Sport

Clonakilty hitting top form at right time

August 27th, 2017 1:00 PM

By Southern Star Team

Eyes on the prize: Clonakilty's Ciarán Crowley and Denis Murphy compete for the ball against St Mary's Niall Kelleher during the South West JAHC semi-final at Ahiohill. (Photo: Denis Boyle)

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Clonakilty 0-22   

St Mary's  2-7

TOM LYONS REPORTS


CLONAKILTY are heading towards their best form at the right time of the season.

Playing some classy hurling at times, favourites Clon advanced to their second South-West final in three years when they had a comprehensive victory over St Mary's in Ahiohill on Saturday evening in the semi-final of the RCM Tarmacadam junior A hurling championship.

It sets up a divisional final against neighbours Ballinascarthy on September 3rd.

‘It was encouraging to see the points going over as we didn't do that the last day against Dohenys. We need a bit more ruthlessness to get the goals but that will come in time. There's a lot of work to be done on defence too, we gave away two soft goals,' Clon manager James O'Donovan said.

‘People say we got the easy side of the draw but there's no game easy when you get to a semi-final or a final in West Cork. We'll put in two weeks of hard training and work on the faults that showed up tonight. 

‘We were idle for 13 weeks before the Doheny game and we knew that game would stand to us, and it did. We did a lot of hard work on our shooting over the past few weeks.'

 That hard work on shooting certainly paid off for the winners in the first half against the strong breeze. St Mary's, with the strong sinking sun and the wind to their backs, gave as good as they got as Brian Everard pointed a free to open their scoring. 

With Tiarnán O'Connell leading in style from the forty, midfielders Alan Murphy and Liam O'Donovan getting on top and Sean McEvoy creating problems up front, Clon hit the front with some fine free-taking from Sean White.

White pointed two frees, then McEvoy hit two lovely scores from play into the wind and O'Connell and O'Donovan added two more as the Brewery Town led by 0-6 to 0-1 at the end of the first quarter, which saw St Mary's wide tally creeping towards double figures.

The lively John Daly finally found the target for Mary's at the beginning of the second quarter and then Niall Kelleher availed of a defensive error to finish to the Clon net in the 20th minute.

Clon refused to be rattled by this setback, and three good points from long-range frees into the wind by Sean White, and points from play by O'Connell, McEvoy and Thomas Clancy brought Clon's total to a dozen by half time. St Mary's only reply was a Kelleher point as their wides' tally reached 11 and it was 0-12 to 1-3 at the break.

The wind died somewhat in the second half as Brian Everard again claimed the opening score from a free but Clon were soon on the point trail again. Scores flowed from Clancy, McEvoy (2), White (two frees), Alan Murphy and O'Connell, as the red and green led by 0-19 to 1-6 at the three-quarter mark. 

Peter Daly, whose catching of the high ball at midfield was spectacular in the second half, and Brian McCarthy answered for Mary's.

The last quarter saw Clon emptying the bench as sub Cian O'Donovan pointed and they were presented with their only real goal-chance of the game in the 50th minute when Thomas Clancy was fouled when bursting through but the resulting penalty by goalkeeper Mark White was superbly deflected over the bar by Gearóid Harrington.

Mary's died with their boots on after that as they went in search of late scores and were rewarded by a pointed 65 by Peter Daly and a goal by Mark O'Driscoll. It was too late to affect the outcome as Alan Murphy closed the scoring with a Clon point.

Overall, this was a fine display by the Clon side, a big improvement on previous outings, the only blemish being their failure to create goal chances and the concession of two sloppy goals. They seem to be building nicely towards the final.


Scorers

Clonakilty: Sean White 0-7f, Sean McEvoy 0-5, Tiarnán O'Connell 0-3, Alan Murphy, Thomas Clancy 0-2 each, Mark White (1f), Liam O'Donovan, Cian O'Donovan 0-1 each. 

St Mary's: Niall Kelleher 1-1, Mark O'Driscoll 1-0, Brian Everard (2f), Peter Daly (1f, 1 65) 0-2 each, John Daly, Brian McCarthy (1f) 0-1 each.


Clonakilty: Mark White; Dave O'Regan, Pa O'Sullivan, Ciarán Crowley; Denis Murphy, David Lowney, Eoin Deasy; Alan Murphy, Liam O'Donovan; Sean White, Tiarnán O'Connell, Eoin Ryan; Sean McEvoy, Thomas Clancy, Cian Hennessy. 

Subs: Sean O'Donoghue for S McEvoy (45), Cian O'Donovan for C Hennessy (46), Zach Harrington for C Crowley (52), James O'Brien for D Lowney (53), Shane Collins.


St Mary's: Gearóid Harrington; Brian Brady, John O'Sullivan, Billy O'Brien; Rory O'Connor, Michael O'Driscoll, Rory Baggott; Ciarán Everard, Peter Daly; John Daly, Brian Everard, Dylan Scannell; Niall Kelleher, Gary Twomey, Brian McCarthy. 

Sub: Mark O'Driscoll for G Twomey (ht).

Referee: Seamus Crowley (Argideen Rangers).

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