By Michael O Connor
Pace, glorious pace can be pointed to as the key component in Cratloe's hard earned win and Tulla's exit from this years canon Hamilton title race in Cusack park recently. Ironically Cratloe did not look overly confident in front of goal when the ball was dropping in on top of them in the last quarter but their counter attack style caught Tulla fair and square. Will this scenario be afforded to the South Clare men for the remainder of the season remains to be seen when they meet teams who are quicker but right now they sit pretty waiting for a clash with a Sixmilebridge side that suffered greatly through no fault of their own late on in their clash with Inagh/Kilnamona
Missing the services until the final quarter of Paul Lynch Tulla opened the scoring when Aidan Lynch was quickest off the mark. Cratloe star forward Conor McGrath was in fine form and had two points on the board after three minutes and when Cathal McInerney struck for (1-1) by the 5th minute a hurling lesson for Tulla appeared on the cards as Cratloe surged five clear. Cathal Dinan settled the nerves in the 7th with a well taken point as Sean Hayes effected a save from the onrushing Danny O Halloran before Andrew Quinn hit three out of the intervening four scores with Oige Murphy grabbing the fourth to leave Cratloe (1-4) to(0-5) ahead but the possession stat favouring Tulla more and more as the game matured. Danny O Halloran narrowed the Cratloe lead to the minimum in the 18th minute and indeed over the hour he was unlucky not to hit a goal. Conor McGrath and a brilliant score from David McInerney exchanged minors by the 20th minute. Sensationally and quite unexpected if one considered the scoreline after five minutes the lead swung the way of the 2007 champions after Andrew Quinn and Darragh Corry in the 23rd and 25th minutes were on the mark. The quality of Cratloe shone brightly in the final five minutes as they hit a hat trick of points couresty of McGrath, Paudge Collins and Cathal McInerney as they retired (1-8) to (0-9) ahead at the break and in reality knocked Tulla back after they had given off their all to get that one point ahead only to surrender it almost immediately.
With Andrew Quinn doing well in a holding role at midfield Tulla were always in with a chance if they could strike for at least one goal. This was getting harder and harder to visualise as their lack of pace up front was denying them freedom to express themselves. Quinn hit a fine second half opening point before Cathal McInerney struck for a goal after McGrath's initial effort was blocked into his path by Philip Brennan. Cratloe were once more four clear even after Quinn and McGrath swopped scores after 37 minutes. Paudge Collins and Damian Browne added to Tulla's misery to extend the 2009 champions advantage to six points entering the final quarter. A solid effort on Tulla's part from the 46th to 52nd minute saw Danny O Halloran, Andrew (2) and David McInerney strike over minors as opposed to a single effort from McGrath (free) to leave Cratloe nervous (2-12) to (0-15) leaders. In this spell Tulla could have scored a goal but lacked finesse around the Cratloe square that saw Conor McGrath back defending. Brian Lynch hit a wide at a crucial moment in the game that let Cratloe off the hook as Thomas O Connor was involved in a high tackle on David McInerney that luckily for the Cratloe man ended with only a yellow card. The delay in treating McInerney knocked the momentum out of Tulla's challenge in a swift attack Conor McGrath scored his sides third goal and deep into injury time McInerney rounded off the scoring completing his hat trick as Tulla could rightfully bemoan a nine point loss but such is sport as Cratloe took the chances and Tulla could not create close range chances.
Best for Cratloe were Barry Duggan, Enda Boyce, David Ryan, Sean Chaplin, Cathal McInerney, Conor McGrath and Paudge Collins. Tulla has solid displays in defeat from Andrew Quinn, Brian Lynch, Cian McInerney, Danny O Halloran, David McInerney in patches and Aidan Lynch.
CRATLOE: Sean Hayes, John O Gorman, Barry Duggan, David Ryan, Enda Boyce, Michael Hawes, Liam Markham, Sean Chaplin, Oige Murphy (0-1), Damian Browne (0-1), Sean Collins, Conor Ryan, Cathal McInerney (3-2), Conor McGrath (1-6), Paudge Collins (0-2). Subs: Thomas O Connor for Browne, Padraig Chaplin for S Collins, Gearoid Ryan for C Ryan,
TULLA: Philip Brennan, Eugene Cooney, Mark Quinn, John Brennan, Cian McInerney, Sean Torpey , Brian Lynch, Declan Murphy, Conor O Halloran, David McInerney (0-2), Andrew Quinn (0-8), Darragh Corry(0-1), Aidan Lynch (0-1), Danny O Halloran (0-2), Cathal Dinan (0-1). Subs: Brian Quinn for Dinan, Paul Lynch for M Quinn, Michael Murphy for C O Halloran, Donnacha McNamara for D Murphy,
REFEREE: John Healy (Smith O Briens).
Senior B Hurling Championship
NEWMARKET ON FERGUS.......2-22 TUBBER..............0-16
By Michael O Connor.
Not the quarter final that Newmarket wished to be winning comfortably yet nonetheless they went about their task with professionalism in Clarecastle and ended Tubber's interest in club hurling for the season. Conditions were ideal in Clarecastle bar a stiff breeze that favoured Tubber in the first half.
Tubber centre forward Shane O Connor opened the scoring in the first minute and after seven minutes of keenly contested fare the sides were level on (0-3) apiece as Enda Barrett, Martin O Hanlon who was impressive throughout and Colin Ryan were on the mark as Blaine Earley (2) responded for the North Clare side. At the end of the first quarter Newmarket were narrow (0-7) to (0-6) ahead couresty of scores from Anthony Kilmartin, Enda Kelly and Ryan (2) as Blaine Earley continued his rich vein of form with a hat trick of scores in seven minutes.
The decisive score in the first half that proved the difference at the interval was a goal from a free scored by Ryan that was won by the county panellists in the 19th minute. Eoin Hayes, Shane O Brien, David Barrett and Ryan added points in the second quarter to leave their side (1-11) to (0-11) clear at the break. Bar the goal conceded Tubber did well in general play in the last ten minutes of the first half and scored five points from Blaine Earley, David O Donoghue, Clive Earley, Justin McMahon and Pat O Connor to stay in contention.
The superior pace of Newmarket on Fergus told with telling effect in the first ten minutes of the second half as they overran Tubber who tired attempting to keep up with an obviously motivated Newmarket side. The winners added six points without reply as Ryan (3), David Barrett, Anthony Kilmartin and Shane O Brien were the sharpshooters. Stephen Kelly scored a wonderful point before being injured at the three quarter way mark as Tubber were now ten points in arrears.
The final ten minutes was merely a confirmation of the reality in the gulf of standard between the sides as Newmarket added (1-4) as Kilmartin bagged the games second goal with Tubber scoring four consolation points through Blaine Earley (2), Clive Earley and Pat O Connor who will be lining out this coming weekend with CIT In the Cork hurling final against Carrigtwohill.
Best for the winners were Enda Barrett, Stephen Kelly, Martin O Hanlon, David Barrett, Colin Ryan, Eoin O Brien and Anthony Kilmartin. Tubber once more fell away in the second half despite the best efforts of Conor Earley, Pat O Connor, Blaine Earley and Mark Earley.
NEWMARKET: Kieran Devitt, Shane O Brien, Stephen Kelly (0-1), Padraig Kilmartin, Darren O Connor, James McInerney, Enda Barrett (0-1), Martin O Hanlon (0-3), Eoin O Brien, David Barrett (0-2), Shane O Brien (0-2), Enda Kelly (0-1), Eoin Hayes (0-1), Anthony Kilmartin (1-2), Colin Ryan (1-9). Subs: Jim McInerney for Hayes, Alan Barrett for, James Liddy for
TUBBER: Ronan Taaffe, John O Connor, Mark Earley, Eoin Ruane, Fergal O Grady, Pat O Connor (0-3), Conor Earley, Clive Earley (0-2), Ger O Connor, David O Donoghue (0-1), Shane O Connor (0-1), Nigel O Donoghue, Dara O Connor, Justin McMahon (0-1), Blaine Earley (0-8). Subs: Tommy Lee for Dara O Connor
REFEREE: Fergus McDonagh (St Josephs).