St James 2-13
JOHN MURPHY REPORTS
CLONAKILTY showed, again, that they deserve to be in the conversation for potential Carbery junior hurling champions this season after they powered into the last four.
Displaying physicality with outstanding players in key positions and generally more cohesive all over the park, Clonakilty brushed aside the challenge of a weakened St James in this RCM Tarmacadam JAHC quarter-final at Timoleague recently.
In the process they signalled their title intentions, as from towering shot-stopper Mark White to dynamic corner forward Sean McEvoy it was hard to find a weak link. Granted, they faced a Saints side shorn of the services of two key players and while the Brewery Town’s dominance took a while to reflect on the scoreboard, once Mark White expertly tucked away a penalty in the 50th minute after full forward Timmy Anglin had been tumbled, it opened up a commanding 2-14 to 0-13 advantage and there was only going to be one outcome.
To their credit the Mountain lads refused to capitulate. With ace marksman Aaron Hayes continuing to bisect the Clonakilty uprights he crashed home a penalty in the 56th minute after a hectic goalmouth scramble. When Kieran O’Donovan raised a second green flag in the 58th minute it put a somewhat flattering look on the scoreboard from a Saints viewpoint, as Clonakity could have and indeed should have won by a greater margin.
It was a case of mission accomplished. It’s onwards and upwards to a greater challenge in the semi-final as selector Seamus O’Brien explained.
‘We knew that St James would come at us, they are an extremely hard team to break down, but we needed that tough game, it will sharpen us up a lot. We are delighted with the win and now we move on to the semi-final. Up to the penalty the game could have gone anyway but once Mark (White) scored it we knew we had it in the bag,’ O’Brien said.
Sean McEvoy and Aaron Hayes exchanged early points. As much of the game was somewhat stop-start, the free-taking of Aaron Hayes and David Lowney right out of the top drawer. The sides were deadlocked at the close of the opening quarter, 0-5 apiece, before a sniping run and cross from McEvoy saw Timmy Anglin billow the net with a tremendous strike.
The White brothers, Eoin Ryan, Lowney, McEvoy, James O’Brien, Niall Barrett, Eoin Deasy and Tiarnán O’Connell were all to the fore for Clonakilty, while the Evans duo, Kevin O’Brien, Conor Brown, and the McCarthys grafted hard in the Mountain cause. It was 1-10 to 0-8 at the break, but once Clonakilty upped the ante only one result was possible.
Scorers – Clonakilty: D Lowney 0-11 (9f); M White 1-1 (1-0 pen); T Anglin 1-0; S McEvoy 0-3; S White, B White 0-2 each; T O’Connell, M Scally 0-1 each. St James: A Hayes 1-12 (10f, 1-0 pen); K O’Donovan 1-0; C Hayes 0-1.
Clonakilty: Mark White; David O’Regan, Ciarán Crowley, Niall Barrett; Eoin Deasy, James O’Brien, Sean O’Donoghue; Sean White, Eoin Ryan; Brian White, David Lowney, Tiarnán O’Connell; Cian O’Donovan, Timmy Anglin, Sean McEvoy. Subs: Martin Scally for Sean O’Donoghue (26), Shane Deasy for Cian O’Donovan (59).
St James: Diarmuid O’Donovan; Micheál McCarthy (Brittas), Micheál McCarthy (Dunnycove), Mark Evans; Ian Evans, Kevin O’Leary, David Hayes; Joseph O’Sullivan, Tadhg Casey; Kevin O’Brien, Aaron Hayes, Paul O’Sullivan; Sean O’Reilly, Conor Brown, Conor Hayes. Subs: K O’Donovan for C Hayes (26), S McCarthy for P O’Sullivan (26), C Hennessy for K O’Donovan (44), C Hayes for T Casey (52), K O’Donovan for C Brown (56).
Referee: Ian McCarthy (Bandon).