posted 12 Jun 2011, 13:24 by Unknown user
updated 12 Jun 2011, 13:26 by Denis Tuohy Agricultural Consultant
By Michael O Connor.
Crusheen cemented their position at the top of Division 1 of the Clare cup albeit with at least one more game played than most with this highscoring entertaining away win over Clarecastle on Saturday evening. Conditions were perfect for open hurling and even though both sides especially Crusheen were missing championship regulars a lively encounter swayed from end to end.
Crusheen ended with over half their intermediate team finishing the game as Patrick O Grady who scored a hat trick against Clarecastle in the intermediate did likewise in this game with each goal coming at a crucial period for Crusheen. The home side never looked like winning the tie for 50 minutes but could have snatched a draw and a missed chance near the end did signal the end of their challenge. Pat Kelly lining out at centre back for Clarecastle opened the scoring for the home side after seven minutes followed two minutes later by Darragh O Doherty who finished the game at corner forward with five points. Kevin O Dwyer responded for Clarecastle before Patrick O Grady blasted home from close range the games first goal in the 11th minute. Adam Healy (3) impressed greatly in the second quarter causing problems for Crusheen yet he was the only Clarecastle man to score as Gerry O Grady (2), Alan Touhy and O Doherty responded to leave the visitors (1-5) to (0-5) ahead at the interval and looking comfortable after an early dominant effort by Clarecastle. Fergus Kennedy who had lined out with the Clare U21s in a challenge against a Clare senior selection earlier in the afternoon entered the fray as Crusheen were denied the services of Conor O Donnell who sustained injury in that challenge.
Clarecastle needed a consistent challenge early in the second half yet all they contrived was an early score from Aaron Considine before Gearoid O Donnell who worked hard all evening and Adam Healy exchanged scores by the 34th minute. Patrick O Grady scored his second goal before older sibling Gerry added a free as Crusheen surged six points clear. Clarecastle had their best spell with four scores from Tyrone Kierse (3) and Considine to narrow their deficit to two points after 43 minutes. Once more O Grady was on target with a brilliant first timed effort as Crusheen regained a five point lead. Just when it appeared Clarecastle were out of contention sub Sean Talty pounced on a breaking ball and finished expertly past David McMahon in the Crusheen goal to once more leave two between the sides entering the final quarter. Niall Fitzgibbon (2), Kevin O Dwyer, David Greene. Gerry O Grady and Fergus Kennedy all hit the target by the 53rd minute and once more Crusheen were in the ascendancy leading (3-11) to (1-13). Aaron Considine with his sides second goal allied to another Kierse 65 kept Clarecastle within two points of a now nervous Crusheen rearguard with three minutes of normal time to play. Darragh O Doherty proved to be the talisman for his sides win scoring three points in as many minutes as Clarecastle attacked leaving gaps in their rearguard. Adam Healy with his fifth point had managed to level the game in the 59th minute but two in a row by O Doherty sealed the league points for the county champions.
Crusheen had strong performances from Cronan Dillon at full back with Alan Brigdale excelling once more at corner back. Jason Greene shone at wing back, Gerry O Grady did well at midfield as David Forde, Gearoid O Donnell, Patrick O Grady, Padraic O Malley and Darragh O Doherty were to fore elsewhere. Clarecastle could have sneaked a draw but they were always chasing the tie with good displays from Pat Kelly at centre back, Sean Moloney, Tyrone Kierse, Adam Healy and Fergus Ryan.
CRUSHEEN: David McMahon, John Brigdale, Cronan Dillon, Alan Brigdale, Jason Greene, Shaun Dillon, Brendan McMahon, Tony Meaney, Gerry O Grady (0-4), David Forde, Niall Fitzgibbon (0-2), Gearoid O Donnell (0-1), Darragh O Doherty (0-5), Patrick O Grady (3-0), Alan Touhy (0-1). Subs: Padraic O Malley for Forde (inj), Fergus Kennedy (0-1) for Meaney (inj).
CLARECASTLE; Donagh Murphy, Sean Moloney, Gary Farmer, Kevin Clohessy, Eric Flynn, Pat Kelly (0-1), Fergus Ryan, Tyrone Kierse (0-4) Andrew Page, Adam Healy (0-5), Kevin O Dwyer (0-2), Jamie O Connor, Aaron Considine (1-2), Alan O Loughlin Niall Dunne. Sub: Sean Talty (1-0) for Dunne, David Greene (0-1) for O Loughlin
Referee: Sean McMahon (Newmarket).