Adult Hurling vs Cuala

Adult Hurling vs Cuala
Sun, 5th December 2004
Result: 4.12 to 2.06

Castleknock capture League title after Titanic struggle with Cuala.

As Castleknock completed the double on Sunday afternoon, they demonstrated what a team game is all about. Every one of the panel was called into battle to ensure the league was added to the championship. The team had a slightly different look to normal as Paddy Wade replaced the absent Brian Lalor in goals. Paddy had an inspirational game as one onlooker described one of his many fine saves as “like a crane coming out of the sky to grab the ball”, before he sent players scattering as he danced his way out of the box to deliver yet another fine clearance. The usual stars of the Castleknock show, Ken Walsh, Patsy Haugh, Michael Geeney all put their bodies on the line and delivered telling interceptions and clearances when needed, Ciaran O’Dwyer and Michael Stokes also had great games scoring and generally tormenting the Cuala defence, but this day will no doubt be remembered as the day when other players stood up and rose above the challenge when needed most. Terry O’Brien had a storming first half, whereby he showed the type of determination and bravery that typified the Castleknock attitude of never say die. Young Tommy Corcoran came of age with a tremendous display at midfield and was ably abetted by Donnacha Howard and they showed great spirit and athleticism as they continually hooked, blocked and hurled like men possessed in the middle of the park. Ciaran Callaigi proved what a class hurler he is and on his day he can be too hot to handle for anybody.

The game started in good fashion with Ciaran O’Dywer, having yet another game of his life, running directly at the Cuala defence and scoring some beautiful points from play. Cuala who really wanted to win the league to avenge the Championship defeat matched Castleknock score for score in the opening stages. Mick Barry caught Cuala on the hop as he they expected him to point a free but he drove for goal and the net was rattled. Liam Walsh showed that even if the man gets to the ball ahead of him, no one was going to get through him. Just as Castleknock looked to be going a few points ahead, Cuala came down the pitch and in a scramble scored a goal to put them back into the game.
Castleknock responded with a James Lacey speciality as he scored a marvellous point and quickly afterwards Ciaran O’Brien showed a flash of skill as he pointed to make Castleknock lead 1-6 to 1-2 at the break.

Castleknock had to make an enforced change at half time as Paddy Wade showed that the only thing that could beat him was the flu and he could no longer continue. The true strength of the team was evident as Castleknock could call on the calibre of Paul Morrissey to step into goal. Cuala scored a goal within a minute of the restart, and any less a man could have crumbled. Morrissey, the near perfect hurler, continually caught high dropping balls, made reflex saves and drove accurate puck outs to the forwards. John O’Meara had to be replaced with an injury, despite dominating at half back. Mick Barry continuously pointed from dead ball situations and Ciaran Callaigi pointed some wonderful points from play but arguably the man pulling the strings in the forwards was Ciaran O’Dwyer who caused mayhem with his continuous runs at the heart of Cuala’s defence and his ability to score from anywhere. Keith O’Brien was thrown into the action and nearly scored as he pulled on a loose ball. As the match came near to the end of normal time Cuala showed how much they wanted this and they equalised, indeed they can count themselves unlucky as any other day one of the many frees would have gone their way but lucky for Castleknock they drifted wide. Normal time score Cuala 2.05 Castleknock 1.08.

So extra time beckoned and this was when Castleknock’s spirit never gave up. A few words of advice from the management team of Martin Mangan and Mick Daly left the team in no doubt what had to be done to bring the league back. After the first period of extra time, Castleknock were ahead by a point and headed into the second 10 minutes determined to bring the cup home. Mickey Stokes who had worked hard all day, eventually broke the deadline and he banged in two quick goals to leave Cuala shell shocked. As legs began to tire Castleknock had no hesitation in making changes as Colm O Dea and Enda Shields entered the fray. Barry, O’Dywer and Stokes all added points and in nearly the last puck of the game, Shiels connected with a through ball to score another goal. Castleknock won by a final score of 4-12 to 2-6, which no way reflected the effort put in by Cuala and the real closeness of the game. Although the forwards will take the glory of taking the scores in extra time the credit has to be shared with the defence who stood firm and delivered excellent ball to enable the scores to happen.

As for man of the match it would be impossible to single out one person, as this was truly a team performance, with numerous people excelling on the day. It’s all about the panel.

Best quotes of the day:

The Referee:
“There was no score for 23 minutes in the second half” …. More a reflection of the titanic battle between the two teams than the standard of hurling.

Cuala Manager graciously after the game:
“We played a great game of hurling. You guys dug real deep, we dug deeper again and you guys just dug deeper again.”

Conversation of Unnamed members of the Castleknock panel in the pub afterwards, upon hearing the good news that Brian Lalor had got called up for a trial for Goalkeeper for Dublin intermediate team.
Punter 1: “that’s great news …. 1st choice for Dublin, 3rd choice for Castleknock”
Punter 2: “no he’s not third choice, he’s 4th choice, Daly is making a comeback !”

The team would like to thank Captain Ken Walsh, vice captain Ciaran O’Dwyer, Team Manager Martin Mangan and Team Selector Mick Daly for all their leadership and the fantastic job they did throughout the year.

Castleknock Hurling Team – Legends
Paddy Wade, Terry O’Brien, Patsy Haugh, Ken Walsh (Captaein), John O’Meara, Mick Geaney, Liam Walsh, Tommy Corcoran, Donnchadh Howard, Jimmy Lacey Mick Barry, Ciaran O’Dwyer, Ciaran Callagi, Ciaran O’Brien, Mick Stokes. Subs: Paul Morrisey for Paddy Wade. Eddie Forrest for John O’Meara. Enda Shiels for Jimmy Lacey. Colm O’Dea for Ciaran Callaigi. Ger McCann(injured). Brian Lalor, Timmy Dawson & Owen O’Reilly (all absent because attending Miss World)