posted 13 Oct 2011, 15:02 by Unknown user
updated 13 Oct 2011, 15:02 by Denis Tuohy Agricultural Consultant
Sixmilebridge 1-17 Cratloe 1-13
In what was, arguably, the most entertaining game in the 2011 Clare Senior Hurling Championship to date, Sixmilebridge maintained the upperhand on neighbours and great rivals Cratloe when the sides clashed in the first of the semi-finals at Cusack Park on Saturday evening.
An injury-time goal at the end of the opening half had a huge bearing on the outcome. Cratloe had the better of matters in the second quarter and they were four points in front when the ’Bridge struck a vital blow.
Following a great interception by team captain, Barry Duggan, Cratloe looked to have the danger cleared but lost possession and Declan Morey blasted the ball to the net. The Cratloe men were still in front but as they made their way to the dressing room they were clearly rattled, whereas their neighbours were upbeat.
In the second half the winners appeared to play with more confidence and once they took the lead, Cratloe were never able to get back on terms.
With Barry O’Connor and Derek Fahy both out due to injury, Sixmilebridge were forced to make some changes. Davy Fitzgerald returned to goalkeeping duties after a lapse of almost four years. In a defensive reshuffle, Paidi Fitzpatrick moved to full-back, with Aidan Quilligan going to the corner to the exclusion of Paul Fitzpatrick.
John Fennessy switched from midfield to wing-back in place of O’Connor, while Seadna Morey took over at centre-back. Pa Sheehan was in the starting line-up at midfield in place of Fennessy. Up front, Declan Morey was at wing-forward following Seadna’s switch to defence, while Rory Shanahan started at centre-forward, ahead of Tony Carmody.
The teams were level on three occasions in the opening 10 minutes, at which stage the score was 0-4 each. The game’s opening goal came two minutes later when Conor McGrath reacted quickest when he flicked an Ógie Murphy delivery past Davy Fitzgerald, who had remained on his line. A brace of points from Sean Collins followed, helping Cratloe to a five-point lead at the midpoint of the opening half.
A clash between Davy Fitzgerald and Conor McGrath resulted in both being yellow carded two minutes later. Points continued to be exchanged and as half-time approached, Cratloe were four clear, 1-9 to 0-8. They should have held this advantage to the break but a mistake in defence resulted in possession for Declan Morey in the first minute of injury time and he blasted to the net for what proved to be a crucial score.
Cratloe had the first score of the second half when Conor McGrath converted a free awarded against Robert Conlon, who was fortunate to escape with a yellow card.
Two from Niall Gilligan and one from Caimin Morey had the winners in front by the fifth minute. However, Damian Browne tied up the scores for the fifth and final time after Tadhg Keogh got in a vital tackle on Conor McGrath as he bore down on goal.
A minute from the end of the third quarter, Declan Morey gave his side a lead they would hold to the finish and a minute into the final quarter he doubled their advantage with another fine strike, before Caimin Morey put them three clear. Fitzgerald saved from Conor McGrath as play swung from end to end but perhaps his most crucial contribution was his save from Conor McGrath eight minutes from time, when he dived full length to turn the Cratloe full-forward’s effort behind for a 65’, which Cratloe failed to convert.
Tony Carmody was now in the Sixmilebridge line-up and he put four points between the sides with two minutes remaining and they held this advantage to the finish.
Seadna Morey was excellent at centre-back for the winners, while team captain Niall Gilligan also stood out, contributing 0-9, four from play. Declan Morey’s contribution of 1-2 was also vital on the evening.
Enda Boyce, Barry Duggan and Conor McGrath were prominent for Cratloe.
Sixmilebridge: Davy Fitzgerald; Tadhg Keogh, Paudie Fitzpatrick, Aidan Quilligan; John Fennessy, Seadna Morey, Robert Conlon; Shane Golden, Pa Sheehan; Jamie Shanahan, Rory Shanahan, Declan Morey; Danny Morey, Niall Gilligan, Caimin Morey.
Subs: Trevor Purcell for Fennessy (45 minutes) and Tony Carmody for Sheehan (51 minutes).
Scorers: Niall Gilligan (0-9, 5f), Declan Morey (1-2), Caimin Morey (0-2), Danny Morey, Jamie Shanahan, Pa Sheehan and Tony Carmody (0-1 each).
Cratloe: Sean Hayes; John O’Gorman, Barry Duggan, David Ryan; Enda Boyce, Michael Hawes, Liam Markham; Sean Chaplin, Martin Ógie Murphy; Damian Browne, Sean Collins, Conor Ryan; Cathal McInerney, Conor McGrath, Paudge Collins.
Subs: Thomas O’Connor for Chaplin (48 minutes) and Padraig Chaplin for P Collins (54 minutes).
Scorers: Conor McGrath (1-6, 5f), Cathal McInerney and Sean Collins (0-2 each), Damian Browne, Conor Ryan and Paudge Collins (0-1 each).
Referee: Ambrose Heagney, Corofin.
Crusheen 2-15 Kilmaley 0-13
Goals from Fergus Kennedy and Jamie Fitzgibbon early in the second half gave Crusheen control at Cusack Park on Sunday.
The title-holders went to the break with a three-point lead but this was reduced to two in the first minute of the second half. Two minutes later, the champions put down a marker with their first goal. Pat Vaughan found Cian Dillon with a line ball and the centre-back’s delivery was collected by Gerry O’Grady, who passed to Fergus Kennedy and he found the net.
Kilmaley hit back with a point but were dealt another blow when, in the seventh minute, Jamie Fitzgibbon had their second goal and again team captain Gerry O’Grady provided the pass. When David Forde added a point, the winners were eight points clear and Kilmaley were clearly in trouble.
A powerful performance from Cian Dillon at centre-back laid the foundations for Crusheen’s win. He stood out in a defence that dominated, something that is reflected in the fact that the starting Kilmaley forward line only managed two points.
The challengers started well, helped by the dominance of the midfield pairing of Colin Lynch and Kenneth Kennedy. However, their forwards failed to capitalise on the midfielders’ dominance.
Kilmaley took an early two-point lead but the holders fought back to level for the first of three times in the opening half. It was 0-4 each at the end of the first quarter and a minute later, Crusheen took the lead when Paddy Meaney pointed.
They were level again four minutes from the break, before a superb Cian Dillon effort put Crusheen into a lead they would hold to the finish. As the first half drew to a close, Kieran Dillon in the Kilmaley goal made a fine stop, at the expense of a 65’, from Paddy Meaney.
Kilmaley lost Brian McMahon with the recurrance of a hamstring injury midway through the first half and he was replaced by Michael O’Neill.
Any hopes of a Kilmaley win were severely dented in the early stages of the second half with Crusheen’s goals. Eight points behind with 20 minutes remaining, it was time for change and the challengers brought in Eoin Enright and Conor Clancy to their attack. A brace of points from Michael O’Neill left them two goals in arrears, 0-11 to 2-11 entering the final quarter but that was as close as they got. Two superb efforts from David Forde put eight between them again with 10 minutes to go and while Kilmaley battled to the end, they could not break down a very solid Crusheen defence.
The introduction of John Cabey and John Clohessy improved the Kilmaley challenge with Clohessy scoring a great point, while Cabey forced a good save from Donal Tuohy. The lead, however, was too great and with the Dillon brothers dominating in the winners’ defence, there just was no way through.
For the second game in succession, David Forde scored five excellent points from play, while Fergus Kennedy caused a lot of problems for the Kilmaley defence throughout.
Martin O’Connor, Anthony Cahill and Conor McMahon battled hard in the Kilmaley defence, while Colin Lynch and Kenneth Kennedy gave them an advantage at midfield, particularly in the opening half. However, their forwards failed to make an impression on the day. Substitutes Michael O’Neill and John Clohessy, in particular, also did well.
Crusheen: Donal Tuohy; John Brigdale, Cronan Dillon, Alan Brigdale; Ciarán O’Doherty, Cian Dillon, Cathal Dillon; Pat Vaughan, Joseph Meaney; Gearóid O’Donnell, Jamie Fitzgibbon, David Forde; Paddy Meaney, Gerry O’Grady, Fergus Kennedy.
Sub: Conor O’Donnell for P Meaney (46 minutes).
Scorers: Pat Vaughan (0-6, 4f, 1 65), David Forde (0-5), Fergus Kennedy (1-1), Jamie Fitzgibbon (1-0), Gearóid O’Donnell, Paddy Meaney and Cian Dillon (0-1 each).
Kilmaley: Kieran Dillon; Colin McGuane, Anthony Cahill, Martin O’Connor; Noel Casey, Alan Markham, Conor McMahon; Kenneth Kennedy, Colin Lynch; Daire Keane, Diarmuid McMahon, Brian McMahon; Niall McGuane, Seamus Hurley, Conor Neylon.
Subs: Michael O’Neill for B McMahon (inj, 14 minutes), Eoin Enright for N McGuane (39 minutes), Conor Clancy for Neylon (41 minutes), John Cabey for Hurley (50 minutes) and John Clohessy for Casey (53 minutes).
Scorers: Kenneth Kennedy (0-6, 5f), Colin Lynch and Michael O’Neill (0-2 each), Daire Keane, Conor Neylon and John Clohessy (0-1 each).
Referee: Rory Hickey, Éire Óg.