'Cille alive in the top tier!
Emerging Knocklyon hurlers show calibre on the road against youthful St Declan's
ST COLMCILLE'S 2-21
ST DECLAN'S 1-5
A well-organised and disciplined St Colmcille's side continued their hurling progress with a comprehensive dismissal of a youthful St Declan's at St Oliver Plunkett's/ Eoghan Ruadh yesterday.
The visitors proved too strong for their hosts as they displayed strength, skill and plenty of accuracy to build up an impressive scoring total both with and without the wind.
Declan's may have lost heavily, but they should be commended for keeping their heads throughout a difficult second half. The team's age profile means that the experience of playing against older, more developed hurlers can only stand to them.
For St Colmcille's this was further evidence of their progress having won the 'B' title last year as they continue to reap the benefits of the excellent new facilities at their Knocklyon school.
Forwards Stephen Jordan and Ronan Garry took up much of the scoring slack with 1-14 between them. Behind them was a formidable midfield and defence that gave Declan's no time on the ball and limited them to shots from distance for much of the match.
Despite having the wind and hill to their advantage in the opening half, the northsiders could only muster two Ronan ó Broin points before the break.
They trailed by 2-8 to 0-2 at the interval after battling bravely for most of the half before St Colmcille's stretched their lead with two goals before the interval.
Jordan was the main scoring threat and he scored four points in a row, before Garry chipped in with a point.
Jordan then took Conor Bolger's pass and took the ball past Stephen Gogarty to beat Paul Ward with an unstoppable drive.
The full-forward added a point, before Bolger took a chance of his own to goal with a low shot after good build-up play from Jordan and Garry to set him up.
The impressive Stephen Murray pulled a score back for Declan's with an inspirational run and point from half back, but midfielder Alan Cleary sent two nice points over the bar for Colmcille's, the second thanks to an excellent catch from Bolger.
Points from Peter O'Donnell, a Garry free and a sublime first touch and point from Jordan kept the Scholarstown Road boys' lead building.
O'Donnell sent over another point, before Garry had a goal ruled out for a square ball, before he was denied by a brilliant reaction save from Walsh -- but he made up for it by sending over the well struck '65.
Garry added another point, before Brian McCarthy went on a run and sent over another excellent point.
It wasn't all one-way traffic and Declan's got some reward for their hard work before the end.
A scramble in the box saw referee Eddie Walker award a penalty.
Eoin Whelan had a go, but his effort was saved. But in the rush to clear, the St Colmcille's lads gave away another penalty and ó Broin made no mistake with a blistering drive.
McCarthy and Whelan exchanged points before the end as Colmcille's finished comfortably and were able to give a run to most of their panel ahead of Monday's clash with Salesian College in Maynooth.
SCORERS -- St Colmcille's: Stephen Jordan 1-8, Ronan Garry 0-6, Conor Bolger 1-0, Peter O'Donnell 0-3 each, Brian McCarthy, Alan Cleary 0-2 each. St Declan's: Ronan ó Broin 1-2, Cillian O'Donoghue, Eoin Whelan, Stephen Murray 0-1 each.
ST COLMCILLE'S: Darragh Bolger; Niall Keegan, Paul Doherty, Colin O'Mahony; Andy Hand, Ronan Glynn, Alan O'Connell; Brian McCarthy, Alan Cleary; Conor Bolger, David Garry, Andy Mahon; Peter O'Donnell, Stephen Jordan, Conor Roche. Subs used: John O'Flaherty, Conor McHugh, Cathal Bergin, Ronan Magee, Sean McMahon, Fergal Murray, Darren Leonard, Shane McCormack, Colin Doyle.
ST DECLAN'S: Paul Ward; Kevin Smith, Michael May, Stephen Gogarty; Kevin Campbell, Stephen Murray, Stephen Ralph; Cillian O'Donoghue, Lee Cooney; Ronan ó Broin, Gareth Carberry, Conor McDonnell; Sean Moran, Eoin Whelan, Michael Walsh. Subs used: Ciaran Shannon, Tom Hall, Brian O'Sullivan, Aaron Shannon, Josh Turner.
REFEREE: E Walker (O'Toole's).