By Seamus Hayes
O’Callaghans Mills 1-13 Scariff 0-15
Clare captain Pat Donnellan saved O’Callaghans Mills’ blushes with an injury time point which earned them a first round senior championship win over Scariff at Cusack Park on Friday evening.
A draw looked the likely outcome as the game headed into the fourth minute of ‘injury time’ when Donnellan popped up to fire over the winning score.
The result left Scariff devastated after they had dominated the tie for long periods
“We had two or three great chances to win this game in the last five minutes which we didn’t take and it came back to bite us”, Scariff manager Michael Long admitted after the final whistle.
O’Callaghans Mills manager Declan Hogan admitted “while we were behind for most of the second half, I knew we had a lot of work done and we would stay battling to the end. With five minutes to go I would have grabbed a draw. Scariff brought savage intensity and pressure to the game and, in fairness, they were on top for most of the game. The breaks didn’t go their way”.
Underdogs Scariff made their intentions known from the outset as they raced into a 0-4 to 0-0 lead after seven minutes, with points from John Scanlan, Martin Cunningham and Diammuid Nash (2). Handball star Nash was their stand out player hitting 0-9 on the evening. He was unlucky to see his effort from 60m free drift wide of the post in the first minute of injury time.
The game was eight minutes old before Adrian Flaherty opened the winner’s account and following further points from Kevin O’Callaghan and Conor ‘Rocky’ Cooney, they took the lead when Conor Cooney (Ermhill) kicked the ball to the net in the fifteenth minute. At half time they led by the minimum, 1-7 to 0-9.
Points were exchanged twice in the opening nine minutes of the second half before Scariff hit three in a row from Nash (2) and John Scanlan to go two clear at the three quarter stage. Ten minutes from time, the teams were level for the sixth time after Aidan O’Gorman and Adrian Flaherty had hit O’C. Mills points.
A minute from time the Mills went back in front through Kevin O’Callaghan but straight from the puckout Scariff went on the attack and John Scanlan pointed to level the tie again.
Everything pointed to a share of the spoils until Clare captain Donnellan popped up with the winner which left Scariff devastated
Scorers;–O’C. Mills; Adrian Flaherty (0-5) Conor Cooney, Ermhill (1-0); Bryan Donnellan, Aidan O’Gorman, Kevin O’Callaghan (0-2) each; Conor ‘Rocky’ Cooney, Pat Donnellan (0-1) each
Scariff–Diarmuid Nadh (0-9), 7 frees; John Scanlan (0-3) Matthew Horan, Martin Cunningham, Cian Foley (0-1) each
O’Callaghans Mills; John Cooney; Ger Frost, Adrian Donovan, Gerry Cooney; Sean O’Gorman Pat Donnellan,Eoin McInerney; Bryan Donnellan , Ciaran Cooney; Conor Cooney (Eri Hill) Adrian Flaherty, Aidan O’Gorman; Gary Neville, Conor ‘Rocky’ Cooney, Kevin O’Callaghan
Subs;–Jonathon Lyons for Conor Cooney (Ermhill) Jamie Lynch for Neville
Scariff;–Shane Mulvihill; Cathal Madde, Darragh Kelly,Diarmuid McNamara; Cathal Nash, Michael Scanlan, Padraig Brody; Shane Corry, Michael Barrett; Matthew Horan, Diarmuid Nash, Martin Cunningham; John Scanlan, Cian Foley,Ross Horan;
Subs–Alphie Rodgers for M. Horan; Sean Minogue for Foley
Referee—Rory Hickey, Eire Og