Adult Hurling vs Cuala

Adult Hurling vs Cuala
Sat, 2nd October 2004

Result: 1-12 to 0-09

Castleknock claimed their second Junior Championship hurling title in a year when they defeated a strong Cuala outfit at St. Vincent’s main pitch. It was a great setting for the Championship Final, as both teams were highly motivated, with a large crowd of supporters. The St. Vincent’s pitch was in superb condition and provided a beautiful surface for both sides to play Championship hurling. It was a super day out for Castleknock GAA as the hurlers proved victorious once again.

RTE (after Donal Cunningham had turned down a last minute deal with Sky Sports and Pheonix FM) were there to cover the match and set to the scene. Rumours about secret donations to the DCHF (Donal Cunningham Holiday Fund) have been greatly exaggerated, although we haven’t seen Donal for a couple of days.

Outside RTE Mobile Broadcaster, 60 Minutes before the match:

Michael O’Muircheartaigh: Brian, Conas atá tu ?
Brian Mullins: Tá me go maith.
MOM: Brian, may I compliment your club’s facilities and pitch here at St. Vincent’s. It looks just marvellous !
BM: We do our best. Great for the kids, y’know.
MOM: Do you know much of Castleknock ?
BM: I know Fionan McDonagh has been producing good football teams there for years, but I don’t know where this hurling team have come from ? I believe they are mighty.
MOM: Your good friend Johnny Corcoran has been sowing the seeds at underage level for many years ?
BM: Johnny was a great player in his day. I think his son is out there today. It’s all about the youth coming through. Sure when I was a young lad ….

In the studio, 20 Minutes to go before throw in:

Tomas Mulcahy: As I’ve said before, Castleknock NEED to staaa-art will. They were caught cold in the league final in the first half.
Ger Loughnane: Tomas, I’m telling you, that’s HISTORY ! It’s about HEART and bottle today. Finals are never going to be pretty. That’s not a pretty full back line, they won’t win any beauty contest, but you know they’ll get the job done. It’s going to be HARD, HARD hurling. They’ll be pulling and dragging and more dragging and more pulling.
TM: For me, the class acts on this Castleknock team are the half forward line, they’d grace any club team in Ireland. If Cuala can stop these three, they‘ll win the game, it’s a simple as that. But can they stop them, that’s the real question ?
GL: For me, I’m expecting a big game from the young Callaigi in the corner, he’s lightning quick and he’s been a bit quiet so far in the Championship. He could be a match winner.
TM: What about the Cork factor ?The men from the “Banks” y’know ?
GL: Tomas, don’t be loosing the run of yourself ….

Pitch side, 5 minutes before the start:

Ger Canning: Mick Daly, can I have a quick word ? Are you going to win ?
Mick Daly: Yes, 100% ! As sure as I am standing here before you.
GC: That sounds pretty sure to me. Where will the match be won ?
MD: It’s important for our midfield to keep competing and for the team overall, to not give away silly frees. Backs need to be tight, forwards need to take their chances. It’s still just a hurling game, the goalposts haven’t moved !
GC: Best of luck with the game, what about the 3.45 at Doncaster ?
MD: Charlene’s fancy is carrying too much weight, I’d say Ruby Walsh will …

1.45pm …. Throw in.

With a very confusing wind blowing cross field, both sides tore into a competitive Championship Final. Castleknock made the better start with Ciaran Callaigi collecting a ball on the 21 yard line and pointing early on. Mick Barry then scored another point to put Castleknock two points up. In all the finals that are ever played, you need a bit of luck or somebody to make a bit of luck for you. Jimmy Lacey followed up a point effort from out the field and as the ball rebounded off the upright, he re-acted the quickest and booted the ball to the back of the Cuala net.

Suddenly Castleknock were up by 5 points and there was only 7 minutes gone. Then Cuala stepped up a gear and started to hurl well themselves. They were rewarded with a couple of points to keep them in the game. However with Ciaran O’Brien and Tommy Corcoran having brilliant games at midfield, Castleknock continued to press home the early advantage. Ciaran Callaigi added two more points to cap his overall excellent display. Just before half time, Cuala were beginning to fight strongly and made sure Castleknock were never out of reach. Ciaran O‘Dwyer and Jimmy Lacey scored a lovely point each from play as half time approached. Just at the half time whistle, the Castleknock defence were coming under intense pressure and there were a few goal mouth scrambles with Brian Lalor doing particularly well. After one of these tussles, Mick Geaney from Castleknock got an off the ball blow from a Cuala play right in front off the referee. The referee sent the Cuala player off for an early shower and as the ball was pucked out, the half time whistle was blown.

Half Times Score: Castleknock 1-06 Cuala 0-05

It’s amazing how history repeats itself. In the Championship Final last year Mick Geaney got an almighty blow that knocked him into next week. Different Final, same story. Geaney had another after life experience. It went something like this:

Mick: Where am I ?
St. Peter: Oh no, not you again ! You’re the guy who told me to back Cork last year in the All-Ireland.
Mick: I know. Sorry about that.
St. Peter: Sorry ain’t cutting it with me, boyo. I lost €50 to St. Gabriel and he’s been laughing at me since.
Mick: Did you go double or quits this year ?
St. Peter: No.
Mick: Fair-weather supporter then yeah ? Thought the rebels wouldn’t win eh ?
St. Peter: Huh ? Listen hear sonny buck. I’m the main MAN around here.
Mick: So ! I know Ben and Jerry O’Connor ! and Brian Corcoran is GOD !
St. Peter: No he’s not
Mick: Yes he is
St. Peter: No he’s not
Mick: Yes he is.
St. Peter: No he’s not
Mick: Yes he is

Eventually St. Peter hears enough of it and sends Geaney back.
5 minutes into the second half, Mick Barry gets a massive hard knock and off he goes to Heaven:

St. Peter: Who are you ?
Mick Barry: I’m Mick Barry. Am I in Spain ? Did I miss the flight ?
St. Peter: No, this isn’t Spain.
MB: Do you sell burgers ? I’m hungry.
St. Peter: No, guess again. I have wings, big staff in my hand, everything is white and there’s gates behind me ?
MB: Nah …. I seen something like this in Ennis before, but it was fiver in. I didn’t have the money, so I didn’t go. How much is it in here ?
St. Peter: No charge as long as you been a good person. Have you been a good person, Mick Barry ?
MB: Me, oh yeah, I’m a saint !
After a good big squirt of Jimmy Lacey’s holy water in Mick Barry’s face, he’s brought back to earth.

Second Half:

Mick Daly gave a passionate half time speech urging Castleknock to keep focused for the second half and it seemed to work well. Cuala were now down to 14 men and as is the case with many teams that have been reduced in numbers, they too rallied to the cause ! After a quick point by Cuala, Ciaran O’Dwyer scores for Castleknock. However Cuala fought bravely to make the game very competitive and limited scoring chances for Castleknock. At this stage of the game, the Castleknock defence are coming under more and more pressure. Enda Shiels came in for a hard working and ever trying Keith O’Brien and Donnacha Howard came in for a blood injury to Mick Barry.

Mick Stokes was causing the Cuala full back line lots of trouble and curtailed the influence of the excellent Cuala full back. Liam Walsh started to produce arguably his finest ever display in a Castleknock jersey at wing back and made a memorable run down the wing for 40 yards until he realised he was lost – he’d never been in the opposition half before. Not being used to such dizzy heights, he got a nose bleed and did what any good respectful back would do in the circumstances, hit the ball towards the opposition’s goal and ran quickly backwards. Needless to say, he didn’t make the score sheet but it was a valiant effort nonetheless.

During the middle of the second half, Jimmy Lacey showed his class again with another two priceless points. Ken Walsh, Patsy Haugh and Terry O’Brien were under constant pressure in the full back line but again proved what a solid full back line they are, as they never conceded a free or a goal. Before the end, the excellent Brian lalor was required again for another couple of saves and as usual he was than capable to deal with the threat. Mick Geaney and Paul Morrissey had good solid games in the half back line and kept Cuala scoring chances to a minimum.

The midfield paring of Tommy Corcoran and Ciaran O’Brien continued their hard effort and kept Castleknock in the game.
With 10 minutes to go, Cuala were throwing everything at Castleknock and had a goal been scored, it would have made for a tight finish. However, the defence from 1 to 7 coped well and repelled the Cuala tide. If there ever was a big match day player, it’s Jimmy Lacey. Just before the end, he scored one more magnificent point to bring his tally from play to one goal and four points from play. It was greeted loudly by the crowd. Mick Barry added another just before the end and Cuala knew they were beaten. The final whistle blew and Castleknock were Champions !It was a great team performance and everybody delivered. Well Done Lads !

And so the Junior B Championship Final was won and Ken Walsh the Captain, started his speech, “as Gaeilge” … “Ta an athas orm …” and he was so exhausted from his excellent second half , he just cut straight to the chase and just thanked everybody for their efforts. Another Cork man with a cup in his hand this year !

And only a few metres away, 5 minutes after the final whistle:

Michael O’Muirchaeartaigh: Martin, you must be very proud of your team ?
Martin Mangan: I think there’s been a great effort put in by the panel and it’s all about a PANEL and putting the effort in training two nights a week since February. Various members of the panel helped with the setting up of the pitches, training, medical kits and water. I would like to thank them, but especially I’d like to thank Ken Walsh who has been a brilliant Captain and Mick Daly who is a hurling genius. But at the end of day, after we select the team, it’s about the lads on the pitch, they have to go out there and do it. And today they did it ! Great credit must go to them !
MOM: Next year, will you be there at the helm ?
MM: Are you serious ? Sure I don’t know where I’ll be next week !

And so another year goes by, and Castleknock have won another Championship.The Castleknock hurling team would like to thank all the people who came out to support us. Thanks a million for your support on the day and also during the year. Thanks to John Hillary for all his support and words of encouragement. Well Done Castleknock ! C’mon the parish, we’re all in it, together !

Hey young lad ! … what’s that in your pocket ? It’s a county medal ! Wheeeeyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy!!!!

Castleknock: Brian Lalor(Right) , Terry O’Brien(Said), Patsy Haugh(Fred), Ken Walsh (Chief Bottler Washer), Paul Morrissey, Mick Geaney, Liam Walsh, Tomas Corcoran, Ciaran O’Brien, Jimmy Lacey(1.4), Mick Barry(0.2), Ciaran O’Dwyer(0.3), Keith O’Brien, Michael Stokes, Ciaran Callaigi(0.3). Subs: Enda Shiels (Keith O’Brien) Donnacha Howard(Mickey Barry), Colm O’Dea, Eoghan O’Reilly, Tim Dawson, Paul Sweeney, Paddy Wade, Edwin Forrest ,Ger McCann, John O’Meara (in abstencia).