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Clonlara grind out win

posted 23 Sep 2010, 08:27 by Unknown user   [ updated 23 Sep 2010, 08:29 by Denis Tuohy Agricultural Consultant ]

Clonlara 2-10     Clooney-Quin 0-12

Goals win games and in this competitive contest the goals, both opportunistic strikes from Darach Honan, were the difference in the final analysis. Equally crucial, though, was their timing.

The opening goal arrived after just two minutes. Cillian Fennessy was the creator when he slipped inside his marker and his pass left Honan with the simplest of tasks, that of batting the ball into the net.

The second came with a psychological stamp on it. Clooney-Quin had battled their way back from that early setback to be more than a match for their opponents, and just as Ambrose Heagney’s half time whistle approached Honan once again swooped for a match defining score.

Nicky O’Connell’s free from distance looked to have the range but an unfortunate Cillian Duggan, restored to starting line up following a hand injury, was unsure of his ground on the goal line.

Had O’Connell’s strike sufficient altitude to clear the crossbar or was it dropping short? Duggan was taking no chances and he brought down but failed to control the ball. With his predatory instincts, in nipped Honan, a player with a penchant for goals, to whip the ball to the net.

It was a sickening time to concede a goal and what was a two-point margin stretched out to a five points deficit. It looked beyond Clooney-Quin to claw that leeway back because of the shortcomings of their attack and the authoritative display of Clonlara’s half-back line.

The losers played direct hurling and targeted Fergal Lynch at full forward with the high ball. However, with Lynch failing to win primary possession, Clooney-Quin were struggling, illustrated by the fact that they managed just four points from play, a brace apiece from Cathal Egan and Fergal Lynch. The rest came from Derek Ryan from placed balls.

Honan’s early strike brought an almost immediate riposte from Clooney-Quin with Derek Ryan pointing frees either side of a great effort from Cathal Egan.

The contest was pretty even with both teams labouring to add to their tally. Indeed, with half time beckoning Clooney-Quin would have been pleased with their response to the early whammy, as they were just two points in arrears. Then came calamity in defence with Honan pouncing on Duggan’s mistake to give Clonlara the cushion of a five points interval lead.

To their credit, Clooney-Quin rallied. They hit the first two points of the half before they then hit the self-destruct button. Shane McNamara’s clothesline challenge on John Conlon earned him a straight red card from Ambrose Heagney.

Clonlara deployed Nicky O’Connell in the free role in defence, with the result that Ger O’Connell’s goal was never threatened save an audacious attempt from 30yards from Peter Duggan that O’Connell gathered at the second time of asking.

Clonlara had their destiny in their own hands but they failed to close out the game despite having the chances.

In fact, they were outscored by 14-man Clooney 0-6 to 0-4 during that second half and a contributory factor was their wayward shooting which saw them rack up 12 second half wides.

While they did experience some late anxiety, this was a game Clonlara never looked like losing. And their reward? A mount-watering clash with Cratloe in a repeat of last year’s county final.

Clonlara: Ger O’Connell, Paul Collins, John Moloney, Senan Nihill, Domhnall O’Donovan, Paul Nihill, Nicky O’Connell, Cormac O’Donovan, Tommy Lynch, Colm Galvin, John Conlon, William Slattery, Cillian Fennessy, Darach Honan, Donal Madden. Sub: Cathal O’Connell for Slattery.

Scorers: Darach Honan (2-1), Donal Madden (0-4f), John Conlon (0-3), Cormac O’Donovan (0-2).

Frees: 12; wides: 17.

Clooney-Quin: Damien O’Halloran, Shane McNamara, Conor Harrison, Joe O’Loughlin, Adrian Fleming, Cillian Duggan, Enda Harrison, Donnachda Murphy, Mike McNamara, John Earls, Cathal Egan, Trevor Lee, Martin Duggan, Fergal Lynch, Derek Ryan. Subs: Peter Duggan for Earls, Sean Conheady for Fleming, Seamus Conroy for Lee, Michael Daffy for Martin Duggan.

Scorers: Derek Ryan (0-8, 7fs, 1’65), Cathal Egan and Fergal Lynch (0-2) each.

Frees: 17; wides: 9; 65’s: 1.

Referee: Ambrose Heagney, Corofin.