Éire Óg 0-23
DESPITE finding themselves a goal behind inside the first minute, Éire Óg were comfortable winners over Clooney-Quin in their Clare Intermediate Hurling Championship tie played at Clareabbey on Saturday evening.
By the seventh minute, they had drawn level and when the half-time whistle sounded, they were seven points clear.
Having been installed as favourites by followers across the county after their victory in the U- 21A championship, there was much interest in how the town side would perform in the opening-round tie at intermediate level.
Clooney-Quin went into the game on the back of a big win over last year’s finalists, Feakle, but they were never allowed to dominate this tie as they had done against their East Clare opponents.
When Peter Duggan raced through inside the first minute to crash the ball to the net, Clooney-Quin followers must have had high hopes of a second win.
Three points from the winners’ top scorer Davy O’Halloran, a member of the Clare minor side and one from West Clare man Tom Downes had the sides level at 0-4 to 1-1 after seven minutes.
Further points from O’Halloran and Downes, along with scores from Barry Nugent, Aaron Fitzgerald and Graham Glynn, brought the Ennis tally to 0-12 by half-time when Clooney-Quin had 1-2.
The opening 10 minutes of the second half were evenly contested with each side adding 0-3 to their half-time tallies but then the Ennis men hit six unanswered points to make victory safe.
Substitute Niall Daly scored three points following his introduction for the winners on a day when Davy O’Halloran scored 0-9.
In all, eight Éire Óg players shared their impressive tally, with all six forwards getting on the scoresheet.
Marc O’Donnell and Cormac O’Regan were always prominent in defence for the winners, while elsewhere, Davy O’Halloran picked off some great scores.
Ronan Gallagher and Peter Duggan were Clooney-Quin’s best players on the evening.
Éire Óg: Kevin Brennan; Ciarán Whelan, John Mulcahy, Marc O’Donnell; Mark Fitzgerald, Kevin Moynihan, Cormac O’Regan; Tadhg McNamara, Ciarán Russell (0-2), Graham Glynn (0-1), Barry Nugent (0-2), David O’Halloran (0-9), 8 frees; Tom Downes (0-2), Aaron Fitzgerald (0-1), Danny Russell (0-3).
Subs: Niall Daly (0-3) for McNamara; Ciarán Hanna for Whelan; Ronan Keane for O’Halloran and Damian McMahon for Glynn.
Clooney-Quin: Damian O’Halloran; Ger Leamy, Ronan Gallagher, Brian McInerney; David Barry, Donnacda Murphy, David Kennedy; Dara Hannon, Trevor Lee; (0-1), Gary Hogan (0-1), Michael Browne, Peter Duggan (2-3); Seán Ward (0-1), James Casey, Niall Hehir.
Subs: Kevin O’Looney for Hehir.
Referee: Tom Stackpool, Ennistymon.
THE value of experience at championship time was highlighted yet again this week, when Clarecastle accounted for Meelick in a Round 1 tie on Tuesday evening, Ken Ralph and John Pyne, two former regulars on the senior side, made valuable contributions.
Ralph contributed 1-4 with Pyne adding 0-3 as the Magpies made a winning start in their race for a place in the play-offs.
Meelick started brightly and raced into a three-point lead with scores from Seán O’Connor (2) and Anthony White.
The margin was still three points, 0-5 to 0-2, when Ken Ralph struck for the game’s only goal 20 minutes into the half. He quickly followed with a point and the Magpies led by the minimum margin, 1-5 to 0-7, when the half-time whistle sounded.
The winners had the first three points of the second half to open a four-point gap but Meelick fought back and at the start of the final quarter, the margin was down to the minimum again, 1-10 to 0-12.
That was as close as Meelick got and further scores from Pyne and Ralph saw Clarecastle emerge with a three-point victory.
Both sides created some good goal chances but a combination of poor finishing and good goalkeeping – James Duffy made an excellent save from John Pyne near the end – meant that the chances weren’t availed of.
Things became a little heated in the closing stages and referee Kevin Walsh dished out a few yellow cards when few would have argued if the colour had been red.
In addition to Ralph and Pyne, the winners had good performances from Eoin Brennan, and Eamonn Concannon.
Seán O’Connor scored some excellent points for Meelick on an evening when Eanna Mulvihill, Adam Shelock and Darren Ryan were prominent.
Clarecastle: Donagh Murphy; Blaise Talty, Eoin Brennan, Rory Concannon; Adam Healy, Andrew Page, Anthony Griffey; John Ryan, Ciarán Lynch; Ken Ralph, Jason Considine, Stephen Malone; Briain Lynch, Eamonn Concannon, Niall Dunne.
Subs: Fergal Griffin for B Lynch; Conor O’Gorman for Malone John Reidy for Considine and Pakie Healy for Dunne.
Scorers: Ken Ralph (1-4, 2f); John Pyne, Eamonn Concannon (0-3) each; Andrew Page (free) Adam Healy, Briain Lynch and Niall Dunne (0-1) each.
Meelick: James Duffy; John Callinan, Seán Cooney, Jim White; Eanna Mulvihill, Damian Moloney, Dara Quinn; Darren Ryan, Gary Moloney; Oisín Hickey, Adam Sherlock, Brian O’Neill; Andy White, Seán O’Connor, Alan Markham.
Scorers: Seán O’Connor (0-11. 10f); Gary Moloney, Brian O’Neill, Andy White (0-1) each.
Referee: Kevin Walsh, Wolfe Tones.
Wolfe Tones 2-11
BODYKE got their challenge for a place in the play-offs back on track when they had a merited win over Wolfe Tones at Sixmilebridge on Tuesday evening.
Both these sides lost their opening-round ties, so a win was important to get back into contention. Bodyke had the better of the opening half exchanges and went to the break with a five-point lead, 1-8 to 0-6.
When the second half resumed, the East Clare men continued to hold the upperhand and stretched their advantage to nine points, 3-9 to 0-9.
Inspired by Ronan Hehir at full-forward, the Shannon outfit hit back aided by goals from Hehir and substitute, Lagan. They closed the margin to a goal and had a chance to draw level when they were awarded a penalty near the end but the Bodyke defence held firm to take the points.
Kieran Walsh (2) and Colm Madden were the winners’ goalscorers on an evening when they had points from goalkeeper Seamus Ryan, Seán Doyle, Keith Quigley, Ciarán Malone, Danny McGuire and Colm Madden.
In addition to the goalscorers, Wolfe Tones had points from Mark Regan, who had an excellent game in the half-back line, Alan Hehir, Kevin McCafferty and the impressive full-forward Ronan Hehir.
Bodyke: Seamus Ryan; Oisín Molloy, Tom McNamara, Shane Walsh; Colin Molloy, Sean Doyle, Ivan P. McNamara; PJ Kelleher, Diarmuid Walsh; Keith Quigley, Colm Madden, John Fitzgerald; Ciarán Malone, Kieran Walsh, Danny McGuire.
Subs: Ian Molloy for C Malone; Keith O’Donnell for D McGuire and Caimin Treacy for T McNamara.
Wolfe Tones: Paul Hogan; John Madigan, Gary Whelan, Niall Murphy; Eoin Hanley, Joe McGauley, Mark Regan; Seán Curtin, Eamonn O’Neill; Jamie Walker, Alan Hehir, Gary O’Brien; Paul Walsh, Ronan Hehir, Kevin Mc Cafferty.
Subs: Russel Lagan for O’Brien and George Justice for McGauley.
Referee: Jim Hickey, Cratloe.
A PHYSICALLY stronger Sixmilebridge side made a winning start to their intermediate championship campaign when they proved too strong for Ruan at Clareabbey on Wednesday evening.
Five points without reply in the last 10 minutes swung the closely contested tie in the winners’ favour.
The ’Bridge had the better of the early exchanges and were 0-3 to 0-1 in front after 10 minutes.
In a 10-minute spell at the start of the third quarter, Ruan hit five points without reply to go three clear but then the winners struck for the game’s only goal. A Sam O’Sullivan delivery was collected by full-forward Errol Tuohy, who raced inside his marker and shot to the net.
Ruan were back in front when the half-time whistle sounded after another Punch point to leave the score at 0-7 to 1-3. Punch then had the opening score of the second half when he converted a 65’ after Stephen Fleming had made an excellent save from Aidan Lynch. The ’Bridge were level by the tenth minute after Sam O’Sullivan and Dara O’Connor had points but like scores from Owen Hanrahan and Michael Vaughan had Ruan two clear at the three-quarter stage. A brace from John Punch in the space of a minute left Ruan three clear with 10 minutes to go but they weren’t to score again.
Sixmilebridge made a number of changes and finished strongly. Points from Stiofan Fitzpatrick, Adrian Chaplin and Sam O’Sullivan brought the sides level with three minutes to go before O’Sullivan put them in front for the first time since the tenth minute. Stiofán Fitzpatrick sealed the win when he had his third point of the evening in the second minute of injury time.
Sixmilebridge: Stephen Fleming; Dara O’Meara, Keith Walker, Jonathon Downes; Christy Griffin, Ger Quilligan, Cathal Walsh; Sam O’Sullivan, Michael O’Halloran; Adrian Chaplin, Stiofan Fitzpatrick, Rory Liddane; Dara O’Connor, Errol Tuohy, Tommy Liddy.
Subs: Kevin Phelan for O’Halloran; Seán Chaplin for Liddy and Paul Corbett for O’Connor.
Scorers: Sam O’Sullivan (0-6, all frees); Stiofan Fitzpatrick (0-3), Errol Tuohy (1-0), Adrian Chaplin and Dara O’Connor (0-1) each.
Ruan: Pakie Roughan; Damian Brohan, Niall O’Connor, Leon Quirke; Padraig Guthrie, Killian Ryan, Dara Roughan; Caimin Howard, Tadhg Hanrahan; Aidan Lynch, Owen Hanrahan, Michael Vaughan; Patrick Keegan, John Punch, Brendan Lyons.
Sub: Colin O’Donoghue for Howard.
Scorers: John Punch (0-6, 1f, 2 65); Michael Vaughan (0-4), Owen Hanrahan and Patrick Keegan (0-1) each
Referee: Tom Stackpool, Ennistymon.