West Senior Hurling Championship
Clonoulty-Rossmore survived a tough encounter with Golden-Kilfeacle in the Tipperary Co-Op Super Valu senior hurling championship, played at Dundrum on Sunday afternoon.
Clonoulty came into the game strong favourites and Golden were hoping to come through the encounter with a respectable performance. Both sides had their expectations realised, though the game didn’t turn out quite as expected.
Golden had the breeze in their favour in the first half but it was Clonoulty who were quickest into the fray and they had a goal and a point within four minutes. The goal was the result of a fine movement that culminated when Jason Forrestal caught the ball behind the Golden full-back line and, as the goalkeeper came off his line, turned and found himself with an open goal to score.
At this stage Clonoulty were moving well and putting the Golden backs under constant pressure. Golden lived dangerously for a period but somehow survived the onslaughts and didn’t concede any more scores until the 20th minute.
Golden came into the game themselves with two quick points by Aidan Fogarty and Christopher Ryan in the 11th and 12th minutes.
Then in the 15th minute a Golden forward was brought down in the Clonoulty goalmouth and a penalty was awarded. Michael Harding, who was a doubtful starter because of a hamstring injury, took the free. It was blocked and cleared out towards the sideline. A schemozzle developed and referee John Ryan issued straight red cards to Clonoulty’s Joey O’Keeffe and Golden’s Shane Stapleton.
The game continued and during the remaining time each side added three points. In the 34th minute a shot for goal by Hammersley was blocked over the bar by the Golden goalkeeper. A minute later, following a free by Michael Harding, Christopher Ryan pulled on the block down and sent it whistling over the bar. It might as easily have been under. This left the half-time score 1-5 to 0-5 in favour of Clonoulty.
Although Golden had to face the wind on the resumption they got off to a great start when Christopher Ryan goaled in the first minute. He received a good delivery from James O’Connell and finished it off well.
However Clonoulty responded quickly. Hammersley hit a point from a free and then in the 4th minute the same player had a goal. Paudie White sent a good delivery from centrefield and Hammersley caught it, turned and scored a spectacular goal.
There were no scores for five or six minutes and then in the 10th minute Aidan Fogarty received a second yellow card and was sent off. Golden had now to face not only the wind but the extra man also. It looked as if the game was as good as over but it didn’t turn out quite like that.
Clonoulty added three points and Harding had a free to leave the score 2-9 to 1-6 in favour of Clonoulty midway through the half.
Paudie White had two points in the 19th and 20th minutes. Then two minutes later Paddy Ivers hit a Golden free all the way to the Clonoulty net and there was a flicker of hope for Golden. But the odds were stacked against them and they failed to score again.
Clonoulty added two more points to secure a seven-point margin of victory.
It was a scrappy game of fits and starts but with plenty of hits and quite a bit of excitement. At times Clonoulty moved very well and played like champions. At other times they played like novices with passes going astray and wrong options taken. They had some good performances especially from Paudie White, Timmy Hammersley, Padraig Heffernan, John Devane and Jason Forrestal.
Golden lacked power up front and the loss of a man so early in the second half was a crippling blow. Daithi Bargary stood out as did James Tierney, James Hayes and Christopher Ryan.
Clonoulty-Rossmore: Declan O’Dwyer, Joey O’Keeffe, Padraig Heffernan, Kevin Horan, Anthony Kearney, John Devane (captain), John O’Keeffe, Sean O’Connor, Paudie White (0-3), Tom Butler, Conor Ryan (0-1), Kieran Quirke, Fiachra O’Keeffe (0-1), Timmy Hammersley (1-7), Jason Forrestal (1-1). Subs: Liam Devane for Anthony Kearney, Michael Heffernan for Jason Forrestal, Aidan White for Fiachra O’Keeffe.
Golden-Kilfeacle: Declan Donnelly, Christopher Ryan, Donncha Carr, Aidan O’Connell, Damien Fogarty, James Hayes, James Tierney, Daithi Bargary, Aidan Fogarty (0-1), Brendan Moloney, Michael Harding (0-3), Paddy Ivers (captain, 1-0), James O’Connell, Shane Stapleton, Christopher Ryan (1-2). Subs: John Colohan for James O’Connell, Michael Carr for Michael Harding.
Referee: John Ryan (B) (Cashel King Cormacs).