NEWMARKET ON FERGUS………….0-12 TULLA………0-11
By Michael O Connor.
This was the game that was the banker along with Broadford/Crusheen and Clonlara/Josephs that many punters had in their treble bets this weekend. Clare Cup once more is under trial as if it was the only barometer Newmarket would have won by 15 points plus pulling up in the last quarter. On the other hand a number of teams that put in an effort in the cup did well in the championship opening round. The reality was that Newmarket were under pressure from a Tulla side that possesses only 8 of their entire 2007 winning panel. Newmarket demanded that physically they would not be undermined by Tulla yet Newmarket on Fergus were the stronger side against a Tulla side that had a 16 year old playing.
An early blitz on the Tulla goal reaped what appeared to all as the first signs of a continuous onslaught as Newmarket raced into a unhampered early lead courtesy of scores from David Barrett (2), Mike McInerney, James Liddy(2) and Colin Ryan (2). The overbearing factor that Newmarket did not close out this game was their inability to get a goal. One would have led to three with great ease. The closest they game was in the 31st minute as Sean Torpey effected a last gasp block on Colin Ryan as Alan Leamy was beaten in the Tulla goal. 12 minutes elapsed before Tulla got on the scoresheet as Aidan Lynch pointed from a free that was quickly followed by a converted 65 by 20 year old David McInerney. The Newmarket frequency of scoring collapsed as they managed only 6 points in the last 45 minutes as much as they scored in the opening 15. Sean O Connor and Trevor Vaughan swopped scores in the 23rd and 27th minutes as Newmarket led (0-9)to (0-3) at the interval.
T ulla were smiling as Newmarket frowned at the half time whistle. Once Newmarket had not hit the net the East Clare side were happy. With the breeze that weakened somewhat with the advent of heavy rain Tulla took the game to their opponents in the second half. Trevor Vaughan hit first three minutes into the new half before Colin Ryan and Ronan Goode appeared to ease the pressure on Newmarket On Fergus with a point apiece by the 36th minute. Amazingly, Tulla began to go on the offensive as confidence grew in their rearguard. David McInerney hit a long range effort from play in the 39th minute. Colin Ryan hit the last score for Newmarket after 40 minutes from a placed effort as the winners went on to hit a number of wides from play and frees late on to really test their luck.
Philip Brennan who was moving from full to centre forward and Aidan Lynch struck scores in the 42nd and 44th minutes to leave five points between the sides. With Brian Lynch, Paul Lynch and Sean Torpey hitting long simple clearances Newmarket were quickly on the backfoot. As the game entered the final ten minutes the Newmarket lead was down to three points following successful efforts by Aidan Lynch and Cathal Dinan. Whilst the hurling was low key in quality the tension was of the highest standard as both sides realised that a mistake, a careless free or lack of concentration could cost dearly. Pa Minogue from close range with eight minutes remaining left two between the sides and Newmarket to compound their misery hit three poor wides between the 53rd and 58th minutes to leave Tulla in the game. Philip Brennan who was underutilised by Tulla as he was a scoring threat whenever in possession hit a great score in the 58th minute as now the minimum separated and despite two efforts by DavidMcInerney from a long range free, he took the first one short but Ger Hoey ordered a retake and again McInerney drove it short as Newmarket breathed a large sigh of relief when the long whistle arrived. Best for the winners who were really toothless in attack included James Liddy and David Barrett early on, Niall O Connor, Sean O Connor and Stephen Kelly. Tulla will bemoan a poor start but as they had a limited panel their chances of freshing up the team did not exist. Their best included Sean Torpey, Brian Lynch, Paul Lynch, Cathal Dinan, Trevor Vaughan, Aidan Lynch and Philip Brennan.
NEWMARKET ON FERGUS: Darren Duggan, Eoin O Brien, Stephen Kelly, Padraig Gilmartin, Niall O Connor, James McInerney, Alan Barrett, Eoin Hayes, Sean O Connor (0-1), Ronan Goode (0-2), David Barrett (0-2), Mike McInerney(0-1), James Liddy(0-2), Colin Ryan (0-4), Noel Frawley. Subs; Shane O Brien for M McInerney, Martin O Hanlon for Liddy, Enda Kelly for Frawley.
TULLA: Alan Leamy, Eugene Cooney, Sean Torpey, Colm Halpin, John Fahy, Brian Lynch, Paul Lynch, David McInerney (0-2), Cathal Dinan (0-1), Pa Minogue (0-1), Philip Brennan (0-2), Trevor Vaughan (0-2), Aidan Lynch (0-3), Michael Murphy, Mark Lynch. Subs: Ciaran Brennan for Leamy (inj)
Referee: Ger Hoey (Killanena).
SCARIFF…………..2-10 WOLFE TONES……………0-11
By Michael O Connor.
Once more, Scariff defy the odds and show to one and all that each year they have one game to offer. In the senior championship when all the sides irrespective of ability were lumped together Scariff struggled in a four game series against top 8 sides. Now with the senior B sides together they will be more competitive and Wolfe Tones found this out to their cost as they meekly surrendered in the second half in this opening round tie in Tulla on Saturday afternoon.
The fact that Wolfe Tones lost is not the story as the saying goes you can have only one winner but after holding a three point lead and Scariff not putting the defence under pressure to go out so softly in the end will haunt Shannon for the next two months. A positive start went the way of Wolfe Tones as Gareth McPhillips opened the scoring with a free in the 2nd minute. Cathal Nash who was in great form from frees responded with a long range effort. A large dollop of fortune went the way of Scariff when a speculative effort by Alphie Rodgers was spilled in the Shannon square and Austin Madden tipped the loose ball to the Wolfe Tones net. A response was required by Wolfe tones and it was swift courtesy of Bobby McPhillips (free) and Gary Leahy were on the mark before McPhillips with another free had the sides on level pegging. Scariff’s propensity to foul in the second quarter was welcomed with open arms by Wolfe Tones. Shane Corry and Ross Horan with a point apiece restored the lead albeit shortlived for the East Clare side as the short passing by Scariff from defence was causing them difficulty. The manager Mike McNamara issued most definite orders that the long ball into the Shannon square was the required tactic.
The following five scores went the way of Wolfe Tones with four from frees as Aaron Cunningham added a fifth from play. It was unusual that Wolfe Tones did not use the pacy county player at the edge of the square as they were unable create scores from their full forward line. The McPhillips shared four frees with Bobby hitting three frees. The last two scores of the half fell to Ross Horan and Bobby McPhillips once more again from a free to leave Wolfe Tones (0-10) to (1-4) clear at the break.
Hard talking in the Scariff dressingroom led to a visibly more determined side emerging for the second half. This was displayed as they hit Wolfe Tones hard and had them on the backfoot from the throw in. Conor McNamara had the sides level three minutes into the second half when he burst through and hit past Paul Hogan from close range. Michael Scanlon and Cathal Nash and Scanlon once again in a eight minute spell to put Scariff (2-7) to (0-10) clear. Wolfe Tones were unable to break past halfway and when they fouled Cathal Nash was on hand to punish especially from 60 metres out. The only score in the second half for the Wolfe Tones men came from Gary O Connell as the last score of the game fell to Ross Horan in the 55th minute but by then the fight was extinguished in Shannon. The other disappointing event in the game was the retirement due to injury of David Reidy. All sport followers would no doubt join us in the Courier to hope that the injury is not as serious as suggested and that he will be back in full fettle as soon as possible.
Best for Scariff were Darragh Kelly, Cathal Nash, Diarmuid Nash, Michael Scanlon, Ross Horan, Alphie Rodgers and Shane Mulvihill. The vanquished tried hard but weakened as the game matured
SCARIFF: Shane Mulvihill, Padraig Brody, Darragh Kelly, Jim Minogue, Cathal Nash (0-4), Diarmuid Nash, Matthew Horan, Conor McNamara (1-0), Michael Scanlon (0-2), Ross Horan (0-3), Shane Corry (0-1), Kenny McNamara, Austin Madden (1-0), Michael O Brien, Alphie Rodgers. Subs: Barry Nash for O Brien, Michael Moroney for C McNamara.
WOLFE TONES: Paul Hogan, Jamie Roughan, Brendan Hughes, Barry Loughnane, Gary O Connell (0-1), Bobby McPhillips (0-6), Shane Chambers, Kevin McCafferty, Brian O Connell, Daithi O Connell, Alan Hehir, Aaron Cunningham (0-1), David Reidy, Gary Leahy (0-1), Gareth McPhillips (0-2). Subs: Mark Regan for Reidy, Ciaran Argue for Hehir, Jamie Walker for McPhillips, Ronan Hehir for McCafferty.
Referee: Ger Lyons (Ruan).