Monday 28 May 2018

Dubs' Kelly forced to retire as Cuala book last-eight place

Peter Kelly. Photo: Sportsfile
Peter Kelly. Photo: Sportsfile

Michael Verney

Peter Kelly has called time on his Dublin hurling career, proclaiming the decision as "the right choice for the longevity of my club career".

The former All-Star defender has been plagued with injuries in recent seasons all stemming from a knee problem picked up three years ago and despite rejoining Pat Gilroy's squad this year, the Lucan Sarsfields defender has been forced to hang up his inter-county boots at just 29.

His retirement is a blow to the Dubs given the performances he gave helping them to league (2011) and Leinster (2013) success with Kelly stating that he "loved every minute of wearing the Dublin jersey".

There was better news on the club front as Lucan secured their second win of the Dublin SHC with a 0-23 to 1-12 defeat of Ballinteer St Johns while reigning All-Ireland champions Cuala - who had Club Hurler of the Year Sean Moran at centre-back - booked their place in the last eight with a 1-15 to 0-14 victory over Craobh Chiaráin. They will be joined by Ballyboden St Enda's after their 10-point victory over St Brigid's, 2-19 to 1-12, where Paul Ryan starred up front.

Elsewhere, beaten All-Ireland finalists Na Piarsaigh bounced back to open the defence of their Limerick SHC crown in good style.

With Shane O'Neill also stepping down in the wake of their All-Ireland final defeat, there was great trepidation about their tie with Doon but goals from Conor Boylan, Shane Dowling, Ronan Lynch and Adrian Breen helped them to a 4-15 to 1-16 win in Paul Beary's first game in charge.

Other big hitters Patrickswell and Kilmallock also enjoyed comfortable first round wins with Aaron Gillane netting a goal for 2016 champions 'Well who were much too good for Declan Hannon's Adare (3-24 to 3-10).

Kilmallock, All-Ireland runners-up in 2015, strolled to a comprehensive 1-24 to 0-14 win over Ballybrown with county star Graeme Mulcahy impressing in attack for the winners.

Galway champions Liam Mellows came from behind to record a 3-15 to 2-13 round two success over Castlegar with Conor Kavanagh netting a goal in either half for Louis Mulqueen's defending champions.

There were also wins for Athenry, Clarinbridge, Sarsfields, Craughwell and Portumna, while 2013 All-Ireland champions St Thomas' were surprisingly held to a draw by Tommy Larkins.

Elsewhere, there was controversy in Saturday night's Roscommon SFC tie between Pádraig Pearses and St Croan's after a black-carded player didn't leave the field before playing a vital part in helping his side secure a draw, 1-12 apiece.

Cathal Connolly of St Croan's was reportedly on the pitch for up to six minutes after the black card despite receiving his marching orders and it is understood that Pádraig Pearses are appealing the result and are likely to be awarded the points given the clear breach of rules.

Irish Independent

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