Report from John O’Flynn
Féile na nGael County Under 14 Hurling Final
Clarecastle 5-20 Clonlara 1-00
at Shannon (March 29th, 2009)
Last Sunday in Shannon, Clarecastle’s young hurlers had a comprehensive victory over Clonlara to bring the trophy back to the club for the first time since 1973.
Clarecastle, ably led by Captain Robert Duggan, who contributed 2-12 from both play and frees got off to a great start despite playing into a strong wind.
In only the first minute, Derek Casey had their first point, which was quickly followed by a cracking goal from Sean Cosgrove. Clonlara responded with a very good goal after ten minutes.
But from there on, Clarecastle took total control and a string of points from Robert Duggan and Padjo Dolan stretched their lead. One of these Duggan points in the 24th minute was the score of the game after a brilliant solo run by centre-back Mark McGuane.
Clarecastle’s interval lead of 1-10 to 1-00 could have been greater but for some excellent saves by Clonlara’s goalkeeper Paraic O’Loughlin and some good defensive work by Ian Galvin, Fionn Larkin and Fionan O’Brien.
After the interval Clarecastle, aided by a strong wind, quickly got on top all over the field and after 39 minutes they had stretched their lead to 2-14 to 1-00 as a result of 2-3 by Duggan and a Jake Barnes point.
Clarecastle, with Stephen Ward and Joseph Barry well on top at midfield, controlled matters to the end with Casey and Barnes chipping in with a goal each and further points from Ward (3), Cian Crimmins, Duggan and Dolan.
For Clarecastle, Sean Lynch was solid in goal as was their defence in which, Mark McGuane was outstanding at centre-back, ably assisted by Dylan Broderick, Adam Howard, Conor Galvin, Pat Tuohy and Brian Gilroy.
Clonlara persevered right to the finish thanks to the efforts of O’Loughlin in goal, Galvin, O’Brien and Larkin in defence.
On agreement with both managements and referee, all panel members got a run out and a chance to play in what was a sporting final.
Clarecastle will now represent Clare in the Feile na nGael 2009 which will take place on June 19th/20th and 21st jointly hosted by Offaly and Laois.
Clarecastle: Sean Lynch; Brian Gilroy, Dylan Broderick, Adam Howard; Conor Galvin, Mark McGuane, Pat Tuohy; Joseph Barry, Stephen Ward (0-3); Robert Duggan (Captain) (2-12), Patrick J Dolan (0-2), Jake Barnes (1-1); Sean Cosgrove (1-0), Derek Casey (1-1), Cian Crimmins (0-1)
Subs: Ben Moloney, Eanna Cooney, Dylan Hanrahan, Evan Wiley, Adam Crowe, Darragh Holland, Brian Clancy, Brian Magnier
Clonlara: Paraic O’ Loughlin; John Foley, Fionn Larkin, Fionan O’ Brien; Mark Connelly, Ian Galvin, Paul McNamara; Seamus Downey, Ciaran Downey; Sean Moriarty, David Poland (1-0), Micheál O’Loughlin; Hugh Mescall, David Begley, Jack Hackett
Subs Eoin Galvin, Kevin McGuiness, Shane McAleish, Diarmuid Guilly, John Quinlivan, Conor Galvin, Mickie Doolan, Eoin O’ Mara, Kevin Madden, Dylan Cremin, Cian Moriarty
Referee: Michael Troy (Broadford)
Clarecastle were hosted by Roscrea in a tough group that comprised of home teams Éire Óg Nenagh, Roscrea and perennial Féile superpower Ballyboden St Enda’s. The Magpies got off to a great start with a 1-8 to 1-2 victory over Roscrea, only to be edged out by Nenagh in the next round on a 2-7 to 1-7 scoreline.
It meant a winner-takes-all showdown with Ballyboden that proved equally as tight, with the Dubs just shading it by 3-5 to 2-6. However, having finished joint top with Nenagh, the fact that the Tipperary side had won their group clash saw them advance on the head-to-head rule, only to be beaten by eventual winners Dicksboro (Kilkenny) at the last four.