phelan (0-7, 5f, 1 ‘65’), Damian Moloney (20) (0-1), Joe Cashman, Fionn Byrne (0-1), John Delahunty(0-1), Eamonn Kelly (0-3) Subs: Karl Rogers for Delahunty (0-1)