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Fullen Gaels 3-12, Michael Cusacks 1-10

posted 7 Dec 2011, 03:21 by Fullen Gaels   [ updated 7 Dec 2011, 04:29 ]
Match report from The Irish Post
Manchester rules battle of Britain


Fullen Gaels                3-12

Michael Cusacks          1-10


By Ronan Early


MANCHESTER is the seat of power for British soccer, and, not to be left out, their hurlers claimed the crown on Sunday.

Michael Cusacks were fancied before this game but they couldn’t cope with their more physically imposing and skilful opponents from the north west.

Fullen were eights points ahead after a first half where they were carried along by a stiff breeze. When the final whistle sounded, they were still eights points to the good. 

However, it wasn’t as pedestrian a win as that stat suggests.

Cusacks, with the assistance of the elements, got a run on the Gaels after half time. They outscored their opponents by seven points to two in the third quarter and with 15 minutes left the scoreboard read: Fullen 1-10, Cusacks 0-10. With momentum and the wind behind them, the London team looked poised to reel in their prey.

Then came the contest’s crucial score.

Fullen substitute Paddy Breen ran hard at the Cusacks defence from the right flank. He cut in towards the goal and continued to make inroads. When the defenders massed, he hand-passed the sliotar across the small square. It was met by the inrushing Kevin Hayes. Goal. Cusacks’ was march halted, never to gather pace again.

The outcome was put beyond any lingering doubt after 55 minutes when the excellent Hayes caught a high ball to the square and layed it off to rampaging full-forward Conor Cafferkey who drove it to the net.

Fullen could now afford to relax and think about their All-Ireland quarter final, yet one of their number wasn’t looking showing much foresight. In an incident that was more bizarre than malicious, Wexford man Kevin Codd managed to get himself sent off.

The man they call ‘Fish’ clattered into wing-back Padraic Comerford and, fists-pumping and lungs bursting, celebrated his foul like you see some psyched up rugby props celebrating the award of a penalty after a collapsed scrum. 

Perhaps perplexed by the pointlessness of the act, perhaps unwilling to take on the horse-sized Fish, Cusacks players applauded ironically. Then we had a traditional schmozzle after which Stephen Crowe saw yellow and Codd got a straight red.  

He’ll miss the next game in Fullen’s adventure, which is a shame because he’s arguably their best player and did more than most to secure this win.

Codd got a grip around centrefield early on. He took up decent positions, won plenty of possession and distributed it cleverly after one far-out attempt drifted wide. He opened the scoring on four minutes with a free from 65 metres.

Eanna Cullen replied for Cusacks but thereafter Fullen took control. Between the 12th and 22nd minutes they rattled off seven points, unanswered. By the time Stephen Barden pointed, it was 21 minutes since Cusacks’ last score.

Then Fullen got their first goal. A free deep in their own half, taken out by the left sideline by James O’Shaughnessy, was carried over the heads of the full-back-line by the breeze and Cafferkey directed it past Michael Doyle.

Barden got a point before half-time to jumpstart the Cusacks’ revival that he led valiantly. However, his run of scores after the break and a goal at the end was not enough to deny Manchester’s finest their day of triumph.  


Fullen Gaels: John Farrell (Tipp); Brendan Griffiths (Kilkenny), David Neylon (Galway) Ruairi Wedel (Cork); Connaill Maskey (Antrim), James O’Shaughnessy (Cork), Eamonn Hansberry (Galway); Kevin Codd (Wexford), Alan Morrissey (Cork); Dan Moore (Limerick), Seamus Carey (Tipp), Reamonn McEntee (Galway); Kevin Hayes (Cork), Conor Cafferkey (Wexford), Paudie McHugh (Tyrone)


Scorers: Cafferkey (2-3), Hayes (1-5, 0-2f), McEntee (0-2), Carey (0-1), Codd (0-1f)


Subs: Paddy Breen (Donegal) for McHugh, Declan Walsh (Donegal) for Carey


Michael Cusacks: Michal Doyle (Cork); Michael Kennedy (Tipp), James Purcell, Aaron McCarthy (Kilkenny); Paudi Commerford (Tipp), Stephen Crowe (Kildare), Ollie Plunkett (Westmeath); Eanna Cullen (Wicklow), Stephen Bradley (Wexford); Kenneth Bradley (Wexford), Shane Hickey (Wexford), Stephen Barden (Westmeath); Paul Murphy (Westmeath), Niall Cullen (Wexford), Shane Lyng (Kilkenny)


Scorers: Barden (1-8, 5f, 1 65), Cullen, Bradley, Hickey (0-1 each)


Subs: Fergal Walsh (Mayo) for McCarthy, Niall Clancy (Leitrim) for Murphy  


Ref: Mattie Maher


Match report from the The Irish Post on November 5th 2011