St Catherine’s 0-15
Noel Horgan Reports
TWO points behind when reduced to 14 players in the 22nd minute, Cloughduv made light of the handicap to get the better of St Catherine’s in the county intermediate hurling championship round-one clash at Páirc Uí Rinn.
Their positive response immediately after centre-back Eoghan Clifford had been red-carded enabled them to finish the first half 0-9 to 0-8 to the good, which was hugely encouraging, according to selector Tim Barry-Murphy.
‘Just to go in leading by a point was a great boost for the lads, so there was no sign of panic in the dressing-room at half time,’ he revealed.
‘We discussed what we had to do in the second half, and I thought the players, to a man, stepped up to the plate big-time.
‘Their work-rate was phenomenal, as it was throughout the junior campaign last year, and to win our first game back in the intermediate grade is fantastic.’
Switching wing forward Mark Verling to centre back following Clifford’s departure yielded a rich dividend for Cloughduv, as he stood out in defence where Brian Ahern, James Moynihan and Denis O’Sullivan were also especially defiant.
O’Sullivan posted an excellent point in the 25th minute to trigger off a Cloughduv purple patch that yielded three more from Brian Verling before Daniel Mangan completed the first-half scoring for St Catherine’s.
After industrious wing-forward Donal Corkery drew first blood for Cloughduv on the turnover, St Catherine’s responded with points from substitute Ben O’Brien and Brian Mulcahy to gain parity inside 35 minutes.
Denied a goal when Cloughduv goalkeeper Jonathan Buckley deflected a shot from Richard Galvin outside the posts a minute later, St Catherine’s hit the front after ace marksman Shane O’Brien converted the resultant 65, but it was the only time they led in the second half.
The game’s turning-point arrived when Aidan Murphy made it 0-13 to 0-12 to Cloughduv in the 43rd minute. Brian Verling and Mark Walsh quickly tacked on two more scores for the Muskerry side.
In making the clearance that led to Verling’s point before popping up to score at the other end, midfielder Walsh epitomised the resolve that was the hallmark of Cloughduv’s memorable triumph.
Top-scorer Verling and Aidan Murphy were others worthy of special mention for Cloughduv, with the latter and Mark Verling both making inspirational catches to prevent the ball from landing in the danger-zone as St Catherine’s pressed hard in the closing stages.
The East-Cork side’s bid to pull the game out of the fire was ultimately foiled by Cloughduv custodian Buckley, who proved equal to Brian Mulcahy’s goal-attempt deep in stoppage time.
Cloughduv: B Verlin 0-10 (7f), D Corkery 0-2, J Ryan, M Verling, D O’Sullivan, A Murphy, M Walsh 0-1 each.
St Catherine’s: S O’Brien 0-9 (6f, 3 65s), B Mulcahy, D Mangan 0-2 each, B O’Brien, K Neville 0-1 each.
Cloughduv: J Buckley; J Moynihan, B Ahern, P O’Sullivan; D O’Leary, E Clifford, D O’Sullivan; M Walsh, B Hinchion; A Cronin, A Murphy, M Verling; B Verling, J Ryan, D Corkery.
Subs: L Kelleher for Cronin (ht), P Buckley for O’Leary (53), K Barry-Murphy for Corkery (56), G Ahern for P O’Sullivan (61).
St Catherine’s: E Davis; E Wallace, L O’Connor, J Neville; C Hegarty, D Lonergan, S Cotter; S O’Brien, C Kearney; D Mangan, B Mulcahy, N O’Regan; Richard Galvin, Rory Galvin, P Roche.
Subs: K Neville for O’Connor (injured, 5), B O’Brien for Roche (ht), S O’Brien for Wallace (33), T O’Donnell for O’Regan (48), P Keane for Cotter (51).
Referee: K O’Regan (Ballyhea).