Clarecastle 2-21 Doora/Barefield 3-12
CLARECASTLE advanced to the final of the U-21 B championship with a thrilling win over neighbours Doora/Barefield in their replayed semi-final on Sunday evening in Ruan. Played before a large attendance, the high scoring contest saw some stylish passages of hurling from both sides, Clarecastle finishing the stronger with seven late points, in response to St Josephs solitary white flag.
Alan O’Neill led the way for the Parish with a 3-5 haul, his three goals coming in a four minute spell either side of half time that turned a 1-9 to 0-5 deficit into a 3-6 to 1-9 lead two minutes into the second period. The Magpies absorbed the blows however and hit back with some of their own, Stephen Ward also catching the the scoreboards eye, his 2-2 from play proving a vital contribution. Wards second goal, which came following a great burst through the Joseph’s rearguard from Mark McGuane, put the winners 2-14 to 3-9 to the good and from there, although the Parish briefly levelled, the Magpies began to dominate. A series of inspirational late points from Bobby Duggan (4), Conor O’Gorman (2) and the influential Ward saw them home in a thoroughly entertaining hour.
CLarecastle were on top for most of the first half, carving out a seven point lead at one stage. The half forward line of Bobby Duggan, Mikey Casey and Mark McGuane were all firing and Duggan, fresh from scoring 1-8 for the Clare minors midweek, had five first half points. The Magpies first goal came after five minutes, Stephen Ward fining from close range after Mark Foley set him up. That score was followed by a series of excellent points from play, two notables from Clarecastle’s Mikey Casey and some equally good responses from the Parish’s Niall Deloughrey (2) and the impressive David Conroy.
As half time approached the Magpies had a seven point lead but a 21 yard free was driven to the net on half time by Alan O’Neill and that left his side behind 1-9 to 1-6 at the break.
Supporters barely had time to set their watches at the start of the second installment before Alan O’Neill had banged in two goals in eighty seconds. Both were from play and both required some hard work from the county panellist. Each was powerfully driven to the net from close range but both were executed in close proximity to a host of Magpie defenders; they were well taken scores.
Now behind by three, Clarecastle didn’t panic and immediately got back into the game with four excellent points from play. Bobby Duggan shot two of them, Mikey Casey and Stephen Ward the others. Alan O’Neill replied with a free before Ward’s second goal gave Clarecastle renewed momentum. From there they took over and finished the game the better side, worth their six point win. They did have one or two moments of concern late on but goalkeeper Jamie Coughlan came to the rescue with two brilliant saves.
Doora-Barefield battled to the end and certainly played their part in a most entertaining contest. Along with O’Neill’s productive cameos, they had stirring performances and bursts from Jarlath Colleran, David Conroy, Neil Deloughrey, sub Eoin Hanrahan, Seamus Nugent and Darragh Murphy. Despite conceding 2-21 they defended like terriers, the tally more a compliment to the Magpie attack than Joseph’s frailties, as well as attesting to free-flowing nature of the match.
Clarecastle’s display also featured solid efforts with plenty of players standing up. The class of Duggan and captain Stephen O’Halloran was always evident, Duggan ending the hour with 0-11 to his name, five of them from play. Stephen Ward put some recent injuries behind him with a clinical 2-2, all from play, while Mikey Casey and Conor O’Gorman also chipped in with crucial scores. Elsewhere Gearoid Ryan, Mark McGuane, Mark Foley, Pa Tuohy, Tommy Howard, Conor Clancy and Dylan Broderick were to the fore.
Jamie Coughlan, Dylan Broderick, Conor Clancy, Joe Barry, Tommy Howard, Stephen O’Halloran, Pat Tuohy, Gearoid Ryan, Aaron Greene, Mikey Casey (0-3), Bobby Duggan (0-11, six frees), Mark McGuane (0-2), Mark Foley (0-1), Conor O’Gorman (0-2), Stephen Ward (2-2). Subs: Conor Galvin for Greene (44 mins).
Mikey Rosengrave, Darragh Murphy, Brian Clancy, Kevin Meaney, Conor Lyons, Jarlath Colleran (0-1), Eamon Clohessy, David Conroy (0-3, 1 free), David Clancy, Alan O’Neill (3-5, 1-4 from frees), Leo Duggan, Niall Deloughrey (0-2), Donal O’Halloran, Seamus Nugent (0-1), Brian Guilfoyle. Subs: Eoin Hanrahan for Clancy (24 mins), Cathal Duggan for Clohessy (42 mins), Fiachra Tuohy for Lyons (49 mins).
Referee: Ambrose Heagney.