Cuala hold off battling Craobh
Cuala 1-15 Cr Chiaráin 0-14
An understrength Cuala did just enough to hold off a spirited Craobh Chiaráin by four points in their hard-fought and Dublin SHC 'A' Group 3 clash at Parnell Park on Saturday afternoon.
Cuala enjoyed a 1-9 to 0-5 interval lead with Jake Malone scoring an excellent goal in the 17th minute from Colm Cronin's perceptive pass.
However, the back-to-back All-Ireland club champions struggled to make inroads in attack, where they were missing the injured Mark Schutte and Con O'Callaghan, upon the restart as Craobh gradually tipped away at their deficit with Billy Ryan scoring two excellent points, to complement a further brace by Cian Derwin.
However, with Cian O'Callaghan and Seán Moran, who was named Club Hurler of t the Year on Saturday night, largely impeccable at the heart of Cuala's defence, the reigning champions restricted Craobh's options in front of goal.
Leaving Cert student Diarmuid O'Flynn impressed when introduced for Cuala in the final quarter and two David Treacy points and an insurance score from Niall Carthy saw the holders home with four points to spare.
Scorers - Cuala: D Treacy 0-8 (0-6f), J Malone 1-0, S Moran 0-2 (0-1f), C Cronin, N Kenny, C Waldron, N Carthy, E Hanley 0-1 each. Craobh Chiaráin: R Mahon 0-4 (0-4f), B Ryan, C Derwin 0-2 each, D Kelly, A McCrabbe (f), K Elliott, C Ryan, K Warren, G Kelly 0-1 each.
Cuala: S Brennan; S Timlin, C O'Callaghan, O Gough; S Stapleton, S Moran, J Sheanon; D O'Connell, S Treacy; N Kenny, C Cronin, D Treacy; B Fitzgerald; C Sheanon, J Malone. Subs: C Waldron for C Sheanon (29), N Carthy for Fitzgerald (37), D O'Flynn for Waldron (49), E Hanley for Kenny (49).
Craobh Chiaráin: S Chester; M Hayes, E Farrell, D O'Reilly; K Elliott, K Hetherton, D Kelly; G Kelly, C Ryan; C Derwin, R Mahon, A McCrabbe; B Ryan, F Usanga, K Warren. Subs: P Kelly for O'Reilly (44), C McGouran for Usanga (59).
Ref: C Mooney (St Pat's Palmerstown)