SETANTA began their provincial campaign in impressive style as they overcame Meath’s Blackhall Gaels by 3-14 to 0-8 in their Leinster JHC first round tie in Trim last Saturday afternoon.
The contest may have lacked the late drama of the side’s Dublin Intermediate Hurling Championship victory over Whitehall Colmcille the previous week but there was a maturity to their display that pleased manager Colm Rourke.
“The lads have kept their heads since winning last week and they put in a good performance considering we made a few changes from the Whitehall game and we’re happy to take the win and move on from there,” he said.
“We have a good young team and I’m happy with the depth that we have in the panel.
“We were able to give lads a run as the match progressed and given that really wasn’t possible last week, it was a positive to give lads some game time,” he said.
One of those changes, Anton Céitinn, made the most of his selection when plundering 1-3 from full-forward and there were other notable attacking contributions with Seán Ó Riain adorning a lively showing with three points from play.
Jonathan Meyler was the pick of the Gaels’ selection, accounting for the bulk of their scores from full-forward before roving towards midfield in the hope of securing vital primary possession.
However, his influence waned as Setanta improved in the second half despite playing against the elements with Fiontán Mac Gib adding another crucial goal to complement his decisive strike in Parnell Park a week previously.
Their defence was never placed under any concerted pressure as the Poppintree men comfortably repelled their opponents with Máirtín O’Shea and the classy Colm Breathnach reading the game superbly when mopping up to telling effect.
“We still have promotion ambitions from AHL2 and we play St Patrick’s, Palmerstown shortly which will have a huge bearing on our year,” Rourke said.
“So thankfully, we still have plenty to play for.”
Setanta now face Carlow Town HC in the quarter-finals on November 3rd at a Dublin venue.