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Senan Crosbie of St Joseph's Doora/Barefield and Colin Riordan of Wolfe Tones compete for the ball. Photograph by Natasha Barton

Parish ensure Tones’ Barron patch continues

No alteration to form lines as St Joseph’s Doora/Barefield maintained their perfect start to this year’s Clare Cup in a relatively comfortable victory over Wolfe Tones in Gurteen on Friday night.
Always an intriguing tie particularly as there’s no shortage of recent history and trauma between this pair in relegation battles, the big difference here was in terms of clinicalness in front of the posts as the Parish were far more efficient than the visitors who will ultimately rue a wasteful first half.
The Tones did start with a bang as talisman Billy Connors stunned their hosts with an early goal but by the turn of the second quarter, St Joseph’s not only cancelled it out but powered clear thanks to goals through Eoghan Thynne, following a powerful Alan O’Neill shot, and Cian Barron at 2-6 to 1-4.
The home side’s wide spectrum of attacking threats is unrivalled in the county as they can triple aerial threat of Alan O’Neill, Eoin Burke and Cian Barron is matched by their ground bombardment of the latter, Michael Nash and chief marksman Davie Conroy who ended the evening with 1-11.
Not many defences have the arsenal to contend with such an attacking variance which could well reap dividends in this year’s senior championship.
Wolfe Tones meanwhile will be vying for intermediate honours after being relegated by the Parish and while they do have a four strong inter-county contingent of Rory Hayes, Aron Shanagher, Darragh and Daithi Lohan and of course Aaron Cunningham to bolster their championship bid, nine first half wides on Friday ensured that they trailed by double scores at 2-10 to 1-05 by half-time.
With the Parish almost in auto-pilot mode, they would be shell-shocked by a resurgent Tones who hit the first four points of the new half inside five minutes through Cian O’Rourke, Billly Connors, Sean Costelloe and Evan O’Gorman to halve the arrears to four.
Davie Conroy answered with two frees but it failed to half Wolfe Tones’ momentum as John Guilfoyle and Cian O’Rourke pointed from play before the visitors were presented with a glorious lifeline in the 41st minute.
It stemmed from a Stephen Donnellan through ball for Connors who bore down on goal before his tame effort was excellently repelled by onrushing goalkeeper Conor Nash. Sean Costelloe did point the rebound to leave only a goal between the sides but in hindsight that was the pivotal moment for the Tones to alter the narrative.
Instead, it proved the scare to spark the Parish back into life as they remarkably raided for the next five points in as many minutes by the turn of the final quarter. The impressive Michael Nash began the rally that included braces for recent county senior panelists Barron and Conroy at 2-17 to 1-12.
A rampant Doora/Barefield brushed off a Cian O’Rourke free to stretch the gap to double figures thanks to further points from Conroy and Nash along with one from Senan Crosbie.
Wolfe Tones thought they had grabbed a consolation goal through a Dean Devanney rebound on the hour mark but even that would be matched in the next passage of play as the devastating duo of Cian Barron and Davie Conroy combined for the latter to find the net and restore an eight point final margin.

St Joseph’s Doora/Barefield: Conor Nash; Adam Mungovan, Jarlath Colleran, Conor Daly; Darragh McMahon, Eoin McMahon, Mark O’Connor; Brian Guilfoyle, Eoghan Thynne; Senan Crosbie, Davie Conroy, Eoin Burke; Michael Nash, Alan O’Neill, Cian Barron
Subs: Paddy Nagle for Guilfoyle (37), Donal O’Halloran for Burke (44), Aaron Landy for O’Neill (53), Ciaran O’Driscoll for Daly (56), Sean O’Connell for Thynne (56)

Scorers: Davie Conroy (1-11, 6f); Cian Barron (1-4); Eoghan Thynne (1-0); Michael Nash (0-3); Eoin Burke, Senan Crosbie (0-1 each)

Wolfe Tones: Oisin O’Rourke; Michael Hayes, Conor Carrig, Conor Ferns; Dylan Frawley, John Guilfoyle, Colin Riordan; Sam Meaney, Cian O’Rourke; Sean Costelloe, Evan O’Gorman, Stephen Donnellan; Dean Devanney, Billy Connors, Niall Fitzgerald Subs: Gary Cusack for Carrig (44), Liam O’Dwyer for Fitzgerald (51), Sean Murphy for Costelloe (56), Luke Merrigan for Riordan (56), Tadhg Fitzgerald for C. O’Rourke (59)

Scorers: Billy Connors (1-4); Cian O’Rourke (0-6, 5f); Dean Devanney (1-0); Sean Costelloe (0-2); Sam Meaney, Evan O’Gorman, John Guilfoyle (0-1 each)

Referee: Jim Hickey

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