Clonlara 0-19 Newmarket 0-10 at Cusack Park
Referee: Johnny Healy
Clonlara comfortably booked their place in the last four of the race for the Canon Hamilton Cup on Saturday evening with a nine point victory over Newmarket.
With the teams locked at 0-7 apiece at the break following a half in which Newmarket had done the large majojrity of the hurling, it looked as though another tight finish between these two was to follow.
That was not the case though as Clonlara won the second period by converting four times as many points as their opponents without hitting full speed.
The introduction of both of the Galvin brothers at half time sparked Clonlara into life and they just had way too much for Newmarket over the second half an hour.
Without the Galvins, it hadn’t gone so smoothly for the East Clare men and they were very lucky to be tied at the break.
By the midway stage of the first half, Newmarket were 0-5 0-2 to the good with all of their scores coming from Colin Ryan.
Ryan, operating around the middle third, would finish the half with all seven of Newmarket’s points, one from play.
Entering injury time, Newmarket’s first half dominance showed on the scoreboard as they lead by three but that was cancelled out by the close of the three additional minutes.
First, Michéal O’Loughlin slotted over a free before Pat O’Hare had a golden opportunity to find the net but sent his shot over Darren Duggan’s crossbar.
O’Loughlin was tormenting Newmarket at every opportunity and finished the half with an excellent catch and strike to level the scores and leave the Blues scratching their heads as to how they were still level.
The second half couldn’t have been any more in contrast to the first. Ian Galvin made an immediate impact to give Clonlara the lead for the first time.
O’Louglin followed that up with a free before the two combined for the third Clonlara point on the trot. Galvin feinted towards goal before the batting the ball backwards over his head to O’Loughlin who pointed.
Cathal O’Connell made it four in a row shortly after with an excellent solo run and finish off the hurley.
Ryan responded with another free for Newmarket but it merely slowed Clonlara down rather than stop them in their tracks.
O’Connell got the next one again, almost identical to his previous score before another O’Loughlin free.
It was becoming a bit of a free for all for Clonlara in the final third, every time Newmarket cleared the ball, it appeared back on their doorstep within seconds.
Clonlara outscored Newmarket by 0-7 to 0-2 in the last fifteen minutes. David Barrett’s 51st minute point for the Blues was the first by someone other than Colin Ryan.
At the other end, O’Loughlin was putting frees over the bar with unerring accuracy while Darach Honan finally got in on the act having been well marshalled by James McInerney for most of the hour.
Oisin O’Brien stormed forward from wing-back to grab a brace in the final few minutes. His scores came either side of a huge Cormac O’Donovan effort from out near the sideline.
Back to the drawing board for 2016 for Colin Lynch and Newmarket while Clonlara can prepare for a semi-final.
The introduction of the Galvins injected them with a bit more pace for the second half and ultimately Newmarket weren’t able to handle it when Clonlara had so many players flooding the final third every time they got a sniff of a score.
They’ll fancy their chances against anyone they come up against and going on this performance, they certainly have another level that they can step up to.
Clonlara: Ger O’Connell; Shane O’Brien, Garrett Kennedy, Cillian Fennessy; Neil Ryan, John Conlon, Oisin O’Brien (0-2); Domhnall O’Donovan, Nicky O’Connell; Pat O’Hare (0-1), Cormac O’Donovan (0-1), Cathal O’Connell (0-3); Michéal O’Loughlin (0-9, 6f), Darach Honan (0-1), Paraic O’Loughlin (0-1). Subs: Colm Galvin for P O’Loughlin (HT), Ian Galvin (0-1) for O’Hare (HT), Ciaran Downey for Honan (57), Michael Collins for M O’Loughlin (59).
Newmarket: Darren Duggan; Eoin O’Brien, James McInerney, Sean O’Connor; Evan Keogh, Shane O’Brien Snr, Alan Barrett; Noel Frawley, Ronan Goode; Niall O’Connor, Colin Ryan (0-9, 8f), David Barrett (0-1); Shane O’Brien Jnr, Padraig Kilmartin, Eoin Hayes. Subs: Shane Kelleher for N O’Connor (24), James Liddy for S O’Brien Jnr (HT), Liam O’Connor for Kilmartin (39), Martin O’Hanlon for A Barrett (46).