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Cuchulainn hurlers cruise into Chicago final

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

Chicago

Cuchulainn 4-16, Erin’s Own 0-13

Cuchulainn, 2000 Chicago and North American senior hurling champions, qualified to meet Harry Boland’s in next Sunday’s divisional final following a significant 15-point victory over current title holders Erin’s Own at Gaelic Park last Sunday.

A powerful second half display underlined Cuchulainn’s determination to regain the title as they swept the Erin’s Own challenge aside in this mediocre semifinal. A two-goal burst in as many minutes by Cuchulainn midway through the second half, which increased their lead to 10 points, ended the game as a contest. Still, the game was exciting at times, particularly in the second and third quarters, but it never reached any great heights.

While Erin’s Own held the upper hand for most of the first half and enjoyed a 4-point lead at one stage, it seemed just a matter of time before Cuchulainn would move into top gear and take control. They did that at a crucial stage when they scored the games first goal just before the halftime whistle and gain a 3-point interval lead. This was a fatal blow to Erin’s Own, who had more than matched their much experienced opponents in the opening half. With fine work by center fielders, Tadgh Slevin and Rory Stevenson, the Erin’s Own forwards got ample supply of the ball which should have produced more than 9 points. Most of their scores came from just two forwards, Ken Hall and David Burke.

Cuchulainn were masters in the second half as they had key men in key positions. Carl Grant excelled in a solid halfback line that included Stephene Lucy and Declan Hession. Center fielders, Rory Doherty and Enda Flannery, took over from the tiring Erin’s Own pair, providing great support to a hungry offense unit, which was strengthened by the inclusion of substitutes Brendan McNamara and James Tracey. Pat McMahon was their top scorer with a total of 0-7, while Dan O’Brien notched two of his side’s four goals.

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While Cuchulainn took an early lead with points from Adrian Hudson and Flannery, Erin’s Own took control and the lead for most of the half with points from Burke (3), Hall (3), Slevin (2), and Allan Coffee (1). However, just moments before the end of the half a Cuchulainn rally produced a point from Grant and a goal by O’Brien to make the halftime score Cuchulainn 1-9, Erin’s Own 0-9.

The Cuchulainn rally continued on the turnover and developed into a rout by the end of the third quarter and by the end of 30 minutes outscored their opponents 3-7 to 0-4. Grant, O’Brien and Kieran Morrison scored Cuchulainn’s three goals while McMahon (5), Hudson (1) and McNamara (1) notched the points. Erin’s Own four points were score by Slevin, Stevenson, Burke and Conor O’Donovan.

St. Brendan’s 2-10, Wolfe Tones 1-8

Current Chicago junior football champions, St. Brendan’s, qualified for the 2002 final against Patraig Pearse with a well-deserved 5-point win over old rivals Wolfe Tones in a most exciting game at Gaelic Park last Sunday.

What started off as a rather tame affair in the opening quarter transformed into a rousing contest that had the large attendance on their toes. There was much for the fans to enjoy about this game.

What seemed in the first half to be heading for a clear Wolfe Tones victory, as they built up a 5-point lead, turned into a most competitive match as the champions fought back magnificently. The teams exchanged points in the early stages until a goal by David Martin in the 15th minute gave the Wolfe Tones a 3-point lead. The Tones continued to dominate and stretched their lead to 5 points to make the interval score Wolfe Tones 1-5, St. Brendan’s 0-3.

Wolfe Tone’s point scorers were, Mike O’Brien, Conor Muldoon, Padraig Coyle, Mark O’Connor and Martin while Jeffrey Mahoney (2) and Seamus McInvar scored for St. Brendan’s.

The second half started at a fast pace with the Brendan’s gaining control from the outset, scoring four points without reply from O’Brien, Pat Carton and Brendan Coen (2). It was 8 minutes into the second half before Wolfe Tones got their first score, a point by Muldoon. The Tones maintained a 1-point lead until Carton pointed to tie the game in the 14t minute. Shortly afterward, St. Brendan’s took the lead for the first time when Nial O’Sullivan blasted to the net. In a marvelous fourth quarter Wolfe Tones fought back and reduced the deficit to a single point following two minor scores from Coyle. However, a point from Coen in the last moment of regulation time and a goal by carton in the 4th minute of stoppage time sealed victory for the champions.

St. Mary’s 3-9, Limerick 3-5

The stage is all set for what promises to be a great divisional camogie final between St. Mary’s and Limerick following a most entertaining contest between the two sides. With the inclusion of such fine players as Caroline Barnwall (Dublin), the Galway sisters Sharon and Grainne Fahey and Loretta Slattery (Tipperary) Limerick have developed into strong opponent for the experienced St. Mary’s squad.

After leading by 1-5 to 0-2 at the interval, St. Mary’s had to pull out all the stops in the final quarter to curtail a wonderful Limerick rally that produced three consecutive goals but four points short of saving the game. St. Mary’s owe their victory to great performances by County Down sisters Catheriona and Grainne McCrickard, who between them scored 1-7. The other two goals were scored by Magie O’Brien (Limerick) and Lisa Quinn (Down). Limerick scores were registered by Barnwall (1-3), Sharon Fahy (2-0), Grannie Fahy (0-1) and Allison Casey (Chicago).

Midwest

Pittsburgh 2-14, Detroit 2-9

Pittsburgh was the setting for the Midwest semifinal between rivals Detroit Pearse and Pittsburgh Celtic.

Both clubs opened cautiously, trying to avoid a mistake. Pittsburgh opened the scoring with Darren Mulligan (Monaghan) converting 3 frees. The warm weather did not stop the fast pace as the teams exchanged points. Late in the first half, Pittsburgh failed to convert a penalty but made the turn a point in front.

The second half continued with fast-paced action and outstanding midfield play from Tim O’Donoghue of Pittsburgh and Mike Brennan of Detroit. With about 10 minutes in the game, Detroit was awarded a penalty but failed to convert. This was the turning point of the game as the Pittsburgh keeper made the stop and passed to Kevin Shovlin, who took the ball out of danger and led an attack up field that resulted in a vital Pittsburgh point. Pittsburgh then converted two late points to cement the victory

Boston

Jr. Football “B” Final:

Connemara Gaels 2-11, McAnespies 0-5

Jr. Football:

Donegal 1-11, St. Columkills 0-7

Sr. Football:

Wolfe Tones 4-7, St. Patrick’s 0-12

Armagh-Notre Dame 2-12, Shannon Blues 0-16

McAnespies 3-12, Cork 0-12

Jr. Hurling:

Fr. Tom Burke’s 1-18, Galway 1-6

Sr. Hurling:

Fr. Tom Burke’s 1-13, Tipperary 1-7

Ladies football:

Boston Shamrock’s 2-15, Waterford 0-7

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