Fulham fall to impressive McCurtain’s

Fulham Irish 0-07 vs Thomas McCurtain’s 3-15
August 9, 2015

This game, billed as Round 2 of the Intermediate Hurling Championship of London, was actually the first game of the campaign for Fulham Irish.
Opposition Thomas McCurtain’s were tagged as favourites for this season’s championship following an impressive first game win against the then favourites Fr Murphy’s.
Irish had a very much depleted panel of 18 players for this game. From the start McCurtain’s were the more aggressive of the two sides and were the first to score. Donal Casey, playing at half forward, levelled the score after five minutes.
McCurtain’s deployed a sweeper system and went two ahead of Fulham who countered acted the sweeper system. Irish were trying to claw their way back as McCurtain’s were being punished by the referee for fouling.
A total of ten frees were awarded to Irish in the first half, four of which were point scoring opportunities, however Donal Casey was struggling to find the post and only managed to convert one.
McCurtain’s had a goal disallowed for being in the square but they soon rectified this, with Irish down by four points a decisive blow came when keeper Steve Lee misjudged, the movement of the sliotar when it hit the ground and the ball rolled into the back of the net.
Before half-time, two fouls on Darrgah McCarthy meant the towering midfielder could not continue as Fulham struggled to contain a vibrant McCurtain’s side.
Fulham had one goal opportunity when Mark Bevans passed a near perfect ball to David Madden, who was unable to take advantage of the ball in his position.
The second half started off the same as the first with McCurtain’s all out to turn the screw on Irish and that is what they exactly did.
They out played and outperformed Fulham, despite the various restructures taking place by Irish to make counter attacks, McCurtain’s just seemed to have that extra man in the right time and the right place.
Irish started to make basic mistakes, misfiring passes, dropping catches, and nothing was going right.
Thomas McCurtain’s could see the intense pressure Irish had put themselves under and they responded by opening up the defence on two more occasions to find the back of the net.
Bevans recorded three scores, two from frees. Casey had an opportunity to go for goal but was fouled outside the 21 metre line.
This foul led to the eventual replacement of Casey, eight minutes from time. Frankie Ryan scored a superb point back near the 65 only for it not ti be recorded on the score board, but was clearly signalled by the umpire and referee as a point*.
McCurtain’s continued to be dominant across the field as they were scoring from all angles until final whistle blew.
McCurtain’s was a well drilled and more aggressive side today and on this performance their status as favourites to win the championship was clear to see.
Irish were off par and endured a very bad day at the office. There were some moments to cheer about, but these were very few and far between.
With four games left, Irish have to improve to have any say in what part of London the cup will end up in.

* Note: The actual score for Fulham was 7 points as confirmed by the referee at the end of the game and in front of the Irish World reporter, regardless what other media sources are quoting.

Fulham Irish: Steve Lee, Frank Ryan, Colin Smyth, James McSweeney, Richie Hannon, Pat O’Mahoney, Diarmurid Hayes, Darragh McCarthy, Mattie Silke, Jim Nelligan, Donal Casey, David Madden, Derry Fitzgerald, Mark Bevans, Colm Foley, James Hickey, Lee Darcy and Mick Ruby.

Ref: Eddie Naughton