Inagh-Kilnamona 0-15 Tulla 0-9
CLARE senior hurling champions less than two years ago, Tulla are out of the 2009 title race following this loss to Inagh-Kilnamona at Cusack Park on Sunday evening.
Davy Fitzgerald recently committed to helping out with the Inagh-Kilnamona preparations and this was their first game. He directed operations from the TV box on the stand and while this wasn’t a very memorable game, the Sixmilebridge man must have been pleased with the workrate of the winners.
Forced to line out without inter-county U-21 panellist Conor Tierney due to illness – he came into the action for the final quarter and picked off a fine point – the winners were never behind and had a four-point lead at the midpoint of the game when the score was 0-8 to 0-4.
Seventeen-year-old Niall Arthur had the game’s opening score when he pointed after just 20 seconds before Andrew Quinn converted from a 65 to level the scores for the only time in the game.
Tulla will be particularly disappointed with the performance of their forward line in this outing as only Aidan Lynch managed to get on the scoresheet. Midfielders Andrew Quinn and Brian Lynch accounted for all but a point of the team’s tally.
A point ahead after 20 minutes, the winners struck for four unanswered points, one an excellent effort from a sideline cut by Niall Arthur, to open a five-point gap as halftime approached.
The final score of the half also came from a sideline cut with Tulla midfielder Brian Lynch on target a minute into injury time. A minute later Tulla were awarded a penalty but Andrew Quinn’s effort was well saved and cleared by David Hegarty.
There was more urgency about Tulla’s play in the second half but their forward line still struggled to make an impression.
Former selector Ray Stewart was in the attack when the second half got underway and 10 minutes later veteran Brian Quinn was introduced in place of Michael Murphy.
It was 0-10 to 0-7 as the third quarter drew to a close and there was good news for Clare U-21 hurling followers at this stage as Conor Tierney came into the action for the winners.
Tulla managed just one score in the final quarter, a point from Brian Lynch, arguably their best player on the day. The winners continued to hold the upperhand in the vital areas and when the final whistle sounded they were deservingly six points clear. Tulla made a number of changes in personnel in the final quarter but these failed to break the Inagh-Kilnamona’s team’s grip on the contest.
Eamonn Glynn, Ronan O’Looney and David Hegarty formed a strong half-back line while Niall and Ger Arthur and Tomas Kelly were others to impress on the day.
For a disappointing Tulla, Brian and Paul Lynch and Mark Quinn tried hard.
Inagh-Kilnamona: Patrick Kelly; Mile Keane, Dermot Lynch, Gary Lafferty; Eamonn Glynn, Ronan O’Looney, David Hegarty; Colm Pilkington, Cathal Griffin; Dermot Gannon, Cathal Lafferty, Niall Arthur; Ger Arthur, Tony Carmody, Tomas Kelly.
Subs: Conor Tierney for Griffin (42 minutes) Alan Griffin for G Arthur(58 minutes);
Scorers: Ger Arthur (0-5), all frees; Niall Arthur (0-3), 1 line ball; Tony Carmody, Cathal Lafferty(0-2) each; Colm Pilkington, Tomas Kelly, Conor Tierney (0-1) each.
Frees: 8; Wides: 12; 65s: 1
“We knew that it would be a huge battle against Tulla. The fact that Tulla didn’t have a game for a while didn’t help them.” Eugene Foudy, Inagh-Kilnamona
Tulla: Philip Brennan; Eugene Cooney, Paul Lynch, John Brennan; Cian McInerney, Mark Quinn, James Littleton; Brian Lynch, Andrew Quinn; Sean Torpey, Michael Murphy, Aidan Lynch; Danny O’Halloran, Kieran Brennan, Cathal Dinan.
Subs: Ray Stewart for Topre (half time); Brian Quinn for Murphy (40 minutes) Trevor Vaughan for O’Halloran (50 minutes) Alan Leamy for Dinan (55 minutes) Karl Quinn for J.Brennan (55 minutes).
Scorers: Andrew Quinn (0-4), all frees; Brian Lynch (0-4), 1 line ball; Aidan Lynch (0-1)
Frees: 8; Wides: 11; 65s: 2
Bookings: Eugene Cooney (45 minutes)
“The backs were winning ball but we weren’t doing it at the other end and you have to take your chances at this level.” Mattie Corry, Tulla manager.
Referee: Rory Hickey, Éire Óg