Fitness and experience saw Clonlara defeat Tulla in Cusack Park in the first of four Clare SHC quarter finals this weekend.
Jamesy Mc Conigley reports from Cusack Park
Venue: Cusack Park
Clonlara may have won this contest but there is plenty of room for improvement, shooting 15 wides and amassing quite a high foul count throughout the 60 minutes.
A lot done, a lot more to do, as Clonlara will look back on this as a case of job done when they overcame a stubborn Tulla side by three points. Huge favourites with the bookmakers, this was evident when Clonlara rushed into a 0-08 to 0-1 lead after just 20 minutes gone.
Cathal ‘Tots’ O’Connell played at full-forward with 11 on his back and gave a first-class opening half performance, scoring five points in the opening half but Tulla didn’t just show up to fulfil this fixture. Andrew Quinn’s free and the three D’s (David Mc Inerney, Darragh Corry and Danny O’Halloran) dragged Tulla back into contention to leave the scoreline 0-08 to 0-04 at half-time.
Tulla started the second half the way they finished the first, firing over some eye-catching scores, notably Danny O’Halloran’s effort from almost the end-line. But that’s as good as it got for Tulla, their huge support tried to drive them into the lead for the first time but this wasn’t the case as Nicky O’Connell and Darach Honan popped over points for their respective side.
Brian Quinn’s side were never out of this game and they got a huge opportunity to restore parity when Darragh Corry was hauled to the ground and Ger Hoey awarded a penalty but Inter-county star David Mc Inerney was denied by former Clare panellist Ger O’Connell. Clonlara gained confidence from the penalty save and Michéal O’Loughlin and substitute David Fitzgerald tagged on late scores to assure the win, securing their spot in the last four.
Clonlara: Ger O’Connell; Paul Mc Namara, Shane O’Brien, Óisin O’Brien; Nicky O’Connell, Colm Galvin, Domhnall O’Donavan; James Hastings, Cormac O’Donavan; Kenneth Haskett, Darach Honan, Padraic O’Loughlin; John Conlan, Cathal O’Connell, Micheal O’Loughlin. Subs: Neil Ryan for Kenneth Haskett, David Fitzgerald for Padraic O’Loughlin, Michael White for Darach Honan.
Scorers: Cathal O’Connell (0-06 3F), John Conlan (0-03), Nicky O’Connell (0-02 1F), Cormac O’Donavan, Darach Honan, David Fitzgerald, Michéal O’Loughlin (0-01 each).
Tulla: Daniel Vaughan; Eugen Cooney, Paul Lynch, John Fahy; Mark Lynch, Seán TOrpey, Niall Bolton; Cathal Dinan, Brian Fahy; Colin Corbett, Darragh Corry, David Mc Inerney; Aidan Lynch, Trevor Vaughan, Andrew Quinn. Subs: Paraic Mulconroy for Trevor Vaughan, Brian Fahy for Colin Corbett, Philip Brennan for Brian Fahy and Shane Hunt for Danny O’Halloran.
Scorers: Andrew Quinn (0-04 4f), Danny O’Halloran, David Mc Inerney, Darragh Corry, Niall Bolton (1F) (0-02),
Referee: Ger Hoey (Killanena)