Dublin champions a class apart
Craobh Chiarain of Dublin made a winning return to the club hurling championship after an absence of 27 years with a comprehensive victory over Dundalk side Naomh Moninne at St Bridget's Park yesterday.
The Dublin side were head and shoulders the better side from throw-in and quickly confirmed their class in opening up a 0-5 to 0-0 lead after just nine minutes. Colin Connolly might have narrowed the gap two minutes later but his penalty, awarded after full forward David Dunne was fouled, cleared the crossbar.
The home goalkeeper, Eddie McArdle, made a fine safe from Stephen McDonnell six minutes from the break, but the visitors still turned around with a comfortable 0-12 to 0-3 lead.
Naomh Moninne worked hard in the second period, and while they had plenty of the ball they lacked the guile of their counterparts when in sight of goal. Kieran Hetherington, who was superb throughout, got his just rewards on full time when he lashed to the net from 25 yards on one of the few occasions when the home defence was carved open.
Craobh Chiarain: G Ryan; S Keely, A O'Toole, C McGurk; M Ryan, D Finn (0-1), S Carlton; C Ring (0-10, eight frees), J McGurk (0- 1); S McDonnell (0-4), K Hetherington (1-0), D Wyse; G Ennis (0-2), K O'Donoghue (0-2), R Farrelly (0-1). Subs: A McCord for S Carlton; M McGuckian for C McGurk; S Phillips for D Wyse.
Naomh Moninne: E McArdle; T Murphy, P Dunne, J O'Flaherty; E Quigley, J Coburn, J Kennedy; B Murphy, A Hoey (0-1, 65); S Byrne, G Collins, C Connolly (0-5, four frees); G Kiely, D Dunne (0-1), L Morrissey. Subs: P Murphy (0-1) for S Byrne; D Byrne for G Kiely; G Brennan for L Morrissey.