A dominant opening quarter laid the foundations for Scariff-Ogonnelloe to secure the first Minor silverware of 2021 as they held off any Kilmaley revolt to garner the Under 17 Academy B title in Hamilton Park in Kilkishen on Sunday morning.
An early unanswered 1-6 blitz capped off by a John Walsh goal provided the amalgamation with a healthy cushion that they would cling to for the remainder as Kilmaley, led superbly by Thomas McGuire and Joe Casey, tried their utmost to grab a lifeline.
Scariff-Ogonnelloe perhaps should have been out of sight by the opening water break though when only taking one of three glorious goal opportunities. Fronted by a potent forward line led by Sean Treacy, John Walsh, Liam Madden, Colin O’Grady and Mici Sheedy, the East Clare combo hit the ground running with six points without reply in the opening twelve minutes through Walsh (2), O’Grady (2), Madden and Sheedy.
Their efforts to add a goal initially proved fruitless as Sean Treacy was unlucky with two attempts before Scariff-Ogonnelloe finally made the breakthrough in the 14th minute when Treacy won a throw-in and offloaded to John Walsh to find the net from close range at 1-6 to 0-0.
Kilmaley clearly weren’t so clinical as seven first half wides would attest to but were fortunate to possess real quality in McGuire and Casey while at the back, goalkeeper Joshua Daniels was rock solid alongside Mikey Clancy and Evan Cahill over the hour.
Their dynamic duo would get Kilmaley off the mark at the start of the second quarter, only to be halted by a four point rally from their opponents, three from unerring freetaker Madden.
Kilmaley’s best chance of a reprieve arrived in injury-time when Cian Connellan sent over a teasing delivery from the left wing but Emmet O’Brien’s volley went the wrong side of the back post at 1-10 to 0-02.
Far from dropping their heads, Kilmaley, now backed by the conditions, got on top on the resumption with a four point burst through Casey (2) and McGuire lessening the damage to eight by the 40th minute.
Up the other end, further goal chances for Walsh and Treacy went abegging as Scariff-Ogonnelloe would only score a solitary point for the final 27 minutes.
However, Kilmaley simply couldn’t grab an elusive goal that would really have ignited their challenge as Scariff-Ogonnelloe weathered the storm to complete a condensed but lucrative four match unbeaten campaign.
Scariff-Ogonnelloe: Matthew Corry; Stephen Grady, Lee O’Brien, Patrick Maher; Matthew Cunnane, Sean Hartigan, Patrick Nugent; Ethan Harrngton, Mici Sheedy; Colin O’Grady, Finn Harrold, Liam Madden; John Walsh, Sean Treacy, Michael Dinan Subs: Ben Sweeney for Dinan (HT), Cathal McCall for Treacy (62), Darragh Kelly for Madden (63)
Scorers: Liam Madden (0-6, 5f); John Walsh (1-3); Colin O’Grady, Mici Sheedy (0-2 each)
Kilmaley: Joshua Daniels; Mikey Clancy, Jake Queally, Evan Cahill; Evan Casey, Colin Clancy, Patrick Clancy; Sean Murphy, Thomas McGuire; Ben McMahon, Joe Casey, Declan McCaw Richards; Jamie Healy, Emmet O’Brien, Cian Connellan
Subs: James Carmody for McMahon (37), James Murphy for O’Brien (47), Brian McArdle for Connellan (50), James Doherty for P. Clancy (57)
Scorers: Thomas McGuire (0-5, 1f); Joe Casey (0-3, 1f)
Referee: Andy McMahon
by Eoin Brennan