It was the case of goals win game as a strong Cratloe side defeated a lacklustre Inagh-Kilnamona side 3-16 to 0-15 in Gurteen on Sunday.
The game had sizeable importance as the fixture was doubled with both championship and league. These two sides have played each other seven times in the past four years in both league and championship, Cratloe winning two, Inagh-Kilnamona prevailed in four and honours even in the 2012 Intermediate league semi-final play-off. Both these sides played out a close encounter in last year’s intermediate championship, Inagh-Kilnamona just shading it by a point.
Cratloe were ready for redemption and got off to a promising start when Padraigh Chaplin opened the scoring with a point but experienced Ronan O’Looney struck back within in a minute. In the forth minute, Barry Gleeson fired over a free to give Cratloe the lead but Inagh-Kilnamona hit a purple patch scoring three points in a row. Cratloe were in no mood to be outshined and hit three unanswered points themselves, courtesy of Michael Danagher, Barry Gleeson and Thomas O’Connor.
Mid-way through the first half, James O’Halloran gave his side the advantage again, tapping over from close range before hammering over a long range free. Both sides traded scores and nothing could separate the sides at the interval, Cratloe 0-8 Inagh-Kilnamona 0-8.
Cratloe got off to a perfect start in the second half, Tómas Ryan adroitly flicked Thomas O’Connor’s delivery past Michael Barrett in the Inagh-Kilnamona goal’s. Cratloe added two more onto their account before the determined Paul O’Looney split the posts with his smartly taken point. But Cratloe were in bullish fashion, and a mistake from Michael Barrett gave Cratloe a comfortable eight point lead with just 39 minutes on the clock.
Thomas O’Connor who gave an impressive display at wing forward scored three divine points and pushed Cratloe further into the ascendency. With 11 minutes remaining, James O’Halloran’s well struck free was stopped by the Cratloe wall of defence and dampened an opportunity of an entertaining finish to the game. Referee Ger Lyons sounded the full time whistle without any additional time telling the story of match.
A good team performance from Cratloe helped them capture the important two league points and an opening championship win. Conor Earley, Thomas O’Connor, Barry Gleeson and Padraigh Chaplin got through some valuable work for Cratloe. It was a valiant effort from Inagh-Kilnamona who are currently on a rebuilding path losing 11 from their triumphant Junior A starting team in 2014. James O’Halloran, the three O’Looney brothers, Austin Kerin’s and Steven Foudy battled hard for the losing side.
Cratloe: Seán Hayes, Richie Murray, Philip Gleeson, John O’Gorman; Caimin Deegan, Conor Earley, Patrick O’Gorman; Daithi Collins, Alan Mc Namara; Pa Carey, Michael Danagher, Thomas O’Connor; Barry Gleeson, Padraigh Chaplin, Tómas Ryan.
Subs: Jack Mc Inerney for Mc Namara (41 minutes); Dominic Costigan for Tómas Ryan (41 mintes); James Hickey for Thomas O’Connor (50 minutes); Chris Hansen for Chaplin (55 minutes); Ronan Mc Mahon for Casey (55 Minutes)
Scorers: Barry Gleeson (0-6 0-4f); Padraigh Chaplin (1-2); Thomas O’Connor (0-4); Michael Danagher (1-1); Earley (1-1 0-1f); Pa Carey and Tómas Ryan (0-1 each).
Inagh-Kilnamona: Mickey Barrett; Ciaran Devitt, Christy O’Looney, Caimin Clancy; Ger “Sparrow” O’Loughlin, Steven Foudy, Austin Kerin; Paul O’Looney, Gary Lafferty; James O’Halloran, Ronan O’Looney, Dylan “Mixer” McGerr; Colin Shannon, Shane Griffin, Peader Roughan
Scorers: James O’Halloran (0-6 0-4f); Ronan O’Looney (0-3); Shane Griffin (0-2); Dylan Mc Gerr, Paul O’Looney, Peader Roughan and Austin Kerin (0-1 each)