Skerries junior hurlers’ unbeaten start to 2016 comes to an end!

posted 23 May 2016, 00:44 by Skerries Harps   [ updated 23 May 2016, 00:44 ]

Cuala 3-22 Skerries Harps 0-16   

Skerries junior hurlers’ unbeaten start to 2016 came to an end when they travelled to play Cuala on Sunday morning in Bray. However, Cuala who are the strong favourites to lift the title this year had to dig deep into their panel to finally pull away from a gallant Skerries.

With 12 minutes remaining there were just two points between the sides. It was then that the Cuala team’s strength in depth was evident. The introduction of a number of players who are featuring with their AHL1 side from half time on played a significant part in putting the match out of the reach of the visitors.

A very even first half played on an excellent surface in Bray never saw more than a couple of points between the sides. An early two point Cuala lead was cancelled out by excellent scores from Ciaran Smith and Aidan Kehoe. The sides exchanged points for the rest of the half with Cuala holding a slender 0-9 to 0-8 lead at the break. The pick of the Skerries scores being a superbly worked point that was finished with aplomb by Andy Smith from the left touchline. In fact the Harps would have been ahead save for two excellent goal chances being stopped by the Cuala goalkeeper

The Harps started the second half well and mid-fielder Sean Rocks burst through the home rear-guard only to see his rasping shot fly narrowly over the bar. The pattern of the first half was repeated in the third quarter as the sides again swapped scores. Ten minutes into the half a long free from Cuala was expertly turned into the net by their full forward. Skerries responded with a couple of great points from Ciaran Smith and Damian Ward to again put their side within striking distance of their opponents.

Just coming up to the last ten minutes Cuala struck for their second goal when a Skerries attack broke down and Cuala broke strongly, created a one-on-one and gave Oisin O’Leary no chance with the final shot.

The combination of a Skerries team tiring from their efforts and a significant input from the Cuala replacements resulted in the margin being pushed out by a run of 1-6 without reply in the final ten minutes.

Whilst beaten by a better side on the day the final margin was unkind to the Skerries lads who more than matched their more vaunted opponents for three quarters of the game. The task for the team now is to re-group, learn from this game and prepare for the upcoming championship clashes against Castleknock and Erins Isles.

Harps: Oisin O’Leary, Robbie O’Connor, Jonathan Fay-Watt, Rob Ferguson, , Eoin Hickey, Donal McIlgorm, Ross McGarry(0-1), Eoghan McGinley(0-1) , Sean Rocks(0-1), Ian Furlong, Aidan Kehoe(0-2), Andrew Smith(0-1), Shane Rice, Ciaran Smith(0-8 (5f), Kevin Gilmore(0-1), Subs:Damian Ward (0-1) for Rice, Daniel Graham for Hickey, Ciaran Furlong for O’Connor, Jack Fitzpatrick, David Kelly.