JUBILIANT St Jude’s were crowned the 2012 Dublin U-21 ‘A’ hurling champions following their comprehensive 3-13 to 0-13 victory over a disappointing Ballyboden St Enda’s at O’Toole Park last Saturday afternoon.
A controversial eighth-minute goal by Eoin McLoughlin set Jude’s on their way and they opened up a sizeable lead four minutes later when Jessie Kennedy put the finishing touches to a superb team move to rattle the back of Conor Dooley’s net from close range.
Despite the best efforts of Stephen O’Connor, ‘Boden struggled to keep in touch with their vibrant opponents, although two points from O’Connor and scores by Naoise Maguire and Cillian Moffat offered the holders a modicum of hope.
However, an unusually porous defence leaked scores at regular intervals with Mark Hannon, Joseph McManus, Danny Sutcliffe and the excellent Paul Maguire tagging on points as Jude’s led by 2-10 to 0-6 at the interval.
The contest was effectively settled within six minutes of the restart as Kennedy nipped in ahead of Dooley to deflect O’Loughlin’s delivery to the net to leave 13 points between the sides.
Niall Ryan reduced ‘Boden’s arrears with four consecutive points, but the lifeline of a goal that his side desperately required never looked likely to materialise with Mick O’Shea, Mark Kennedy and Bobby Moran impressing in Jude’s last line of defence.
This year’s ‘B’ final will be contested by Naomh Barróg and St Oliver Plunkett’s/Eoghan Ruadh as they recorded respective semi-final away wins over Faughs and Raheny on Saturday.
Dean Flood and James Mooney shared the scoring honours for Barrog as they recorded a deserved 0-15 to 0-12 win over Faughs in Tymon Park, with Eoin Prendergast’s eight points proving in vain for Faughs.
The other semi-final was similarly tight with goals by Ronan O Broin and Dublin minor Cian Boland proving crucial for Plunkett’s as the hosts were left to rue a number of costly misses by the final whistle.
DUBLIN U-21 ‘A’ HC FINAL: St Jude’s 3-13 Ballyboden St Enda’s 0-13.
DUBLIN U-21 ‘B’ HC SEMI-FINALS: Naomh Barrog 0-15 Faughs 0-12; St Oliver Plunkett’s/Eoghan Ruadh 2-10 Raheny 1-11.
– Ronan Mac Lochlainn