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Sixmilebridge 1-20 v 3-12 Smith O’Brien’s

Junior B Hurling Champiponship

Round 2 @ Clonlara

Sunday, 30th July

Clonlara played host to this junior hurling championship game between last years junior C champions and Smith O'Brien's second string. This was a must win game for the ‘Bridge after losing to Tubber in the first round while the Killaloe and Bridgetown side drew with Feakle.

Smith O’Brien’s had the aid of the breeze for the first half but it was the ‘Bridge who got off to the better start hitting over early scores from Kevin Phelan and team captain Michael O’Halloran (two). Smith O’Brien’s had a good score from their centre forward before they got through for the game’s first goal after capitalizing on a mistake. However, the ‘Bridge were starting to make use of good possession and began to create chances around the danger zone. One of these chances led to Errol Touhy being wrestled to the ground when through on goal as referee Gus O’Callaghan pointed to the spot. Up stepped Martin Conlon who rifled the penalty a la TJ Reid to the top left hand corner of the net giving the goalie no chance.

Further scores arrived with both sides trading points with Conlon, Trevor Maxwell and Touhy on the mark for the 'Bridge in response to two Smith O'Brien's efforts. Indeed, the latter side soon had the game level when they got through for their second goal as the 'Bridge were unable to convert their own goal chances. They did however finish the half strongly by outscoring their opponents by 0-6 to 0-3 in the final ten minutes of the half with O’Halloran, Caimin Barrett, James O'Neill and Conlon on the mark.

On the turnover the ‘Bridge started as they finished the first half with early scores from Conlon, Maxwell and substitute Jake Dineen. However, they then went fifteen minutes without scoring as Smith O’Brien’s notched 1-5 to edge ahead by a point entering the final ten minutes. The ‘Bridge were guilty of spurning scoring chances during this period before Conlon levelled the tie with a free.  Sixmilebridge then moved up a gear with the defence getting through some excellent work at the back before Conlon again punished ill-discipline as Errol Touhy fired over a beauty from out near the touchline. Smith O’Brien’s clawed the lead back to one to set up a tense finish before former Kerry hurler Touhy again landed another excellent score from out near the touchline to seal the win.

The other game in this group also took place yesterday with Tubber recording a 2-11 to 0-11 win over Feakle. The Mikey Corbett managed ‘Bridge face Feakle in round 3 where another win will see them advance to the quarter finals.

Sixmilebridge: Ryan McCarthy; Billy Maxwell, Brian O’Loughlin, Jonathan Hayes; Eric Lynch, Eamonn O’Donoghue, Alan McAuley; Michael O’Halloran (Capt) (0-3), Barry Corbett; Martin Conlon (1-6; 1-0 pen, 0-6fs), Trevor Maxwell (0-2), James O’Neill (0-1); Caimin Barrett (0-3), Errol Touhy (0-3), Kevin Phelan (0-1).

Subs: Ian Chaplin for Lynch (injured), Mark McInerney for Maxwell, Jake Dineen (0-1) for Phelan. Pa Punch, Dean McKenna, Eric Purcell, Andrew Hogan, Ed Skehan.

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