Kilburn exact revenge on Irish days after cup loss

Division Two League

Fulham Irish 2-06 vs 2-15 Kilburn Gaels

Sunday, July 2 2017


It was only four days ago these two team last met in the McCullough Cup, with a comprehensive win for Irish and this fixture completed the league campaign for both teams. A much depleted Irish side took to the field with season debuts from Shane Moynihan and Lee Darcy.

In fact, six of the starting line-up did not feature in the previous game.

Irish had the wind behind them and, as is so often in the Scrubs, teams must take full advantage of this.

Most of the first half was played out with blocks and turnovers as both teams struggled to take any hold of the game in a low scoring first half.

Irish had gone two points ahead before Gaels recorded their first score of the game on the 18th minute.

By then, Irish had notched up nine wides and three attempts on goal.

Gaels slowly began to build momentum as they chalked up a further four points before the half time whistle went with the score 0-02 to 0-06 to Gaels.

Kilburn, with the wind behind them in the second half, began to pick off their points as they started to work with a sweeper in their half back line as Irish became increasingly frustrated with their game.

On 14 minutes, the referee showed a red card to one of the Kilburn forwards for an intentional kick on a Fulham player, much disputed by the Gaels player and the management team of Kilburn.

But Gaels made amends as they quickly took the free to record their first goal as Irish were slow to reset their back line.

Irish, now with a free man, played them in the forwards as they re-shaped their formation. Kilburn had a second attempt on the goal but goalie Mick Ruby flicked the sliotar in the air and conceded a point instead.

With Kilburn taking advantage of the wind they continued to register scores, something which Irish failed to do in the first half.

They again were presented with the opportunity with a goal from a high ball in and this time they made it count.

Irish began to find their feet and scored two goals and two points within five minutes, however it was too little too late as Gaels won.

Irish were bitterly disappointed and rued missed opportunities to control the game in the first half notching up 13 wides alone in the first period.

Well done to Kilburn Gaels for their win.

Fulham Irish: Mick Ruby, Derry Fitzgerald, Don O’Connell (captain), Steve Walsh, Eamonn Sullivan, Lee Darcy, Colm Kenndey, Stephen Martin, Luke Slyman, Keith Greene, Eoin McCarthy, George Baker, John Condon, Shane Moynihan, Niall Larkin, Mark O’Grady, Eamonn Wade, Hugh Connelly and James Marriran


Slyman shines as Irish defeat Kilburn

McCullough Cup QF

Fulham Irish 4-21 to 1-10 Kilburn Gaels B

Wednesday, June 28 2017


Irish were back at the Scrubs on Wednesday night to play in the quarter finals of the McCullough Cup against Kilburn Gaels B.

Their plan was simply put to them by manager Mick Ruby, who told them: “You have to forget about last weekend’s disappointment and put in the work rate tonight lads, no excuses” and this is what Fulham did.

From the opening minute, Irish’s Slyman wriggled free of his man to catch a crossfield ball to notch up the first point of the night for Irish.

This was soon doubled as a free to Fulham was converted by O’Donnell. O’Donnell was back in action as a poor clearance from Kilburn, went into the path of him where he laid off to Slyman who picked out Kennedy for his first score.

Slyman was making a nuisance of himself in the forward line and his first opportunity on goal was on the twelfth minute, but the goalie made a fine save to deny him.

Fulham kept the scoreboard ticking over with points from Broder, Marrinan, Larkin and Harte, however Gaels managed to claw some points from converted frees and a lovely point from play.

With half-time looming, Gaels needed to keep in distance with the score and a dropped ball into the house of Fulham. As both teams scrapped for sliotar, Kilburn managed to get the all-important shot and scored a goal.

But Fulham was not to be outdone, and as Harte latched on to a breaking ball, he pinpointed a pass to Slyman, who on this occasion beat the goalkeeper with a goal for Irish who went in at half time 1-12 to 1-05.

The second half started as much as the same as the first half, with Slyman running the show up front, and he was soon on a one-on-one with the Kilburn goalie, only for the goalie to pull off another good save.

Gaels cleared their lines, but again Fulham came back at them, this time O’Donnell weaved through their defence to score a goal.

O’Donnell threatened the goal again on two separate occasions, but Gaels managed to deal with this.

O’Donnell on his third direct route to goal spotted Kennedy available who took the pass and went for the point, only for the ball to drop behind the goalie and in the back of the net. Despite all this, Kilburn battled hard to win the breaking ball and were unlucky on more than one occasion not to finish off some of their moves with a score.

Irish rung the changes, but continued to have the upper hand with Harte, O’Donnell and Slyman now in full flow.

All three continued to create opportunities on goal and added to the score tally.

Irish’s final goal saw a free O’Donnell play the ball to the awaiting Baker, who produced a perfect stick pass to Wade who recorded his first goal in a Fulham shirt.

With the final whistle gone, Irish had met the challenge set down by their manager.

Despite the end score line, Gaels battled for every ball right to the end.

Fulham Irish: Keith Greene, John McHugh, Don O’Connell, Eamonn Sullivan, Frank Ryan, Pat O’Mahony, Kevin McHugh, James Marrinan, Shane O’Donnell, Stephen Martin, Eoin McCarthy, Mike Broder, Colm Kennedy, Luke Slyman, Niall Larkin, Mick Ruby, Derry Fitzgerald, Eamonn Wade, George Baker, Hugh Connolly, John Condon and Mick Harte.


Poor showing as McCurtain’s claim maximum points

Division Two League
Fulham Irish 1-07 to 1-22 Thomas McCurtain’s
Sunday, June 25 2017

McCurtain’s took advantage of what now seems to be the customary strong first half wind in Wormwood Scrubs to record a 100 per cent winning league campaign as they ended top of the league with maximum points.

Fulham started the stronger of both sides recording two points in the first couple of minutes as Thomas McCurtain’s took time to adjust to the wind strength.

They found their range on the fifth minute when they scored their first point and they quickly scored their second with a lovely point outside the 65m line taking full advantage of the wind. Irish continued to battle on as the game was played at a high pace.

McCurtain’s had their first chance on goal from a miss puck out from Fulham’s goalie however they drove the shot wide, a relief to Irish.

However they soon had the goal threated again and with a well worked play, recorded the first goal of the game taking the lead 1-04 to 0-2.

Fulham needed to reply back and on the thirteenth minute, a breaking ball from an initial pass in by Mick Harte fell into the path of Larkin who recorded his third goal of the season in the Irish’s jersey.

McCurtain’s responded with two points in quick succession before Fulham recorded their next score.

With less than 10 minutes to go in the first half, it would seem Irish had managed to contain any advantage McCurtain’s would have had with the wind but Thomas McCurtain’s upped their game and used the wind to add to their score line to go in at half time 10 points up.

With the wind on Fulham’s side for the second half it was important they started to get the score board ticking, and more so important they didn’t have any wasteful shots.

Irish added two points to their score line which led to McCurtain’s restructuring their set up and dropping one of their forwards back.

McCurtain’s continued to pound the Irish defence, but an outstanding display by captain Don O’Connell and a vintage performance by Pat O’Mahony limited McCurtain’s scoring opportunities.

Fulham, uncharacteristically, were deemed to foul their opponents on more than one occasion, as McCurtain’s now had control of the game and the score board.

With Irish chasing the score line and the last quarter to play it was always going to be a big ask.

Fulham started to drop balls into their forward line and had three chances on goal, with Colm Kennedy sending the sliotar just too high to record a point rather than a goal.

Within the last couple of minutes Irish had another chance on goal as the McCurtain’s goalie fumbled the sliotar but any threat was shortly defused. The final whistle gone, Irish were disappointed with their poor performance.

Fulham Irish: Keith Greene, Dermott Fitzgerald, Don O’Connell, captain, Eamonn Sullivan, Stephen Martin, Pat O’Mahony, Darragh McInerney, Mike Broder, Mick Harte, Colm Kennedy, John Kirby, Eoin McCarthy, Hugh Connelly, Kevin McHugh, Niall Larkin, Mick Ruby, Eamonn Wade, John McHugh, John Condon and George Baker.


Brothers band together to hold off Fulham

Division 2 Hurling League
Fulham Irish 1-10 vs 1-15 Brothers Pearse
Sunday, July 18 2017

It was over three years ago on a hot afternoon at Greenford when Fulham last played Pearse’s.

This latest meeting in the hurling league was never going to be easy for either side and with the sun beating down on the backs of all players it was important to make every move count and conserve energy.

Irish started off well scoring a point from play and from a free courtesy of Luke Slyman. A further point to Irish was notched up when O’Rourke, McCarthy and Slyman all hooked up, again with Slyman making matters count.

Pearse’s needed to respond back and they latched on to a miss hit by Fulham’s goalie to record their first score.

They soon were back on level terms as their forwards began to work with each other and produce two great scores.

It was from here on in Pearse’s started to dominate in the forward line as Irish’s backs, uncharacteristically, struggled to hold their ground.

The pressure soon came to a head as Pearse’s managed to score a goal. Pearse’s continued to keep the score board ticking over whilst Irish tried to make amends for the errors they made and welcomed a water break called by the referee.

Pearse’s however continued to put the pressure after the restart and had another attempt on goal before the half time whistle went but Irish’s goalie, Greene, at full stretch made a diving save to deny the green flag being raised.

Irish found themselves 5 points down at half time.

Pearse’s continued the second half as they had played much of the first half and again dominated in the forwards as they added a further three points to the score board before Fulham replied back, but Pearse’s continued with their game plan and went 8 points ahead for the second time, as Irish brought on their subs to try to change the game.

Irish’s Harte and O’Rourke both went close to scoring a much needed goal but Pearse’s keeper was on fine form, denying both.

On the 25th minute of the second half, Fulham’s goalie Greene, spotted an unmarked Pat O’Mahony for a short puck out who in turn gave a long pass into Harte, who turned and attempted to score only for the goalie to make his third save.

As the goalie attempted to clear his lines, Irish’s sub, Baker, half blocked his effort and Irish’s other sub, Kev McHugh, managed to latch onto the sliotar and drive this into the back of the net.

Time was not on Fulham’s side, and with Irish missing their scoring opportunities, Pearse’s won by 5 points.

Fulham Irish: Keith Greene, Stephen Martin, Don O’Connell (captain), Colm Kennedy, Pat O’Mahony, Frank Ryan, Darragh McInerney, Conor Ahern, Eamonn Sullivan, Eoin McCarthy, James O’Rourke, John Kirby, John Condon, Mick Harte, Luke Slyman, Mick Ruby, John Connole, Kev McHugh and George Baker.

Irish tough it out to claim second win of the season

Division 2 Hurling League
Fulham Irish 3-07 vs 0-14 Granuaile
Sunday, June 4 2017

Fulham Irish manager Mick Ruby saw his side dig deep to grind out a win against Granuaile on a hot afternoon at Irish’s home ground in Acton.

Within one minute of the game a free for Fulham’s led to Luke Slyman’s first point but indiscipline by Irish gave Granuaile the chance to level the score.

NEWfi-graunaile6The game continued to stop and start as both teams were deemed fouling by the referee as they tried to get a foothold on the game.

Eight minutes gone and Irish’s Mick Harte broke free from his man with the sliotar on the end of the stick with only the goalie to beat, but he mistimed his shot and the sting was taken out of the shot as the sliotar hit the ground with the goalie sweeping the ball up to clear.

However the threat of a goal soon loomed onto Granuaile again as centre back, Fergus O’Regan, passed a ball onto the awaiting Slyman who passed to Harte and took the pass back, putting in a low pow ball into Niall Larkin who shot and drew a save from the goalie but he managed to react to the rebound to put the sliotar in the back of the net.

Granuaile scored directly afterwards with a soft free as they looked to reduce the 3 points variance.

Harte and Slyman teamed up again shortly afterwards as Slyman recorded Irish’s second goal as Granuaile struggled to cope with Fulham’s forwards.

Irish didn’t have it all their own way in the first half and a strong performance by Fergus O’Regan and Steve Walsh, making his first appearance in the black and green shirt for Irish, contained Granuaile attack. Half time 2-04 to 0-04.

With the wind picking up for the second half, it was always going to be a test of fitness and determination for Irish as Granuaile used the wind to their advantage to score three answered points.

They continued the momentum as Fulham lost their way, however a superb point from Fulham’s James Marrinan, kept the score board ticking over for Irish as Granuaile continued to look to breech the house of Fulham and look for their first goal.

Irish had the chance to pull further ahead with a free but Slyman’s shot was held up by the wind and went wide.

Granuaile continued to work the ball through midfield and recorded a further two scores.

With 20 minutes gone in the second half, Deccy Hayes caught a lovey pass from Mike Broder and went straight for goal, dodging and weaving through the Graunaile defence.

As Hayes went inside the square, he was brought down, rather than look for a penalty he did an overhead backward pass to the waiting, unmarked Marrinan and who scored Fulham’s third goal.

Granuaile, determined not to give up without a fight, launched an attack which would see them draw 21m free in from Fulham’s back line. They tried to seize on the chance to go for goal but Irish managed to thwart the attack.

With the game now in injury time, Granuaile fought for every ball and clawed another two points back but time was not on their side and the referee blew his whistle and Irish had held onto their lead.

As the old cliché goes, goals wins games and this is certainly what got Fulham their second win in the league.

Fulham Irish: Keith Greene, John McHugh, Frankie Ryan (captain), Pat O’Mahony, Eammon Sullivan, Fergus O’Regan, Darragh McInerney, Michael Broder, Steve Martin, James Marrinan, Luke Slyman, Niall Larkin, Michael Harte, George Baker, Kevin McHugh, John Connole, John Condon and Steve Walsh


Irish lose out by a point to fancied McCurtain’s

Ronan Cup
Tuesday, May 9 2017
The Scrubs
Fulham Irish 0-08 to Thomas McCurtain’s 0-09

London forward Shane O’Donnell, made his first appearance of the season for Irish as they took on a much fancied Thomas McCurtain’s in the Ronan Cup on a sunny Tuesday evening at The Scrubs.

It was Shane who recorded the first two scores within three minutes of the game before McCurtain’s had their first point from play.

Both sides continued to battle for the breaking ball, but Irish were coming out on top as a cross field pass from O’Donnell made its way into the forward line, where Clare man Kev McHugh, latched onto a pass and from a very tight angle, scored a point.

Thomas McCurtain’s, determined not to let Irish get any further ahead, created a goal opportunity but for Irish’s full back Don O’Connell to clear the lines.

This was to be the last passage of play for O’Connell as he picked up an injury. McCurtain’s continued to drive forward with a desire to breach the goal of Irish and had a further chance but the threat was contained by the Fulham backs.

Thomas McCurtain’s did score a further two points, one from a free, making the sides level for the first time in the game.

Fulham had three chances to score goals themselves during a good dominant period of play but on all three occasions, McCurtain’s managed to thwart the threat. Irish continued to take advantage of this period and notched up a further five points before the half time whistle went. Irish were ahead by five.

The second half in contrast for Irish was frustrating as McCurtain’s made changes to their game plan in order to have any say in this match.

Slowly but surely, McCurtain’s began to cheap away at Irish’s lead as Fulham struggled to get into gear and go through the motions.

The intensity picked up from both sides as they tried to stop each other from making any impact on the last quarter of the game but McCurtain’s continued to take the scores when it counted.

Eight minutes before the end of the game, McCurtain’s drew level before a strongly contested free was awarded for them to go up by one.

Irish did have a chance to draw level but their attempt went wide. The last couple of minutes, Fulham tried to move the ball around to create the open space to get a score but Thomas McCurtain’s dealt with the pressure Irish put them on. Final whistle gone and McCurtain’s won by a point.

Irish will take heart from the first half with four out of the six forward’s recording a score however they will be frustrated with their second half performance. Well done to both sets of teams for a high intensity game.

Fulham Irish: Keith Greene, Stephen Martin, Don O’Connell, James McSwiney, Frank Ryan, Fergus O’Regan, Eamonn Sullivan, Michael Harte, Shane O’Donnell, Eoin McCarthy, Luke Slyman, Colm Kennedy, Pat O’Mahony, Kevin McHugh, Niall Larkin, David Gray, James O’Rourke, John Condon, James Marrinan, Declan Hayes, Michael Broder, John McHugh, John Connole, Hugh Connolly, Geroge Baker, Eamonn Wade and Darragh McInerney

Fulham rue missed chances in defeat to Granuaile

Preliminary IHC
Sunday, April 23 2017
The Scrubs
Fulham Irish 0-10 vs 2-07 Granuaile

There was a hype of activity on The Scrubs, from different sporting events, when Fulham Irish clashed with Granuaile in the Preliminary round of the Intermediate Championship on a sunny Sunday afternoon.

Irish, with a depleted panel, handed debuts to Hugh Connolly, John Kirby, Darragh McInerney and Owen Mulligan.

Within four minutes of the off, Luke Slyman recorded his first point, fifty metres out, following a lovely pop pass from John Kirby.

However Granuaile, determined for Fulham not to a get any momentum, dropped in a high ball into the house of Irish only for the ball to be spilled onto the Granuaile’s forward line, who did not need any second chance to put a sliotar into the back of the net.

Kirby responded well for Fulham to claw the deficit back to one point, as Irish started to go through the gears and dominate midfield.

However, on 19 minutes a high ball into Irish’s house was again caught by Granuaile. The player, now on the ground, passed the ball to an unmarked forward to score their second goal.

Fulham contested this score as they felt the ball was thrown, but the referee dismissed their protest.

Granuaile, now four points up, only recorded one more score in the half, as Irish started to chip away at the score line with Kirby, Harte and Slyman working well together.

Fulham had their chance on goal but the ball was sent wide, however they were rewarded with a further four points split across Kirby and Slyman by the time whistle was blown for the end of the first half. Irish were a point behind.

Two minutes into the second half, a turnover ball by McSwiney went into the path of Slyman who linked with Kennedy and back to Mike Broder to score a fine point to draw Irish level.

Granuaile replied with a converted free to go ahead. The best score of the game came next from Fulham with some clean, crisp, passing worked from the back line with Kirby instrumental in directing the path of the ball.

The build up to the point included five different players, including Kirby, who eventually ended up with taking the last pass to score a point.
Granuaile tried to respond back with an attempt on goal, but this was saved by Keith Green.

Irish were now looking to forge ahead and start to make the shots count as they continually took their chances to score but unfortunately missed.
On 49 minutes, Slyman caught a wonderful pass from Kirby and headed straight for goal.

With only him and the keeper left, the keeper brought him down and conceded a penalty.

Slyman had the opportunity now to put Irish ahead, but the keeper anticipated the shot and saved.

With time ticking down, Irish continued to create scoring opportunities, but their finishing let them down. Granuaile continued to work the ball through and scored three unanswered points to stem Fulham’s surge to respond.

The referee called an end to the game and Irish lost by three.

Some great passages of supporting play, but Irish will rue their misses. It was a case of well done to Granuaile for capitalising on their scoring chances and making them count.

Fulham Irish: Keith Greene, John McHugh, Don O’Connell, Steve Martin, James McSwiney, Darragh McInerney, John Connole, Mick Harte, John Kirby, Eoin McCarthy, Luke Slyman, Mike Broder, Hugh Connolly, Kevin McHugh, Owen Mulligan, Mick Ruby, Colm Kennedy, Eamonn Wade and George Baker.

Fulham get new season off to a winning start with St Declan’s win

Division 2 Hurling League – Round 1
Sunday, April 2 2017
The Scrubs
Fulham Irish 2-7 vs St Declan’s 0-5

Fulham Irish’s 2017 season kicked off last Sunday at their home ground in The Scrubs where they faced St Declan’s in round one of the league.

The game sawthe welcome return of Pat O’Mahony from a year-long absence because of an injury, a return to the panel for Kevin McHugh and the naming of four new players for this season on the team.

The referee threw the ball in and both teams put pressure on the ball carrier as possession switched between each side as tried to get the first score on the board.

However, it was St Declan’s who managed to scoop up a loose ball and record the first point of the game with five minutes played.

Irish needed to step up a gear and it was Mick Harte who picked up a ball from just outside the halfway line to fire the sliotar straight between the posts to get Fulham on to the score sheet.

This inspired Fulham who stepped up a gear, and with Mick Harte now dominating midfield, started to push on.

Irish had their first chance on goal on the 11th minute, but this was put wide.

Niall Larkin, in his first start for Fulham, was a constant nuisance as he made life difficult for his marker and the goal keeper, putting both under pressure when they had the ball.

This eventually resulted in a wayward clearing puck by St Declan’s landing into the path of Mike Broder who pointed for his first score.

St Declan’s responded well and continued to work the ball from the backs, avoiding any path to the midfield as they could not contain Harte’s control in this area.

On the 21st minute, St Declan’s went near to record a goal, but were denied a score by Irish’s goal keeper, Davy Gray.
St Declan’s managed a consolation score, recording a point a few minutes later.

With only five minutes in the first half to be played, a low ball from Eoin McCarthy saw Larkin who beat his marker and he went for goal, but got underneath his shot and the ball went over the bar for a point.

The goalie sent a quick ball up from the restart but Mick Harte read the play, caught the ball and fired this back over the bar to record his second score.

The whistle went for half time and Irish were up by 3, Fulham Irish 0-5 to St Declan’s 0-2.

St Declan’s took the first score in the second half with a well-worked point from their half back line. Irish tried to respond and Luke Slyman managed to lose his man and had a chance on goal, but the effort went wide.

Within minutes, Slyman had a second chance on goal with a lovely pass from McCarthy, only for the shot to be deflected by the St Declan’s full back.

Irish pushed hard again, and with a long ball up field dropping behind the back line, Larkin again put pressure on the St Declan’s goalie, only for the goalie to lose the ball which land in front of Keith Greene, who, on his second attempt, scored a goal.

St Declan’s needed to put in a response and this they did with a quick point, and they continued to drive forward to close the gap.

A high ball into Irish’s back line saw the referee signal a free out to Irish, however St Declan’s had managed to break Irish’s defence and shot the sliotar in the back of net. The goal was ruled out however because of the free indicated by the referee, much to the dismay of St Declan’s.

By now Irish were showing their experience dealing with the threat of St Declan’s, and a score by Kevin McHugh kept Irish ahead by 5 points.

A further attempt at the St Declan’s goal was taken by Pat O’Mahony but the goalie managed to deal with the threat.

On 56 minutes, Larkin again hassled the St Declan’s backs and the goalie and this time managed to be on the end of the breaking ball and record his first goal for the club.

The game was all but over as the pace dropped off for the final couple of minutes.

A win for Fulham to get their season off to a good start and hard luck to St Declan’s.

It was good to see both teams play in the spirit of the game with hardly any fouls and no cards being shown for both clubs which was a credit to both teams.

Fulham Irish: Davy Gray, John McHugh, Don O’Connell, Stephen Martin, James McSwiney, Fergus O’Regan, Eamon Sullivan, Mick Harte, Mike Broder, Luke Slyman, Pat O’Mahony, Eoin McCarthy, Keith Greene, Kevin McHugh, Niall Larkin, Eamon Wade, John Connole and George Baker.

Irish disappointed as Sean Tracey’s win all-important game

London Senior Hurling Championship Round 3
Fulham Irish 1-7 vs Sean Tracey’s 1-13

Round Three of the London Senior Hurling Championship took place on Sunday, September 11 at Sean Tracey’s home ground in Mitcham, with local rivals Fulham Irish and Sean Tracey’s clashing ash for the third time this season.

A win for one of these teams would put them back on track to be in contention for a semi-final place in this year’s championship. A loss meant one of these team’s would be in the danger zone of a relegation playoff so all was to play for.

The game started off with high impact and intensity with both teams challenging from loose play.

It was Sean Tracey’s who took the first score from play in the second minute, but Irish responded when there was a free given just off centre from the Tracey’s posts about 40 metres out with Fulham’s captain Shane O’Donnell converting a point.

Tracey’s responded well with three scores on the bounce from their forward Kevin O’Loughlin, who proved to be their main player and scorer throughout this game.

With three points down a pass from Irish’s Steve Martin, playing wing back, dropped into Fulham’s Jim Nelligan who turned and went directly towards the goal only to be brought down by the backs of Tracey’s.

The penalty awarded, O’Donnell stepped up to score an all important goal. Tracey’s pushed on and Loughlin drove a lovely sideline cut to put over the bar to keep his team ahead.

The game started to break down as the referee was blowing for frees on both sides which were soft with Fulham taking advantage of these frees by taking the opportunity to score from O’Donnell. Half time and Irish were down by one point 1-5 to 0-9.

The second half started with Tracey’s going the direct route and inside the first minute of the second half, there were on course for a goal only for goalie and manager Mick Ruby, to make a great save to deny the score.

The ricochet of the save landed into the path of an awaiting Sean Tracey’s player who took a shot destined for the goal mouth again only for Diarmuid Hayes to block allowing Irish to clear their lines.

With both teams determined to up the pace the game and putting pressure on the ball there was an increase in breaks to play with frees being award to both sides, but it was Sean Tracey’s who started to pull ahead.

On 48 minutes a soft free given to Tracey’s on Fulham’s 21 metre line allowed them the chance to shoot for goal and this is exactly what they did.

With Sean Tracey’s ahead by five points and time not on the side of Irish, Fulham had to respond to claw the gap back.

They did have two chances on goal, but Tracey’s held their nerve. Time ticking down and with injuries to Fulham’s captain, Shane O’Donnell and a head injury to Sean Tracey’s centre back adding to the minutes still to be played, there was still time for Irish to score, but unfortunately Tracey’s dealt with any threat Irish tried to conjure up and eventually the final whistle went.

Tracey’s had won the all-important game with Irish left disappointed with the result.

Fulham Irish: Mick Ruby, James McSwiney, Fergus O’Regan, Diarmuid Hayes. Stephen Martin, Frank Ryan, Eamon Sullivan, Michael Broder, Shane O’Donnell (C), Eoin McCarthy, Jim Nelligan, Michael Harte, Declan Hayes, Niall Madden, Luke Slyman, Kevin Davy, Keith Greene, John Condon, John McHugh, Derry Fitzgerald and Mark O’Grady.

Irish draw but had chances to win it

London Senior Hurling Championship Round 1
Fulham Irish 2-8 vs Kilburn Gaels 0-14

The first round of the Senior Hurling Championships took place on August 6 and like the start of this sentence, there were a lot of firsts; it was the first round of the championship, as advised, first time this season Irish has played at Greenford, first time Kilburn Gaels were the opposition this season and first time captain Shane O’Donnell, has led the team out for a championship game.

From the whistle Fulham showed their intent to put pressure on the Kilburn backs but an interception by Gaels saw the ball driven into Irish’s half back line only for Fergus O’Regan to catch.

However an uncharacteristic wayward pass led to Kilburn’s first score. Kilburn continued to put pressure on the half backs as their key player, Lambert, scored another point from a breaking ball as Irish struggled to find their feet, but with captain Shane O’Donnell taking the first point for Irish, the team settled in and started to show they were not here just to make up the numbers.

Gaels continued to score as they opened up a three point lead which could have been more if some of the frees they were awarded had been converted into scores.

On 17 minutes, Irish broke the back line of Kilburn with Kev Mooney having a chance on goal, but unfortunately Kilburn managed to turn the ball over.

This did not put Irish off though, as Mick Harte created space to catch a cross field pass from O Donnell, to then pass into the house to an awaiting Eoin ‘Skinny’ McCarthy, who caught the pass and turned to put the sliotar into the back of Kilburn’s net.

Irish stepped up a gear again as Gaels found it difficult to deal with Fulham’s halfbacks and midfield.
O’Regan again intercepted a pass to an awaiting Gaels player to find Skinny who scored another point to add to his tally of a goal.

Skinny was having his best game in the Fulham Irish. With half time looming and momentum on the side of Irish, Gaels made one more break for goal and shot, only for James McSweeny to dive in front of the thundering shot as it ricocheted off his helmet which done its job in protecting him.

A stop in play was needed as McSweeny was attended to. A further minute was played and the half time whistle was sounded. Kilburn Gaels 0-7 to Fulham Irish 1-3.

The work rate and intensity picked up for both teams in the second half as the sun belted down on the players, but a lack of discipline from Irish, gave Gaels the edge as they converted the free to lead by 2.

The game started to get a bit scrappy as play was being interrupted for frees on both sides, as they did not want to give their opposition an inch to play with. With a breaking ball just outside the halfway line, Eamonn O’Sullivan picked the sliotar up and sent it between the sticks to give a much needed push to Fulham.

However, on the 48 minute, Captain O’Donnell sustained an injury and was forced off the field of play. This disruption to Fulham’s game took its toll as the threat of Gael’s Lambert continued, as he picked off two easy points of play as Fulham took their time to reshape with the loss of O Donnell.

Both teams traded a score each when again Kilburn went ahead by a point only for the ball to be deemed wide much to the frustration of Kilburn Gaels.

A break in play resulted because of this disputed wide, as the referee consulted his umpires and stood by the decision of a wide.

With 55 minutes gone Irish sent a long cross field ball into the comer forward are for Mike Broder to pick the ball up and score a goal. Irish were right back in it.

Only minutes left and Irish scored a further point leading by 1, victory was in sight but a soft free inside the Irish half gave Kilburn the opportunity to score.

The ball, despite dropping short, went over the bar, but was battered back out by Irish. With Irish playing on, Gaels were left to await the referee to confirm it was indeed a point. Full time was up and confirmation from the ref was the score was 2-8 to 0-14 on his book.

A gutsy, gritted and spirited display by Fulham, who will be disappointed not getting a win but can hold their heads up high.

Manager Mick Ruby said of his team’s performance: “I’m happy enough with the performance but there were chances to win the game there for us.

“Then again we could have lost so we’ll take what we get. No one has given us a chance this year so I’d like to think that we are proving a few people wrong. Captain Shane O’Donnell added: “We took the game to Kilburn offering an intelligent yet high intensity performance. We saw some great performances from our men but especially from our championship debutants of Eamonn, Fergus, Steve, Diarmuid and Kevin. This result should give us the confidence to challenge the traditional London senior teams over the next month or so.”

A special mention must go to Richie Hannon who donned on the jersey for the last time. Coming on as sub for the final 10 minutes. Richie is moving to the Midlands and has been a key player to the team on and off the field especially this year where he supported the training programme for this season. All the squad wish him and his girlfriend the best for the future.

Team: David Gray, James McSwiney, Don O’Connell, Frank Ryan, Diarmuid Hayes, Fergus O’Regan, Eamonn O’Sullivan, Steve Martin, Shane O’Donnell, Eoin McCarthy, Jim Nelligan, Mick Harte, Mick Broder, Kevin Mooney, Luke Slyman, Mark O’Grady, John Condon, John McHugh. Andy McCahey, Richie Hannon and Mick Ruby.