Report for week end of 13 May 2007

                                    Week Ending 13th May 2007

Ordinarily an adult championship win would take pride of place but important as the intermediate’s impressive success over St Vincents was this week it hats off first to a very game under 14 squad that came up just short in the Dublin Feile.

Pitted against St Brigids and hot favourites Castleknock at the latter’s home ground in Porterstown Park Crokes opened proceedings against the Russell Park team on Saturday 12th May 2007.  Playing with the breeze Crokes opened brightly with Conor Devins winning a lot of ball at midfield.  After five minutes a Justin Cassidy minor from a 40 metre free opened the scoring.  Six minutes later Brigids were level.  A further six on, Cassidy repeated the trick, this time from 20 metres to end the scoring in the first half of 20 minutes which had seen play switch from end to end and during which Oisin O’Carroll led by example. 

Four minutes into the second half Alex Pilkington sent over a free to extend the lead.  By now the switch of Kevin James McGowan to centre forward had curbed the Brigid’s centre back and Caolan Conway was looking threatening in the corner.  In the thirtieth minute Brigid’s pulled one back from a placed ball only for Cassidy to match the effort from 60 metres out on the right.  In the thirty sixth minute came the move of the game.  A long Paddy Tighe puck out was caught by Oisin O’Rorke.  His quick delivery found Andrew McEvoy who immediately sent the ball on to Jamie Clinton.  From 10 metres Clinton made no mistake in raising the green flag.  A minute later Cassidy extended the lead from a 45 metre free.

Squad:

Paddy Tighe, Conall O’Neill, Sean Boyd, Cian Delaney, Oisin O’Carroll, Emmet Doherty, John Huban, Alex Pilkington (0-1, f), Conor Devins, Oisin O’Rorke, Andrew McEvoy, Jamie Clinton (1-0), Justin Cassidy (capt) (0-4, all frees), Kevin Jamie McGowan, Caolan Conway.  Subs:  Ross McGowan for Caolan Conway, Conor Sweeny for Conall O’Neill, Neil Gorey, Niall Carr, Andrew Cullinane, Daragh Daly, Keith Finn, Matthew Geraghty, Ken Kelly, Jack O’Brien, Barry O’Farrell, Niall Hanley, Ciaran MacGabhann, Shane Moran, Caolan Murphy, Jack Dineen and Fionan Motherway (injured)

Next up were a very physically strong Castleknock side that had overwhelmed St Brigids.  The homesters had breeze advantage and were a point ahead inside three minutes.  Oisin O’Rorke levelled after five.  The next fifteen minutes saw opportunities spurned on both sides with the play of Sean Boyd on the Castleknock danger man outstanding, impressively supported by Cian Delaney while Paddy Tighe made at least two great saves.  With five minutes left to the short whistle Castleknock pointed from a 55 metre free which Andrew McEvoy cancelled with a lovely grab, turn and score.  A Castleknock point from a 65 ended the first half scoring.

Crokes were level four minutes into the half, again thanks to McEvoy.  A minute later good work by Justin Cassidy from a long Alex Pilkington free had the Kilmacud boys a point ahead.  Within a further sixty seconds Castleknock were back on par.  In the thirty first and thirty third minutes Pilkington frees from 55 and 45 metres had Crokes two up.  By now centre back Emmet Doherty and left half John Huban were coming into their own while Kevin James McGowan and Oisin O’Rorke were combining to great effect in the half forward line where Ross McGowan was striking sweetly..  Castleknock pulled one back before Neil Gorey set up Cassidy who just failed to convert.  A long free had the home team level.  A thirty eight minute point from O’Rorke looked like it might seal it but right at the death a Castleknock midfielder put one over to leave it 0-7 all at the final whistle.

Squad:

Paddy Tighe, Conall O’Neill, Sean Boyd, Cian Delaney, Oisin O’Carroll, Emmet Doherty, John Huban, Alex Pilkington (0-2, f 0-2), Conor Devins, Oisin O’Rorke (0-2), Kevin James McGowan, Ross McGowan, Justin Cassidy (capt) (0-1), Andrew McEvoy (0-2), Jamie Clinton.  Subs:  Neil Gorey for Justin Cassidy (inj), Caolan Conway, Conor Sweeny, Niall Carr, Andrew Cullinane, Daragh Daly, Keith Finn, Matthew Geraghty, Ken Kelly, Jack O’Brien, Barry O’Farrell, Niall Hanley, Ciaran MacGabhann, Shane Moran, Caolan Murphy, Jack Dineen and Fionan Motherway (injured)

As Castleknock had beaten St Brigids by a greater margin Crokes were obliged to proceed to Pairc Ui Mhurchu to play Ballyboden the winners of the other Division 1 Group.  Playing against the wind Crokes were slow to settle and trailed by four points by the nineteenth minute.  A Justin Cassidy free reduced the margin to three at half time.  During a tentative first half Conall O’Neill cleared some great ball and goalkeeper Paddy Tighe was very sound.

A Ballyboden goal on the restart would have knocked a lesser team for six but it seemed to spur on this Crokes side.   From then on they dominated the game but could only manage three points (one from Andrew McEvoy and two from Justin Cassidy, a free and from play) to Boden’s one.  Several times Crokes attacks looked to have goal written all over them but somehow the Boden goal, despite the best efforts of such as Kevin James McGowan, Oisin O’Rorke and Niall Carr, remained intact and a nail biting finale did not bring the reward Crokes deserved.  To say the Crokes lads were disappointed at the conclusion would be an understatement but they can be proud of their battling performances throughout the day.

Squad:

Paddy Tighe, Conall O’Neill, Sean Boyd, Cian Delaney, Oisin O’Carroll, Emmet Doherty, John Huban, Alex Pilkington, Conor Devins, Oisin O’Rorke, Kevin James McGowan, Ross McGowan, Justin Cassidy (capt) (0-3, f 0-2)), Andrew McEvoy (0-1), Jamie Clinton.  Subs:  Niall Carr for Jamie Clinton, Neil Gorey, Caolan Conway, Conor Sweeny, Andrew Cullinane, Daragh Daly, Keith Finn, Matthew Geraghty, Ken Kelly, Jack O’Brien, Barry O’Farrell, Niall Hanley, Ciaran MacGabhann, Shane Moran, Caolan Murphy, Jack Dineen and Fionan Motherway (injured)

The fact Castleknock defeated Ballyboden in Sunday’s final confirmed this was a tournament with much to be positive about.  The squad now knows they have moved on to a higher level and are as good as any team at their age.  Hard work, commitment and application will ensure further progress.  Every one of the large squad played his part and their behaviour on the day was a credit to the club.  Apart from the players special mention must be made of the contribution of Ciaran Hynes and his management team, Liam O’Carroll, Mick Hynes, Niall Corcoran, Pat Fenlon and Aodhan de Paor whose hard work and patience will show even greater dividends in the months ahead.  Many thanks also to the parents, the extended families and the large travelling support at all games.

Intermediates v St Vincents

Immediately after the Feile semi-final it was straight to Silverpark for the fourth round Intermediate Hurling Championship game against St Vincents.  By the fourth minute Darrragh Burke had a goal and two points (both from frees) on the board to a solitary Vincents point.  Within five minutes Eoin de Paor and Adrian Crean put over.  Eight minutes on Crean set up Damian McSweeney for a good goal.  Vincents replied with a point before Crean stuck again - this time for a major.  A Vincents point left it 3-4 to 0-3 at half time.

On the resumption Vincents goaled from a 20 metre free and followed immediately with a point.  A good Conor Condon point stabilised matters for Crokes.  When Vincent’s added two points in quick succession in the fortieth minute a Crean finish to the net from a Condon ball snuffed out the revival.  This was very much confirmed when Willie Ryan sent a 74 metre free over in the forty second minute.  From then on the game was over as a contest with Crokes scoring one point via Neil Casey to Vincents two to leave it 4-8 to 1-8 at the finish.  Crokes stars on the night included the full back line of Andrew Hopkins, Dave Canny and Niall Lillis, goalkeeper Diarmuid Howley, wings backs Ray Mangan and Willie Ryan, Conor Condon and corner forwards Adrian Crean and Darragh Burke.

Team:

Diarmuid Howley, Andrew Hopkins, Dave Canny, Niall Lillis, Ray Mangan, Eoin de Paor (0-1), Willie Ryan (0-1, f), Conor Condon (0-1), Hugh O’Connor, Neil Casey (0-1), Fergus Garvey, John Ross Hunt, Darragh Burke (1-3, f 0-3), Damian McSweeney (1-0), Adrian Crean (2-1).  Subs: Barrai Brennan for John Ross Hunt, Eoin Murphy, Richie Power and Donal Holohan.

This win made up for the disappointment of the Tuesday night championship loss to Ballyboden at Pairc Ui Mhurchu 3-11 to 1-9.  This was a closer contest than the margin might suggest.  Crokes were in control for most of the first half until a Boden goal brought them back into the game in the 22nd minute.  At half time it was 1-6 apiece.  Half way through the second half it was still all to play for with Boden ahead 1-9 to 1-8.  Even with a Boden goal in the forty fifth minute followed by two points to Crokes one when Crokes were awarded a penalty in the fifty eight minute the game was still in reach.  The resultant point was not enough and Boden’s last gasp goal put a somewhat misleading sheen on the final result.  Best for Crokes were Paul Graham, Dave Canny, Willie Ryan, Neil Casey and Ray Mangan.

Team:

Paul Graham, Andrew Hopkins, Dave Canny, Paddy McCormack, Ray Mangan, Eoin de Paor, Willie Ryan, Damian McSweeney, Hugh O’Connor, Neil Casey, Eoin Murphy, Peter Clinton, Darragh Burke, Conor Condon, Adrian Crean.  Subs: Davy Baker for Peter Clinton, John Ross Hunt for Eoin Murphy, Richie Power for Adrian Crean, Peter Clinton for Paddy McCormack, Diarmuid Howley for Hugh O’Connor.

Under 16’s

Tuesday also saw the under 16A’s dig out a hard fought 3-8 to 2-7 league win over Crumlin at Silverpark.  A last quarter rally was enough to secure the win in a close fought exciting game.  For report see HERE 

Under 10’s

On Bank Holiday Monday the under 10’s took 39 players to Oulart the Ballagh in Wexford for two games.  In one, Crokes overcame the hosts 11-8 to 1-3 while in the other match the Kilmacud boys went down narrowly 1-2 to 1-1 against Blackwater, also of Wexford.  The under 8’s were also hosted by Oulart and for report see HERE Our special thanks to our gracious hosts for their hospitality.

Junior B’s

Wednesday’s Junior Hurling B Championship against Cuala in Silverpark did not proceed as the referee failed to show in time.  The Junior B’s game on Sunday against Naomh Mearnog also fell by the wayside with Portmarnock conceding a walkover.

U13’s and U15’s teams face Boden

On Thursday one of the under 13 Division 1 teams had a 7-11 to 3-5 league win away to Ballyboden at Hermitage.  Unfortunately the under 15’s after an impressive first half had to give way in their league match to the same opponents at Pairc Ui Mhurchu.

Under 9’s

Sunday morning saw the under 9’s host Naomh Eanna of Gorey in Oatlands.  Crokes fielded 35 players in four entertaining games and later treated our guests, who have always been lavish on our visits,  to hospitality in Glenalbyn.  Many thanks to all concerned

Junior 5’s

On Sunday afternoon in Silverpark the Junior 5’s championship clash with St Monica’s brought the curtain down on a busy hurling week.  Although fighting to the end Crokes could not match a stronger northside outfit, led by former Dublin dual star Vinnie Murphy who accounted for over half the visitors’ scores, mostly from placed balls.  Playing with a strong wind Crokes trailed 0-7 to 0-2 at half time and eventually went down 3-13 to 1-5.  Best for Crokes were Billy Noctor, Deaglain O’Donaill, Ian O’Keeffe, with three points, Barry Gavigan and Gerald Kelly.

Hurling Arena

Progress continues apace on our new Hurling Arena in Glenalbyn see HERE  When complete this €500,000 project will be a huge addition to hurling in the club. 

Hurling Nursery

Saturdays see the continuation of outdoor nursery activity at Glenalbyn. This continues every Saturday at 10.00 am for children born 1999 or later.  Contact Liam Coughlan 086-6063232 and lccoughlan@eircom.net.  Active parental input is essential for the success of the nursery.  No hurling experience necessary!