KILMALEY proved far too strong for Doora-Barefield in the U-14A hurling championship final at Cusack Park on Friday evening. Dominant in every sector, they had the title secured long before the final whistle sounded.
They hit the front after just 30 seconds when full-forward Pauric McNamara scored the first of his and the team’s three goals and when the half-time whistle sounded, they were 12 points clear with the score at 1-11 to 0-2.
McNamara was one of many stars and he finished the game with 3-4, all but a point of which came from play.
With Michael O’Malley dominant at centre-back, Doora-Barefield just couldn’t find a way through. O’Malley displayed superb pace and skill and he got great support from his flankers, Padraig O’Connor, the team captain, and Brian Colleran.
Conor Finnucane dominated the midfield exchanges on a day when eight players shared in the team’s impressive tally.
Doora-Barefield needed a bright start to the second half but it was Kilmaley who took up where they had left off and McNamara, as he had done at the beginning of the game, goaled inside the opening minute, this time after just 20 seconds of play.
This score really rocked the Doora-Barefield boys and any slim hopes they had of bouncing back were killed off in the ninth minute of the half when McNamara struck for the third goal.
The losers made a series of changes in an effort to get a grip on the game but Kilmaley remained firmly in control throughout the pitch. On this form, the newly-crowned Clare champions should do well in the upcoming Féile na nGael national competition.
However, they may have to face into that competition without the assistance of another of their county final stars, centre-forward Killian Normoyle, who suffered a suspected broken collarbone midway through the second half of Friday’s final.
As a result of this victory, a number of the players involved will compete in both the Féile na nGael and Féile Peil na nOg national competitions as county champions. Michael O’Malley, Conor Finnucane, Killian Normoyle and Joseph Carmody have all played in Lissycasey’s successful run in the county U-14 football Féile competition.
Eoin Hanrahan, Colm Fitzgerald and Brian Guilfoyle tried hard throughout for Doora-Barefield but, on the evening, they were comprehensively beaten by a powerful Kilmaley outfit.
After the game, Bord na nÓg chairman Seán O’Halloran presented the trophy to the winning captain, Padraig O’Connor.
Kilmaley: Conan Fitzgerald; Gary Cahill, Enda Hickey, Eoin Keane; Padraig O’Connor (capt), Michael O’Malley, Brian Colleran; Brian Cahill, Conor Finnucane; Joseph Carmody, Killian Normoyle, Andrew Kelly; Colin Hehir, Pauric McNamara, Cathal Fitzgerald.
Subs: Seán Malone for Cathal Fitzgerald, Killian Gregan for Normoyle (inj), David Lynch for G Cahill, Dylan Boon for Carmody and Mark Clancy for Keane.
Scorers: Pauric McNamara (3-4), Joseph Carmody (0-3), Michael O’Malley, Conor Finnucane and Killian Normoyle (0-2) each, Brian Colleran, Andrew Kelly and Colin Hehir (0-1) each.
Doora-Barefield: Colin Devine; Seán Mulqueen, Seamus Nugent, Pat Hennessy; Ciaran O’Halloran, Eoin Hanrahan (capt), Ryan Mulligan; Ross McCarthy, Conor O’Brien; Conor McInerney, Colm Fitzgerald, Niall Keane; Anthony Devitt, Andrew Whelan, Brian Guilfoyle.
Subs: Eoin McCarthy for N Keane, Barry Guilfoyle for McInerney, Ben Baker for Devitt, Darragh Broderick for Hennessy and John Mathers for Whelan.
Scorers: Colm Fitzgerald (0-2), Eoin Hanrahan and Brian Guilfoyle (0-1) each.
Referee: John Healy, Smith O’Brien’s.