Whitehall Colmcille 2-10
A strong second-quarter showing proved telling as Cuala accounted for Whitehall Colmcille by seven points in their Go Ahead Dublin Senior 1 Hurling Championship Group 1 encounter at Parnell Park on Wednesday night.
In doing so, the Dalkey outfit secured their second successive win of the group but they will be concerned by the manner in which their performance dipped significantly in the closing stages.
Whitehall had to concede second best for the large part but their battling qualities have rarely been missing and they gained tangible reward for their efforts thanks to two excellent second-half goals by Eoghan O’Donnell.
Cuala served early notice of their intent through a point in the opening minute from Colm Cronin (right) with Jake Malone doubling that advantage four minutes later.
While O’Donnell and Adam McDermott replied for Colmcille, it was evident from the initial exchanges that Cuala were far sharper to the ball, benefitting from their previous fixture against St Brigid’s ten days previously.
As the contest evolved, Conall O’Toole and Dara O’Connell restored Cuala’s two-point advantage with Whitehall remaining in the hunt thanks to O’Donnell and Eddie Moran.
However, Moran’s point in the 13th minute was their final score for eleven minutes as their opponents dominated matters with Eoghan O’Callaghan a tidy presence in defence and a Sean Brennan free preceded further scores from the influential Cronin and Dara Twomey.
O’Toole added a trio of points to extend his team’s advantage with Whitehall finally ending a barren period through a Paddy Spellacy free in the 24th minute.
It proved a brief respite for his side as their marking became increasingly ragged around the middle third with Cillian Sheanon taking advantage by firing over a brace of tidy points.
A second Spellacy free briefly halted Cuala’s march but sublime long-range scores by Malone and Cormac Spain ensured their side entered the break with a commanding 0-16 to 0-6 interval lead.
The second-half failed to ignite initially although Jamie Conroy illuminated matters with a brace of sharp points in the 36th minute before Whitehall gained a degree of momentum a minute later as O’Donnell crashed home superbly from twelve metres following Luke McCarthy’s mazy run.
Conroy and O’Toole added to their personal tallies by way of riposte as scores became increasingly scarce before Colmcille found the Cuala net for the second time in the 50th minute.
The origin of the goal came via a Spellacy free from distance with O’Donnell showing superb forward instincts, pulling first-time to leave his Dublin team-mate Sean Brennan helpless once again.
A Spellacy free a minute later brought their deficit down to just six points but a third goal proved elusive despite their best efforts with Cuala substitute Shea Gaffney completing the scoring in the 59th minute.
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