'Dippy' gets Jude's over Mark's and into semis
dublin jhc 'a' quarter-final replay
St Jude's qualified for the semi-finals of the Dublin Junior Hurling Championship following their 0-19 to 1-13 success over a battling St Mark's at McGee Park last Saturday evening.
The contest mirrored the tightness of the sides' initial quarter-final with the depth of the St Jude's panel eventually proving pivotal by the final whistle.
Central to their win was the contribution of substitute Diarmuid 'Dippy' McLoughlin, who used his pace to telling effect as he struck three critical points upon his introduction.
The visitors led by 0-10 to 1-6 at half-time but some errant shooting undermined their challenge initially as they played with the benefit of a strong breeze at their backs in the opening period, a fact acknowledged by team manager Charlie Hennessy.
"We were poor in the first half despite enjoying plenty of possession and we hit a lot of wides, which was worrying from our point of view. Thankfully, we picked it up after the break and our defence played superbly in the second half, which made a big difference. I also thought that our fitness really told by the end as we were much sharper in the final quarter and we finished the game strongly."
That defensive effort was epitomised by Brian Farrell, Bobby Moran, Peter Garvey and Martin Devaney, while Oisín O'Donnell and Cian Ó Riain Broin combined well at centrefield in addition to chipping in with three points.
Ciarán Quigley was St Jude's top marksman as he accrued nine points including a brace from play while Colm Manning, Devaney, Niall Murphy and Seán McLoughlin also found the target for the Tymon Park club.
For St Mark's, it was a disappointing end to their championship ambitions, especially as they would have felt particularly confident having only trailed narrowly at the interval.
Their goal arrived courtesy of a 21-metre free by David O'Callaghan, who netted all his teams' four goals in the drawn match. Dotsy was similarly influential for St Mark's on Saturday, registering 1-11 of his team's tally, with six of those scores arriving from open play.
However, his efforts proved insufficient by the end as the hosts struggled to make inroads against some tight St Jude's marking.
That they remained in the hunt rested largely on O'Callaghan's efforts in attack and the defensive tightness epitomised by their full-back line of Karl Martin, James Aherne and Martin Kavanagh, while the tireless Gerry Cannon also chipped in with a brace of scores to complement Ryan Farrell's efforts at midfield.