Anne’s rocket into semis at expense of Kevin’s Kilian’s
ST ANNE’S booked their spot in the semi-finals of the Dublin Junior ‘H’ Hurling Championship with a 3-17 to 1-10 triumph over St Kevin’s Kilian’s in Bohernabreena on Sunday.
After finishing at the summit of Group Two with five consecutive wins under their belt, Anne’s were afforded home advantage at the quarterfinal stage of the competition.
While Skerries did hand them a walkover in Round Three, convincing victories on the field of play against Fingallians, Garda, Geraldine P Moran and Na Gaeil Oga have signalled them out as one of the teams to beat in the championship.
In just their second season in the adult hurling ranks, Kevin’s Kilian’s won two of their five games in Group Two to secure fourth place in the final standings and a passage to the knockout rounds.
Those successes came at the expense of Ranelagh Gaels (1-13 to 1-5) and Cuala (5-14 to 1-9), both of which showed the clear signs of the work being done to develop the small-ball game in the areas of Kilnamanagh and Kingswood.
Thanks to the attacking prowess of Daniel Culligan and Conal Barnes, Anne’s were able to establish a strong platform on their home turf.
Wing-forwards Mikey Brennan and Ben Jones also posted a number of fine scores over the course of the action, but Kevin’s Kilian’s had plenty of joy themselves either side of the interval.
Ciaran McGrath’s accuracy from placed balls and open play ensured the visitors were just four points adrift on the resumption and his goal early in the second half presented his side with a fighting chance of coming out on top.
Mark Keilty also ended the proceedings with a brace of scores for Kevin’s Kilian’s, while Micheàl Coen and Niall Traynor were others to stand out from their perspective.
Nevertheless, Anne’s hit top form as the second period progressed and ultimately claimed a commanding 13-point win. Lashing onto a quick free from Brennan, centre half-back Jonathan Doyle posted an impressive white flag effort to cap an accomplished individual display.
Mick Fay and Damien Purcell held firm in the Anne’s defence when Kevin’s Kilian’s were applying significant pressure in the third-quarter and, with Culligan and his compatriots leading the way at the opposite end, they marched onto the penultimate phase of the Junior ‘H’ Championship.