CRAOBH CHIARAIN 4-8 CUALA 2-13.
Craobh came with a storming finish to edge out Cuala by a point in this titanic Evening Herald Dublin SHC A clash at Parnell Park on Saturday.
Despite the concession of an early goal from Carl English, Cuala were the better side in the opening half and led by seven points at the interval with Eoghan Dunne grabbing a goal for Cuala in the eighth minute. The placed ball accuracy of Alan McCrabbe, who looked to be carrying an injury, kept Craobh in touch but Cuala wing-forwards Shane Murphy and David Treacy were prominent and Cuala entered the break in a commanding position.
Then six minutes after the restart the Donnycarney men got their second goal when Keith Elliott carved through the centre before firing to the net. Chiaráins closed the gap to two points but then Cuala wrestled back momentum with a goal from the impressive Shane Murphy.
The introduction of Francis Usanga, who this year returned to hurl with the Craobh after a couple of seasons with Watergrass Hill in Cork, had a key role in the conclusion of this game. His goal left just a point in it entering the final ten minutes.
Dunne pointed a free for Cuala but then McCrabbe sent a free to the net to put Chiarains in front for the first time since the early minutes of the game. To add to Cuala woe Conor Gough was sent off before the finish.
SCORERS – Craobh Chiarain: A McCrabbe 1-6 (1-3f), K Elliot , F Usanga, C English 1-0 each, D OReilly (1f), P O’Boyle (1f) 0-1 each. Cuala: S Murphy 1-4, E Dunne 1-3 (0-2), D Treacy 0-3, E Cronin 0-2, B Brown 0-1.
CRAOBH CHIARAIN – S Chester; Damien O’Reilly, E Farrell, J Finnegan; D Kirwan, Derek O’Reilly, D Kelly; G Kelly, A McCrabbe; P O’Boyle, K Elliott, R Mahon; K Ryan, J McGuirk, C English. Subs: K Warren for English (HT), F Usanga for Mahon (39), J Ryan for O’Boyle (54).
CUALA – F O’Brien; P Schutte, D Cunningham, S Timlon; R Reid, S Kiely, C Gough; J Sheonan, S O’Brien; S Murphy, L Hand, D Treacy; E Cronin, E Dunne, R Cole. Subs: B Brown for Hand (15), O Ryan for Cronin (52).
REF – Tony Lambe(St Vincent’s).