Minor A Championship Round 3.
Sixmilebridge 4-15 Clonlara 3-11
Sixmilebridge hosted Clonlara for this Minor A Championship Round 3 clash last Thursday evening in perfect conditions for hurling with a slight breeze favouring the visitors in the first half. The ‘Bridge were first out of the blocks with Jack Corry pointing in the first minute but Clonlara soon settled and three of their forwards had scored in as many minutes to put them 2 clear five minutes in. Two minutes later Cillian O’Brien caught a high ball and made a run at the ‘Bridge goal with the ‘Bridge backs closing him down. He got his shot away but was deflected over the line for a 65 which O’Brien himself converted. A let off for the bridge but Clonlara’s intent was clear. O’Brien’s ability to field high ball was their route to goal. Ten minutes in and this time it was Sixmilebridge who were pressing, working the ball well up the field with some lovely passing with several players involved ending up with Dylan Downes linking up with Jack Corry who scrambled it into the back of the Clonlara net to bring the sides level again. Corry then tacked on two more to pull away before another high ball was sent in around the ‘Bridge goal. Again it was Cillian O’Brien that caught it only this time he made some space for himself and buried it in the back of the ‘Bridge goal. The rest of the half was even enough with both sides conceding frees which were duly punished by both free takers with the “Bridge going in at half time ahead by 2 points on a score line of 1-09 to 1-07.
The second half didn’t start well for the ‘Bridge as they struggled to contain Clonlara especially in their own back line making several sloppy mistakes in their attempts to clear the ball. Clonlara turned a two point deficit into a two point lead in the space of 8 minutes and looked like they were going to overrun the ‘Bridge. Jack Corry pulled two points back for the ‘Bridge from frees to draw level again and then the ‘Bridge made a few changes. Colm Flynn was brought on in wing forward with Matthew Hurley making way. Flynn wasted no time in making his presence felt and within the next five minutes Sean MacNamara, Jack Corry (Penalty) and Storm Devanney had the ball in the back of the Clonlara net with Colm Flynn being central in all three goals. The ‘Bridge’s joy was short lived after the third goal however as within thirty seconds the sliotar was in the back of their own net thanks to a Daniel Moloney strike for Clonlara. However still six points clear the ‘Bridge now had a sense of belief and lifted it another gear. Colm Flynn struck a cracking point out on the wing with five minutes to play but Clonlara were not done yet. Cillian O Brien struck for his second and his side’s third goal as they tried desperately to close the gap. With the game now in injury time Luke Keogh scored two lovely points for the ‘Bridge to put it beyond the reach of Clonlara.
For Clonlara, Cillian O Brien was very effective in full forward and was a constant threat. Aidan Moriarty and Tom McLeish were excellent on the half forward line.
For Sixmilebridge Sean McNamara and Luke Keogh were top class throughout showing very good work rate outside of their scores. Colm Flynn should also get a mention for his impact on the game when introduced.
Sixmilebridge: Shane Whyte, Scott Kirkland, Darragh Toomey, Ferdia Ó Lionáin, Alex Frost, Leon Kelly, Evan Murphy, Sean McNamara 1-0, Luke Keogh 0-2, Luke O Halloran, Storm Devanney 1-0, Matthew Hurley, Colin Kelly, Dylan Downes 1-0, Jack Corry 1-12 (1-Pen) 0-7F(0-2,65)
Subs: Colm Flynn 0-1, Conor Flynn, Adam Breen.
Clonlara: Séimí Gully, Jack Power, Logan Ryan, Luke Hannan, Thomas Walsh 0-1, Colm O Meara 0-1F, Andrew Fitzgerald, Dylan McMahon 0-2, James McCormick, Aidan Moriarty 0-2, Tom McLeish 0-1, Shane Hannan 0-1, Daniel Moloney 1-1, Cillian O Brien 2-2 (0-1 F) (0-1, 65), Aaron Conlan.
Referee: Jim Hickey.