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The Feakle-Killanena team following their win over Scariff-Ogonnelloe in the U-18B Hurling League Final

Feakle-Killanena deliver Daly dose to dethrone neighbours

Under 18B Hurling League Final
Feakle-Killanena 3-17 Scariff-Ogonnelloe 2-12

There’s no room for sentiment in a derby as Feakle-Killanena re-emphasised when emphatically halting Scariff-Ogonnelloe’s bid for a three-in-a-row of Minor B League crowns in Feakle on Wednesday evening.
Despite both sides having six players to the age, Feakle-Killenana had a distinct physical advantage with dominant centre-back Aaron Moloney ruling the rearguard while twin towers Patrick Daly (1-8) and captain Owen McGann (1-5) were wrecking balls to Scariff-Ogonnelloe’s retention hopes.
Twins Daragh and Stephen Clancy and goalkeeper Daragh Moloney were others to shine for the hosts who led from start to finish in a commanding display that fully exacting revenge from their earlier group meeting.
In truth, Scariff-Ogonnelloe, save for a final quarter two goal salvo, never reached anywhere near the heights of previous displays or finals as misplaced passes and aimless distribution ensured that they were always chasing their neighbours.
And yet, there was no shortage of goal chances at either end as over the hour the East Clare rivals shared twelve opportunities.
A powerful home start reaped the first three points for the dominant Patrick Daly (2) and Padraig O’Callaghan by the fourth minute but Scariff-Ogonnelloe had Jack Punch to thank for limiting the damage as the goalkeeper excellently kept out a Ronan Bowes point blank shot.
A relieved Scariff-Ogonnelloe hit back with opening points through freetaker Ben Sweeney and the equally influential Cathal McCaul but they would also be denied a goal when Sweeney’s effort was smothered following good work from Michael Vaughan.
An inevitable first goal did finally arrive in the eighth minute and it would catapult the home side further into the ascendency as Bowes teed up Patrick Daly to use his strength to bear down and goal and finish to the net at 1-4 to 0-2.
Up the other end, Scariff-Ogonnelloe’s frustrations in front of goal continued as goalkeeper Daragh Moloney again denied Sweeney, this time at his near post, albeit that he did convert the resulting ’65.
The next goal also went Feakle-Killanena’s way in the 21st minute when Owen McGann picked up a break to solo through and bolster his side’s advantage to seven at 2-7 to 0-6. There would be no such joy for a luckless Scariff-Ogonnelloe after Colin O’Grady’s inch-perfect delivery over the top to the unmarked Michael Vaughan saw the corner-forward cut in from the right corner and unleash a powerful shot that was somehow tipped over the bar by the defiant Moloney.
McGann flashed a shot outside the post at the other end but the hosts did finish the half strongly as blood sub Ethan Punch, McGann and Daly all tacked on points to secure a 2-10 to 0-07 interval cushion.
There would be no immediate backlash on the restart either as three early wides ensured that Ben Sweeney’s placed balls were matched by McGann who also had another two sightings on goal.
Indeed, when Padraig O’Callaghan pointed in the 48th minute, the result seemed beyond doubt as Feakle-Killanena now held their biggest lead of the evening at 2-15 to 0-10.
Derbies don’t exactly work like that however as from a mere chink of light provided by a monster Colin O’Grady free and a follow-up point from substitute Luke Madden, Scariff-Ogonnelloe were handed the desired shot in the arm in the 53rd minute as a Ben Sweeney angled free deceived everyone on the goal-line to nestle into the net and slash the deficit to just six.
The home side did answer with points through Henry Moloney and a Daly free, only to be struck by another sucker-punch goal when Scariff-Ogonnelloe produced their best move of the game in the 58th minute.
It stemmed from a delivery by captain Jack Madden that was cleverly batted by Sean Reilly into the path of Michael Vaughan to find the net and lessen the damage to five.
The captain himself had a subsequent opportunity saved by Daragh Moloney at his near post but ultimately Scariff-Ogonnelloe’s urgency arrived too late as Feakle-Killanena not only held out but countered with a last gap Ronan Bowes goal to seal the perfect start to 2024.

Feakle-Killanena: Daragh Moloney; Daragh Clancy, Tommy Walsh, Finn Minogue; Fionn O’Mara, Aaron Moloney, Darragh Walsh; Henry Moloney, Padraig O’Callaghan; Packie O’Donnell, Owen McGann, Ronan Bowes; Stephen Clancy, Patrick Daly, Aidan Doyle
Subs: Ethan Punch for A. Moloney (26-28, BS), Punch for Doyle (35), Tom Moloney for O’Mara (47)

Scorers: Patrick Daly (1-8, 3f); Owen McGann (1-5, 4f); Ronan Bowes (1-0); Padraig O’Callaghan (0-2); Ethan Punch, Henry Moloney (0-1 each)

Scariff-Ogonnelloe: Jack Punch; Darragh Kelly, Sean Maher, Cian Gavin; Jack Madden, Colin O’Grady, Liam Tuohy; Patrick Maher, Cathal McCaul; Donncha Crotty, Sean Reilly, Senan Sheedy; Michael Vaughan, Ben Sweeney, Lee Harrington
Subs: Eoin Nugent for Sheedy (43), Dylan Lynch for Kelly (43), Luke Madden for Harrington (43), Oisin Madden for Crotty (50)

Scorers: Ben Sweeney (1-5, 1-3f, 2’65); Michael Vaughan (1-2); Cathal McCaul (0-2); Jack Madden, Colin O’Grady (f), Luke Madden (0-1 each)

Referee: John Bugler (Whitegate)

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