Thursday 22 August 2019

Substitute Keaney provides inspiration for Ballyboden

Dublin manager Mattie Kenny. Photo: Ray McManus/Sportsfile
Dublin manager Mattie Kenny. Photo: Ray McManus/Sportsfile

Dublin senior hurling manager Mattie Kenny will have watched on with intrigue as the first round of the county senior hurling championship took place across the weekend.

Holders Ballyboden St Enda's overcame the ninth-minute dismissal of Dean Curran to eventually edge a Chris Crummey-led Lucan Sarsfields by the minimum.

Regularly deployed in the half-back line, Crummey lined out with No 11 jersey on his back, allowing him more freedom than he would be accustomed to. The county star hit four points and revelled in the role.

However, it was Ballyboden, inspired by substitute Conal Keaney, that claimed victory, despite also losing former inter-county man Shane Durkin to injury.

In Group 1, Kilmacud Crokes needed a 63rd-minute goal to share the spoils with Na Fianna.

They were without their two best forwards from last season, Oisín O'Rorke and Marc Howard, through injury and had success stories in the performances of newcomers Daragh Butler and Mark Grogan.

Having contested those three previous county deciders, it would be premature to judge them based on an April draw.

Donal Burke was the scorer-in-chief for Na Fianna. The centre-forward picked off some exceptional long-range scores over the course of the hour.

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Ronan Hayes' late goal made Na Fianna pay for hitting 17 wides, while also denying them the major giant-toppling performance that they are edging ever closer to.

In Group two, Cuala and St Jude's had similarly straightforward victories over St Brigid's and Ballinteer St John's respectively.

Eoghan O'Donnell and Seanie Gray starred in Whitehall Colmcille's victory over Setanta, while Faughs beat O'Toole's by a score of 3-18 to 2-15, thanks to goals from Peter Shaw, Chris Bennett and David Croke.

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