Clodiagh Gaels' captain Shane Dolan after receiving the Division 2 HL Cup from County Board treasurer Dervill Dolan and sponsor Brendan Buggy.
The adage that goals win matches was never truer in this game with both sides enjoying the same amount of scores, but Clodiagh Gaels’ ability to find the net ensured that they were crowned Division 2 Hurling League champions in O’Connor Park on Sunday evening.
Buggy Coaches Division 2 Hurling League Final
Clodiagh Gaels 5-13
The game was set up for a grandstand finish when Diarmuid Egan somehow managed to shoot to the net while on the ground with 13 minutes remaining.
That left just four points between the sides but within seconds Clodiagh Gaels had swept down the field and when a ball in from the wing was spilled, the chance of a hat-trick was gift-wrapped for Mark Dillon who pulled first-time to the net to stop the Tullamore comeback in its tracks.
Clodiagh Gaels kicked on from there and never looked like losing their advantage. Even late on as Tullamore went in search of a goal that might have raised faint hopes for them, Dylan Hyland pulled off a great block to deny Tullamore’s Timmy Molloy.
The game was close throughout and Tullamore actually led at the break by 1-10 to 2-6.
However, it was in the first quarter of that second half that Clodiagh Gaels upped the tempo and goals from David Buckley and then Mark Dillon’s second, paved the way for victory.
The ability to find the net, and greater determination at times from Clodiagh Gaels proved the difference. When Tullamore managed to get the ball to corner forwards Daniel and Michael Fox, Clodiagh Gaels looked in bother at times.
However, Tullamore’s defence proved too generous and you can’t expect to win a game, having conceded five goals, some of which were certainly avoidable.
In the end that greater sharpness in front of goal, and a strong second half showing in particular from Clodiagh Gaels meant they were deserving winners.
It was an entertaining game played on a roasting hot evening, but as the Clodiagh Gaels captain Shane Dolan said in his acceptance speech, they are already thinking of the first round championship meeting between the sides.
Clodiagh Gaels will gain confidence from this performance while Tullamore will know they will have to improve significantly in defence if they are to have any hopes of winning that game.
Clodiagh Gaels: Mark Dillon 3-1, David Buckley 1-3, Cathal Brady 1-3 (3f), Shane Dolan 0-2, Ryan Casey, Emmet Curley, Cathal Curran, Nigel Cunningham 0-1 each
Tullamore: Michael Fox 0-11 (9f, 1 65), Peter Fox 1-1, Diarmuid Egan 1-0, James Houlihan 0-2 (1f), Cormac Martin (f) Niall McCabe 0-1 each
Conor Brophil; Killian O’Brien, Sean Beatty, Peter Walsh; Diarmaid Walsh, Tom Dunne, Dylan Hyland; Ryan Casey, Cathal Curran; Shane Dolan, Cathal Brady, Mark Dillon; Aaron Dunne, David Buckley, Nigel Cunningham. Subs: Ruairi Dunne for Killian O’Brien, Clint Horan for Tom Dunne, Gavin Sheil for Mark Dillon.
Adam Cleary; Aidan Bracken, Cormac Martin, Michael Feeney; Diarmuid Egan, Niall Houlihan, Hugh Treacy; Ger Treacy, Brian Hogan; Jack Dooley, James Houlihan, Peter Fox; Daniel Fox, Shane Kelly, Michael Fox. Subs: Dylan Hensey for Hugh Treacy, Aaron Leavy for Shane Kelly, Niall McCabe for Jack Dooley, Timmy Molloy for Brian Hogan.
Referee: Joey Deehan (Clara)
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