NEWMARKET ON FERGUS…………1-14 CLOONEY/QUIN……………1-7
By Michael O Connor.
Summertime hurling and coming with it the first heat of the season. The warm up routine of the two teams exerted more perspiration than the previous six Clare cup games as the 25 degree heat took its toll. The annual derby meeting often heats up especially when there is something at stake but on this occasion this tie was a most pleasant mild mannered outing between two keen rivals.
This round seven game played in Newmarket highlighted one team that might have reason to be busy in September at least and it is not necessarily the home sides first squad but the second squad as it was effectively Newmarket’s intermediate side with a few more that played. Missing up to one dozen of the Newmarket senior squad due to a vast array of reasons the call went to the second squad to step up and be counted and this was accomplished with ease against a Clooney/Quin side that struggled throughout the field especially in the half forward line.
Michael McInerney opened the scoring for the home side in sweltering conditions before a deft pass from Mike Daffy set up county star Fergal Lynch for the equaliser in the 4rd minutes. Colin Ryan converted a free just seconds before Ian Mulcahy saved from Derek Ryan. Indeed the stand in Newmarket goalie was most efficient in goal giving Clooney/Quin little scope for goal taking.
After just ten minutes it was apparent that Newmarket were too strong as Clooney/Quin had a number of their successful Under 21 side playing. One let off for Clooney/Quin materialised as Newmarket on Fergus hit 16 wides opposed to 10 for the visitors with Peter Duggan unusally off target in the first twenty minutes hitting three wides in a row as he struggled to get his bearings. Colin Ryan and Duggan exchanged scores to leave Clooney/Quin the odd point in five in arrears after 12 minutes. Two further Ryan points in three points left Newmarket three clear before Duggan sent over a sideline cut before scores from Ryan and the hard working Darren Duggan in a flurry of scores in the middle period of the first half left the home side comfortably in control and 7-3 ahead with ten minutes left. The pace slowed considerably as the heat took its toll allowing John Reynolds in the 22nd minute to score his first point in senior hurling. Had Duggan hit the frees accurately the game would have been tied despite the strong dominance of Newmarket. The final score of the half fell to Duggan who was being moved around the forward division to utilise his talents best as Newmarket went in 7-5 ahead yet looking far more likely of winning the tie as only Mike Daffy was making any inroads up front for Clooney/Quin but still not getting any goal shots.
Once more Mike McInerney propelled the home side in front with the opening score of the new half. He added a second after a rebound from a Colin Ryan free that was saved in the 39th minute. Midfielder Noel Frawley after 41 minutes left Clooney/Quin double scores adrift (0-10) to (0-5) and in real danger of a major defeat unless an improvement was imminent. Clooney/Quin managed just two points in the second half coming from Peter Duggan in the 42nd and 47th minutes as Newmarket finally got the opening goal from Shane O Brien at the end of the third quarter. A brace of frees from Ryan whose superior fitness was causing the visitors no end of trouble. Newmarket were now sailing eight clear and threatening a second goal as Enda Barrett was supreme in the centre of the home side defence. For Clooney/Quin Padraig Ward was capable at wing back and overall Clooney’s defence coped adequately under incessant pressure aided perhaps by the large wide tally by their oppressors. Both sides emptied their benches in the last ten minutes with Clooney/Quin grabbing a consolation goal with an overhead flick by Aidan Daffy after a long free from Damian O Halloran. Newmarket rounded off the scoring with points from Liam Clancy and Noel Frawley to put one foot in the semi finals and would have to be most unfortunate not to secure a knockout slot in the last four of the Clare champion cup.
Best for the winners who will have a busy championship summer and maybe early autumn on two fronts namely senior and intermediate irrespective of cup displays were Ian Mulcahy, the excellent Enda Barrett, Alan Barrett, Noel Frawley, Sean O Connor, Michael McInerney, Liam Clancy, Darren Duggan and Colin Ryan. Clooney/Quin will treat this game as nothing more than a league outing with all their energies now focussed on Inagh/Kilnamona. Their better performers included Damian O Halloran, Padraig Ward, Enda Harrison, Conor Harrison and Mike Daffy in the first half. Cup games as stated before should be accompanied with a health warning. Take results with a dose of reality.
NEWMARKET: Ian Mulcahy, Sean O Connor, Padraig Gilmartin, Alan Barrett, Niall O Connor, Enda Barrett, Darren O Connor, Noel Frawley (0-2), Michael McInerney (0-3), Colin Ryan (0-7), Liam Clancy (0-1), Darren Duggan (0-1), Jim McInerney, Shane O Briens jnr (1-0). Subs: Brian “Beano” McMahon for Jim McInerney, Shane LIddy for Clancy, Martin Frawley for O Brien
CLOONEY/QUIN: Damian O Halloran, Brian McInerney, Shane McNamara, Seamus Conroy, Padraig Ward, Donnacha Murphy, Enda Harrison, Conor Harrison, John Reynolds (0-1), Cathal Egan, Mike McNamara, Fergal Lynch (0-1), Derek Ryan, Peter Duggan (0-5), Mike Daffy. Subs: James Casey for Egan, Richie Hennessy for M McNamara, Aidan Daffy (1-0) for Ryan.
REFEREE: Jim Hickey (Cratloe).