Inagh-Kilnamona 1-16 O’Callaghan’s Mills 1-6
FROM an early stage in the senior hurling championship game at Cusack Park on Saturday afternoon, there wasn’t a doubt about the outcome. Inagh-Kilnamona took an early grip on proceedings against a very disappointing O’Callaghan’s Mills outfit, who were fortunate not to have been much further behind when the final whistle sounded.
Both sides went into the tie knowing that victory would secure a quarter-final spot and following their win over the defending champions Clonlara a few weeks ago, much was expected from the ’Mills.
They may have scored the game’s opening point in the first minute but it was all Inagh-Kilnamona from then on. Once again, their half-back trio of Eamonn Glynn, Ronan O’Looney, the team captain, and David Hegarty dominated and the foundations for the win were laid in this sector.
They took the lead in the fifth minute when Cathal Lafferty won possession from a long-range free by Patrick Kelly and he fired home his side’s goal. Five unanswered points followed as the ’Mills struggled to get to grips with the mid-Clare combination.
It was 1-9 to 0-4 at half-time and the winners’ lead could have been greater as they had recorded eight wides in that opening period. The Mills made a number of changes, one in personnel and some positional, for the second half but matters didn’t improve. In fact, the standard of play deteriorated considerably in the second half, which was 11 minutes old before the first score arrived from James McMahon for the losers.
The winners hit back with a brace from Cathal Lafferty and at the three-quarter stage, they had stretched their advantage to nine, with the score now at 1-11 to 0-5.
It was 1-14 to 0-6 when the ’Mills got through for their goal from a penalty with two minutes remaining. It came too late to stop the Inagh-Kilnamona men from progressing to the quarter-finals and the Davy Fitzgerald-coached outfit finished the game strongly with points from Ger Arthur and Conor Tierney.
The ’Mills made a number of changes to their line-up in the second period but these failed to bring about an improvement and they must now content themselves with involvement in the race for the senior B championship title.
The winners’ half-back trio of Glynn, O’Looney and Hegarty was always on top, while behind them Milo Keane, Jamie Davin and, in particular, Dermot Lynch were always in control. Cathal Lafferty’s ability to win possession caused huge problems for the ’Mills, whose best player was full-back Conor Cooney, while teenager James McMahon showed some nice touches in attack.
Inagh-Kilnamona: Patrick Kelly; Milo Keane, Jamie Davin, Dermot Lynch; Eamonn Glynn, Ronan O’Looney (capt), David Hegarty; Colm Pilkington, Ger Arthur; Dermot Gannon, Cathal Lafferty, Niall Arthur; Conor Tierney, Tony Carmody, Tomás Kelly.
Subs: Brian Glynn for Pilkington (54 minutes) and Alan Griffin for Lafferty (58 minutes).
Scorers: Ger Arthur (0-6, 0-3f), Cathal Lafferty (1-2), Niall Arthur (0-3, 0-1f), Conor Tierney (0-3), Tony Carmody and Tomás Kelly (0-1 each).
Frees for: 15. Wides: 10.
Bookings: Tomás Kelly (21 minutes).
“We are happy to have qualified for the quarter-finals. There was a lot of hard hurling in the second half and we didn’t get into it but we are happy with the end result.” Eugene Foudy, Inagh-Kilnamona.
O’Callaghan’s Mills: John Cooney; Damian Noonan, Conor Cooney, James Shanahan; Ger Frost, Adrian Donovan, Niall Donovan; Diarmuid Hehir, Pat Donnellan; Adrian Flaherty, Declan Donovan, Alan Duggan (capt); James McMahon, Bryan Donnellan, Fergus Donovan.
Subs: Gary Neville for Flaherty (half-time), Cathal McKeogh for F Donovan (45 minutes), Padraic McKeogh for D Donovan (52 minutes) and Jonathon Lyons for C McKeogh (59 minutes).
Scorers: Padraic McKeogh (1-0, penalty), Adrian Flaherty (0-2f), Bryan Donnellan and James McMahon (0-2 each).
Frees for: 15. Wides: 10.
Bookings: Alan Duggan (19 minutes), Niall Donovan (23 minutes) and Diarmuid Hehir (48 minutes).
“We never hurled at all. We never got going, never got out of the blocks. We put in an awful lot of work and we are extremely disappointed.” Peter Carmody, O’Callaghan’s Mills.
Referee: Ger Hoey, Killanena.