Whitegate 1-12 Killanena 1-10
WHITEGATE and Feakle will contest the final of the intermediate hurling championship but both Killanena and Ruan have reason to rue missed opportunities this week as they come to terms with their defeats in last Saturday’s semi-finals.
A draw would probably have been the fairest result in each case, as both losing teams certainly had chances in the second half of their games that they failed to convert.
After a bad start to the season, which saw them suffer a number of heavy defeats, Feakle managed to regroup and they have improved with each outing.
Whitegate were shortlisted for success from the beginning but a shock first-round loss to Ennistymon forced many to review their prediction. That result also made the East Clare side sit up and take notice and since then they have been quite impressive.
Without question, they received their stiffest test of the campaign at Shannon on Saturday and they will be the first to admit that they were fortunate to come through. Five points behind midway through the second half, they looked to be in serious trouble but managed to fight back and late points from Ian Fahy and Brendan Bugler gave them victory.
A strong finish also proved decisive for Feakle in their meeting with league champions Ruan at Dr Daly Park in Tulla. Level with five minutes remaining, the East Clare men outscored their opponents by 0-3 to 0-1 in the remaining time to secure their spot in the decider.
The first of the intermediate semi-finals produced a tremendously exciting second half at Shannon on Saturday and Killanena have good reason to be disappointed with the end result. Having dominated the third quarter, during which they scored 1-3 without reply to take a five-point lead, they failed to close out the game.
With the teams level at 1-10 each, they had a glorious opportunity to go back in front a minute from the end of normal time. Mark Flaherty won possession and got the ball inside to his brother, Ronan but he shot wide from an excellent position.
The puck-out was won by Ian Fahy and he put his side back in front, which proved to be a real killer blow for Killanena. As they went in search of an equaliser they were stopped by Brendan Bugler, whose huge strike from his own half-back line sailed between the uprights to seal his side’s victory.
The first half was a rather dull affair, at the end of which the winners led by six points to five. Mark Flaherty missed a chance to tie up the game just before the half-time whistle sounded.
Killanena made a number of positional switches for the second half and these seemed to bring about a huge difference. Ronan Flaherty pointed after 20 seconds to level the game and Mark Flaherty then converted a 30 metre free to give his side the lead for the first time. Ronan Flaherty added another before a Noel Sheedy delivery ended up in the Whitegate net and now Killanena were five points clear, 1-8 to 0-6.
The second half was 16 minutes old before Whitegate got their first score and it came from a George Waterstone free. This sparked off a period of Whitegate dominance during which Waterstone added another. Killanena goalie David Noone saved from Ian Fahy while another Waterstone effort rebounded off the upright.
The pressure finally paid off eight minutes from time when Waterstone crashed the ball to the corner of the net.
Mark Flaherty put his side back in front when he landed a free but within seconds Whitegate substitute Shane O’Rourke had the teams level again before another substitute, Terence Fahy, gave them the lead. When Flaherty tied up the sides again, everything pointed to a draw but Ian Fahy, with a minute to go, and Brendan Bugler in the second minute of injury time, ensured victory for Whitegate with good points.
Brendan Bugler, Jason Malone, Trevor Kelly and Thomas Holland did well in the winner’s defence while George Waterstone, Ian Fahy and Patrick Minogue had their moments.
David Noone, Joe Clancy and Enda Collins excelled in defence for Killanena, who also had good performances from Michael Noone, Gerry and Fintan McNamara and Mark and Ronan Flaherty.
Whitegate: Andrew Fahy; Cathal Mulbihill, Tommy Hollland, John Bugler; Trevor Kelly, Brendan Bugler, Jason Malone; Ian Fahy, Patrick Minogue; Eric Minogue, Raymond Cahill, Stephen Malone; John O’Brien, George Waterstone, Michael O’Brien.
Subs: John Minogue for Mulvihill; Terence Fahy for Cahill; Shane O’Rourke for J O’Brien.
Scorers: George Waterstone (1-5), four frees; Ian Fahy (0-2); Brendan Brendan Bugler, Trevor Kelly, Michael O’Brien, Shane O’Rourke and Terence Fahy (0-1) each.
Killanena: David Noone; Barry Noone, Joe Clancy, Pat Noone; John O’Donnell, Enda Collins, John O’Mara; Michael Noone, Gerry McNamara; Noel Sheedy, Alan McNamara, Fintan McNamara; Ronan Flaherty, Mark Flaherty, Liam McNamara.
Sub: Brian McNamara for Alan McNamara (inj)
Scorers: Mark Flaherty (0-7), six frees; Ronan Flaherty (0-3); Noel Sheedy (1-0).
Referee: Rory Hickey Éire Óg
Feakle 0-15 Ruan 1-10
Ruan got a great start to this semi-final at Tulla when they had a goal in the opening minute, Aidan Lynch getting the vital touch.
Feakle fought their way back with the help of two impressive line-ball strikes by Gary Guilfoyle and at half-time they were level, 0-8 to 1-5.
Ruan were dealt a double blow in the first half when they lost Colin O’Donoghue and his replacement Alan Bell through injury.
Early in the second half Feakle took a two-point lead through Colin Nelson and Thomas Moloney but three in a row from Jonathon Clohessy, Kevin O’Regan and John Punch had Ruan in front at the turn of the final quarter.
Thomas Moroney pointed for Feakle to level matters before Pádraig Guthrie and Colin Nelson swapped points, leaving the sides tied at 1-9 to 0-12 with just five minutes remaining.
Feakle substitute Ronan Harrington put his side in front and Thomas Moroney doubled their lead but a John Punch effort left the minimum between the sides with two minutes to play.
A huge strike from Gary Guilfoyle from a free more than 100m from goal restored Feakle’s two-point advantage with a minute of normal time to go.
Try as they did in the remaining time, there was two minutes of injury time, Ruan failed to break down a determined Feakle defence.
Francis O’Grady Henry Hayes, Patrick Daly, Colm Naughton, Thomas Moroney, Colin Nelson, Stephen Moloney and Gary Guilfoyle all played their part in this win for the Feakle men.
Jonathon Clohessy, Leon Quirke, Killian Ryan, Michael Vaughan and Aidan Lynch impressed for Ruan.
Feakle: Ronan McGuinness; Alan Hogan, Francis O’Grady, Donal O’Grady; Pádraig Hogan, Henry Hayes, Patrick Daly; Raymond Bane, Colm Naughton; Thomas Moroney, Gary Guilfoyle, Colin Nelson; Seán O’Grady, Cathal Collins, Stephen Moloney.
Subs: Ger Hanrahan for Collins (inj). Ronan Harrington for Hanrahan, Peter Collins for Daly; Eoin Hayes for Nelson.
Ruan: Pakie Roughan; Damian Brohan, Leon Quirke, Gary Bell; Killian Ryan, Jonathan Clohessy, Dara Roughan; Pádraig Guthrie, Tadhg Hanrahan; John Punch, Michael Vaughan, Eoin Hanrahan; Colin O’Donoghue, Aidan Lynch, Kevin O’Regan.
Subs: Alan Bell for O’Donoghue (inj); Brendan Lyons for A Bell (inj); Niall O’Connor for O’Regan.
Referee: Seanie McMahon, Newmarket.