Doyle Cup - Sunday March 19th 2006
Wolfe Tones 1-14 (0-6) V Clontarf 2-5 (2-5)
Clontarf Junior Hurlers made the historic trip north to the Wee County on Sunday morning to face Wolfe Tones of Drogheda in the Doyle Cup. This was the 1st time a Dublin team had to travel this route, as their Louth opposition had elected to play in the Dublin competitions in 2006. It was also the 1st competitive outing for new manager Joe Holden.
The journey was to be the least of Clontarf's worries as a depleted squad met on Sunday morning. The U21 Footballers' big championship win the previous day and the tradtional 'belated' drowning of the Shamrock were the choice excuses.
Clontarf appeared the more experienced and more physical outfit, but the question was had they the legs to sustain 60mins against a younger Wolfe Tones outfit. Clontarf had much the better of the 1st half exchanges, with both their wing backs Denis McDaid and Robbie Stokes dominating proceedings and launching a succession of attacks. Behind the half backs Richie Dennnehy snufffed out any danger, while Mick Keane buzzed around barking the orders and putting in a few telling clearances. Joe Murphy in goal was solid and drove the ball wind assisted well into the Wolfe Tones half.
The Clontarf scores started to rack up. There were 2 fine points from full forward and 2005 Player of the Year Donal O'Shea, 2 more from midfielder Peter Hickey and then well taken goals from Johnny Murphy and Eoin Teeling. At the other end Tones managed 6 1st half points, only 2 of which came from play. The half time whistle arrived with Clontarf leading (2-5,0-6) and hopes were high that 2 Cup points could be hauled back down the M1.
Wolf Tones started the 2nd half the more fired up. Wind and hill assisted, it didn't take them long to register the 1st score. Clontarf struggled to move the ball past the half way, as too many red jerseys resembled Moscow Flyer a few days earlier at Cheltenham - they couldn't get the trip up the hill. Wolfe Tones hit 1-8 unanswered in that 2nd half, with the late goal sealing their victory. But with 5 mins remaining the game was still in the balance and a great goal opportunity was missed after a good delivery forward from Robbie Stokes.
This was a spirited 30mins from Clontarf before fitness and lack of subs took their toll. No doubt there will be far better days under Joe Holden as the panel regroup and explore the boundaries of St. Annes Park once the clocks spring forward.
Team:Joe Murphy,Mick Keane,Richie Dennehy,Ronan Hickey,Robbie Stokes,John Keegan,Denis McDaid,Ken Scully,Brian McConnell,Peadar Hickey,Johnny Murphy,Neil Synnott,Liam Doran,Donal O'Seaghdha,Eoin Teeling
Subs: Paul Murphy for Mick Keane (Injured,15mins)