Poppintree men fall in Newbridge
Setanta's hopes of enjoying a prolonged provincial campaign were dashed at the first hurdle as they succumbed by 1-12 to 0-7 to Coill Dubh in their AIB Leinster Club Intermediate Hurling Championship first-round tie in Newbridge last Sunday lunchtime.
It was a disappointing day for the Ballymun outfit who had two players dismissed over the hour as they came up against a dominant Coill Dubh side.
"We just didn't perform on the day," said Setanta manager Colm O'Rorke. "We were outplayed for large parts of the game and I think we looked a bit tired against what were a strong Coill Dubh team.
"They put us under a lot of pressure for the whole game and we just couldn't get into our stride to get the scores that we needed to remain in contention," he added.
The Kildare champions deservedly led by 1-8 to 0-4 at the break with one of the few positives derived from the day by O'Rorke being the performance of wing-forward Seán Ó Riain. Others to feature prominently for the Dublin Senior 'B' runners-up were Cian Ó Fallúin, Fiachra Ó Ceallaigh, Dean Memery and Lúc Ó Ceallaigh but it proved insufficient against a well-prepared Coill Dubh.
"Playing in Leinster was a bonus for us this year having secured Senior A status for next year," said O'Rorke. "Sometimes it is hard to keep it going because we have had another long year this year after having a similarly long one in 2013.
"We just don't have the depth that other teams at this level would have as we are largely reliant on 18 to 20 of the same players all the time and that can definitely lead to fatigue within the panel.
"Coill Dubh played a similar style to us so we should have been prepared for what to expect from them but they were just better at doing their jobs on Sunday than we were."
Setanta won't be able to put their collective feet up just yet as they still have a crucial league match against Erin's Isle to play in their hopes of preserving their AHL2 status.
"It is good that we still have that game to play and, to be fair, our focus was largely on that game against Isle's.
"It has still been a wonderful year for the club after making the Senior 'B' final - and also winning the JHC 'E' title last Saturday - so the lads can be proud of what they have achieved but we need to keep out focus for one more game."