By Eamonn Kelly
With the opening rounds of the Central Division American League still three weeks away, the city championship and local Cup games are attracting small crowds to Chicago Gaelic Park.
In last Sunday’s three-game schedule, St. Brendan’s captured the senior football city championship title with an easy 1-17 to 1-5 victory over Parnells.
In a very tame, low-scoring first half, St. Brendan’s had the better of exchanges and led at the interval 0-6 to 0-2. With the two Hehir brothers, Senan and Paul, dominating the centerfield area, the Brendan’s were in complete control on the turnover.
They scored six consecutive points before Parnells opened their second half scoring in the fifth minute, a penalty goal by Davey Shields. The same player missed from the spot a couple of minutes later. A third penalty was awarded, this time to the Brendan’s in which Dubliner, Ger Walsh, hit the post but sent his rebound over the bar. Just before the final Chris Donnellan scored the St. Brendan’s lone goal.
If ever a team was caught "leaning on their laurels," it was the Limerick senior hurlers when they squandered a 12- point lead they enjoyed over an understrength Harry Bolands team last Sunday.
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The game ended up in a tie, Limerick’s 2-17 to Harry Boland’s 4-22. Starting with only 11 players, the Bolands struggled throughout the first half against a fast-moving Limerick team who accumulated a score of 1-11 halftime to Harry Boland’s 0-3.
The Bolands, with a full team starting the second half, were offering a stronger challenge but gave no indication they could overcome the 11-point deficit. They fell further behind when Limerick’s Damian Dooley scored a fine point toward the end of the third quarter.
At this stage complacency set in on the Limerick squad and the Boland’s took advantage of it. They scored 1-3 without reply within a five-minute period. Their goal was scored by the game’s best forward, Brian Green (Waterford). Dooley responded with a goal for Limerick to put nine points between the teams. Both teams exchanged points before the Limerick defense collapsed allowing Green to score three more goals within the final five minutes.
In the opening game at Gaelic Park, St. Brendan’s junior footballers had an easy 10-point victory over John McBrides, 0-17 to 0-7. Trailing by four points at the interval McBrides gave some indication of a better second-half performance and opened the scoring in the second minute. However, St. Brendan’s regained control and outscored their opponents, 10 points to 3 for a comfortable win.
In what was described as the best hurling game of the season, Cuchulainn defeated Erins Own, 1-21 to 4-8, to win the Chicago junior hurling championship. It was an historic occasion for Cuchulainn as they captured the first ever junior hurling championship played in the Central Division.
There will be no games in the Central Division next weekend due to the Gaelic Park Irish Festival.