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O'Farrell goal give Vinnies momentum

St Vincent's comfortably got the better of a weakened Castleknock by 2-13 to 0-7 in their Dublin under 21 'A' Hurling Championship first-round encounter at Páirc Naomh Uinsionn last Saturday afternoon.

The hosts could not have asked for a better start as they found the net through impressive full-forward Mark O'Farrell in the opening minute.

That goal proved pivotal, especially considering Vinnies were playing into the teeth of a strong breeze in the first-half and with Rian McBride looking lively in attack, the hosts enjoyed a 1-5 to 0-5 interval advantage.

It was a similar tale of St Vincent's dominance after the break with Gavin Downes and Jack Collins in fine fettle defensively and the tireless efforts of Cian Burke in midfield maintained their control of affairs.

Conor Mullins and Brian Bolger were others to feature prominently for the winners, who effectively sealed their progression with a second-half goal by Seán Ó Cuanacháin.

At St Mobhi Road, Barry Horan's 25th-minute goal helped Kilmacud Crokes to advance past Na Fianna by 1-11 to 1-4 in their preliminary round tie.

Horan was one of Kilmacud's key contributors as Crokes dominated the first-half, deservedly entering the turnaround with a 1-7 to 0-3 lead.

The hosts were unfortunate to see one penalty missed during that period and the same misfortune befell them after the break as they struggled in vain to trim their arrears.

In contrast, the visitors were finding it far easier to come by scores with Mark O'Loughlin their top scorer with six points from placed balls.

Despite missing many key personnel as a consequence of the seniors' provincial clash 24 hours later, Kilmacud highlighted their depth with Ken Kelly hitting two sublime points while anoher player to show well for the Stillorgan outfit was defender Conor Devins.

There was nothing to separate St Jude's and St Brigid's in their clash at Tymon Park with the tie finishing at 0-11 apiece.

The hosts were well on top initially with Diarmuid McLoughlin, Lee Kelly and Eoin McLoughlin to the fore while Fionn Ó Riain Broin accounted for the bulk of their scores from placed balls.

However, an injury to a home player led to a forty minute delay with the visitors regrouping positively to force a replay back in Tom Russell Park.

U21 'A' HC: Na Fianna 1-4 Kilmacud Crokes 1-11; St Jude's 0-11 St Brigid's 0-11; St Vincent's 2-13 Castleknock 0-7.


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