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Dublin hurling wrap: Islandbridge lit up by a solid show from service

AHL 6: Civil Service 4-19 Clontarf 0-8


Dan Griffin (left) and Ciaran Mullen in action at the Dublin Adult Hurling League Division 6 clash between Civil Service and Clontarf in Islandbridge. Picture: Arthur Carron

Dan Griffin (left) and Ciaran Mullen in action at the Dublin Adult Hurling League Division 6 clash between Civil Service and Clontarf in Islandbridge. Picture: Arthur Carron

Dan Griffin (left) and Ciaran Mullen in action at the Dublin Adult Hurling League Division 6 clash between Civil Service and Clontarf in Islandbridge. Picture: Arthur Carron

Thirteen-a-side. All the better for that. More room on the dance floor.

The sun was shining on one of the iconic old venues of the city, Islandbridge, With the clubhouse tucked in the corner. And people passing on their Sunday morning Liffey walk.

A heavy shower came. But the drainage here is better than most places. Referee, Ger Delaney, kept the sliotar flowing. As smoothly as the nearby river.

Service are at the summit of the Go Ahead Adult Hurling Division 6 table. It’s easy to see why. They showed nimble stick work leading to a neat basket of scores.

“The lads are playing well. We were pleased with the performance. We are having a good season, but we still have work to do,” commented Service mentor, Conor Bracken.

Clontarf were short numbers. Players away, doing exams. Yet they did the red jersey proud. “They kept it going. They put in a good effort,” remarked Clontarf’s Stephen Hayes.

The visiting full-back, John Walls, had a fine game. Always first to the ball. And efficient with it. He made one of the best runs in the hour when he strode up the pitch from deep in the second half.

The visiting midfielder, Cian Mulligan, was one of the most accomplished hurlers on the turf. Martin Kane impressed with the frees.

He landed a beauty in the second period from his own half. It soared as high as the Wellington Monument.

One of the most elegant points also came from Clontarf timber. Cian Davitt’s first-half effort from way out on the left sideline into the city end in the opening half.

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Clontarf might have had a goal or two. Kane’s pass to Ciaran Mullen brought a delicious first touch and a shot that was just wide by a whisker.

Then, before half-time, a snap shot from Daire Vickers was saved by Martin Costello. His opposite number, Dan Patton, made a couple of telling saves.

Late on, the Clontarf centre half-back, Colum Mulhall, showed his wisdom. He was under pressure, but he slipped a clever, quick hand-pass to Cillian Hayes, who was in a yard, or two, of space.

Service put in a serious shift. Even when the day was won, they were still chasing. Clontarf players often found themselves surrounded by a cluster of bodies.

The hosts are a well-balanced side. Mike Quilter is the soundest of defenders. He’s very intelligent on the ball.

Half-back, Fionn O’Donoghue, made one of the best blocks of the tussle.

On his opposite number seven, Cian Darby.

The home forwards were moving well. And there were scores a-plenty in their nimble wrists. Their captain, Ben Doherty, hit a pocketful of charming points.

They were 2-8 to 0-6 ahead at the break. They might have had another goal before the interval as Rob Watson’s shot pinged back off the bar.

It was the quick-thinking of the excellent Colm Kelly which brought the first goal in the 19th minute. He never took his eye off a ball that was dropping from the sky.

On the half-hour came the second goal. Paul Sammin forced a brilliant save from Patton. But Mike Rafter was in like Nicky English to finish the job.

In the second half, Sean McDermott moved into the full-forward spot. And made quite the impact. He’s well able to win his own ball. And turn it to profit for the team. Having a crack himself, or giving out a simple pass.

He scored Service’s third goal on 45 minutes. And eight minutes from time, he showed strength and skill to get the fourth. With Kelly on hand to make sure it had crossed the line.

O’Connor leaves it late to save St Finian’s

St Finian’s Swords were pushed all the way before getting the better of Whitehall Colmcille by 1-12 to 0-14 in their Dublin AHL5 clash in Ridgewood Park last Sunday morning.

The free-taking of Eoin O’Connor kept the hosts in contention throughout and he landed two late frees to secure his team’s success.

Chris Brennan’s goal ensured parity at 1-4 to 0-7 at half-time with Finian’s holding on thanks to strong displays from goalkeeper Kevin Hammond, full-back David Hattie and debutant Liam Kieran.

In AHL6, Wild Geese made a lengthy but worthwhile trip to Ballycullen as they overcame Ballyboden St Enda’s by 4-11 to 1-17.

The foundation for their victory lay in their defensive effort against a strong breeze in the first-half as they trailed by just three points at the break thanks to the excellence of Brian Fitzgerald and Scott Ennis.

Ben O’Brien and Nathan McCaffrey combined superbly in the visitors’ engine room, and with Lorcan McMahon in fine form from placed balls, the Oldtown outfit prevailed thanks to the scoring prowess of full-forward Jack Roberts, Ciaran Galvin and Jack Murphy.

AHL5: Naomh Fionnbarra 3-9 St Vincent’s 2-12; Craobh Chiaráin 1-15 Na Fianna 1-12; Castleknock 4-18 St Patrick’s Palmerstown 0-10; St Finian’s Swords 1-12 Whitehall Colmcille 0-14; Lucan Sarsfields 1-16 Faughs 0-9; Skerries Harps scr. Réalt Dearg w/o.

AHL6: Naomh Barróg 1-9 St Sylvester’s 3-11; Erin’s Isle 1-13 St Oliver Plunkett’s/ER 0-11; Civil Service 4-19 Clontarf 0-8; Ballyboden St Enda’s 1-17 Wild Geese 4-11; Naomh Olaf scr. Kilmacud Crokes w/o.

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