Great competition at Clara hurling finals

The finals of the 2012 Tom Naughton indoor hurling league took place last Tuesday night in GAA Centre in Clara.

The finals of the 2012 Tom Naughton indoor hurling league took place last Tuesday night in GAA Centre in Clara.

The large attendance on the night was treated to three brilliant and exciting games with plenty of skill and passion on display. We would like to thank Seamus Fleming for doing a super job refereeing all the matches over the past six weeks.

We would also like to thank Clara GAA Committee for the jerseys and medals given to all the U-8 players who took part in the league.

Thanks to Brian Cowen for presenting the medals on the final night and to all the parents who helped out in any way over the few weeks with the teams and of course thanks to all the boys who took part.

BER COWEN CUP - WOODFILED V AUGHAMORE

In the first game of the night, for the Ber Cowen Cup, Woodfield claimed the honours after a blistering opening half set them on their way to a victory over a fancied Aughamore side that started a little slowly and nervously.

In fact Woodfield were 3-0 up within minutes of the start, thanks to a brilliant hat-trick of goals from the impressive Neil Robbins. Tommy Bracken settled the Aughamore nerves with a great strike from distance but with Christian McKeon making some superb saves for Woodfield and the ever-reliant rock solid James Dunne at full-back Aughamore were going to have to work really hard for their scores. Bracken got his second to make it 3-2 after great play from John Guilfoyle and Jamie Rowan.

Eoin Cornally was making some great saves for Aughamore to keep them in it but he was helpless when Robbins fired in two more. And when the hard working Ben Bracken put one past him into his own net it certainly seemed that it was going to be Woodfield’s night. But on the stroke of half-time Tommy Bracken got his third which gave Aughamore a great lift going in at half time. Woodfield started strong again after the break with Brendan Greene and Darragh McKeon in particular playing very well.

And with Shane Rabbitte closing up shop in goal and Jamie Regan working hard up front Woodfield were in control. Neil Robbins got a great early goal for Woodfield but then David Sheridan and Liam Flynn took over for Aughamore and when Flynn blasted in a great goal for Aughamore it looked like a comeback was on the cards. However, Woodfield held firm and Robbins rounded off a great performance with a goal just at the end to leave Woodfield the victors on a score-line of 8-4.

TOMMY DOLAN CUP - BALLINOUGH V KILCOURSEY

The second final of the night, between Ballinough and Kilcoursey for the Tommy Dolan Cup, will be remembered as one of the most exciting games ever seen in the Tom Naughton league. In their previous meeting these two teams were inseparable having played out a 9-9 draw so it was no surprise that this was also a very tight affair.

Kilcoursey, led by the ever impressive Marcus Dalton, had edged it the whole way through until the final few minutes when, with another draw on the cards, the magnificent Conor Doyle grabbed hold of the game and fired home three unanswered goals to give his Ballinough team a just about deserved win on a score-line of 9-6.

It was Kilcoursey who opened the scoring when a great shot by Eoin Scanlon was deflected into the Ballinough net by their full back, leaving ‘keeper Keelyn Conroy with no chance. They were quickly two up when Marcus Dalton opened his account for the night with a great strike before Conor Doyle settled his team by pulling one back for Ballinough. With Ryan Carroll giving nothing away in the Kilcoursey goal and Greg Byrne hurling brilliantly in front of him it was going to be hard for Ballinough to stay in touch. Equally, Ballinough’s goalie Conroy was in top form and with both Conor Taylor and Jack Devine on top in the backline nothing was getting by easily.

Dalton got his second soon after to put Kilcoursey 3-1 up before Doyle answered back with two crackers to leave the teams level 3-3 at half time. Jack Butler had Kilcoursey back in the lead straight after the break with a classic strike but Doyle quickly replied. Brian Buckley then won a great ball and set up Dalton to put Kilcoursey back in the lead but the unlucky Byrne then put one passed his own ‘keeper to leave it all-square again.

Both James Kelly and Alex Goulart were now playing great games for Ballinough and Kevin Gavin up front was putting the Kilcoursey backline under enormous pressure. Dalton and Doyle then exchanged goals to leave it 6-6 with only minutes on the clock – a real humdinger!! The impressive Conroy then scored a cracker from a long way out to give Ballinough the lead for the first time in the game. Inspired by this, the outstanding Doyle then fired home two more in quick succession to ensure that there was no way back for a gallant Kilcoursey team and that the Tommy Dolan cup would go to the boars of Ballinough for 2012.

TOM NAUGHTON CUP - CLASHAWAUN V KILBRIDE

In the last match of the night, for the Tom Naughton Cup, Kilbride just never got going and ended up on the wrong side of a 7-2 defeat to a very determined Clashawaun team. Led by the brilliant Barry Egan Clashawaun got off to a great start and with Ben Kennedy as solid as always in goal and Kevin Minnock marshalling the defence, Kilbride were in for a tough night of hurling.

It was Egan who opened the scoring early on and this was quickly followed by one of the goals of the night from the stick of the young James Cullen who adjusted his strike brilliantly when the ball fell unexpectedly, following a deflection, at his feet. Egan then added a third before a great goal from Dominic Scully got a shell-shocked Kilbride off the mark.

This spurred on the Kilbride team with Evan Cronin getting on top in midfield and Alex Handy leading the charge up front. The Dunne brothers, Callum and Ciabhan, were also winning some great ball and as half time approached it was Kilbride who were in control. However, this was short lived. Right from the throw in for the start of the second half Clashawaun regained control and Ben Kennedy, released from his goalkeeping duties, got two fantastic goals in quick succession to give Clashawaun a commanding 5-1 lead.

Cian Cornally and Kevin O’Keeffe were also winning their battles and some vital possession for Clashawaun and with Ciaran McKeon playing a great game in midfield Clashawaun were really on fire. Kilbride’s top scorer Scully then got one back and with ‘keeper Myles Handy making several great saves it looked liked a comeback might be possible. Brian Hogan was solid in defence and Callum Dunne was also fighting to get Kilbride back into it.

But when Cullen struck for his second of the night to put Clashawaun 6-2 up it left Kilbride with just too much to do in the few minutes that remained. Fittingly, it was Barry Egan, who was outstanding throughout the entire league that finished the scoring with a terrific goal to give Clashawaun a well deserved win on a score-line of 7-2.