Mythen shines as Oulart breeze past Clonkill to set up final date
Ooulart-the Ballagh 0-16 Clonkill0-8 Leinster Club SHC Semi-final
Wexford champions Oulart-The Ballagh qualified for another Leinster final in wintry conditions in Mullingar yesterday, emerging from the Westmeath venue with a comfortable win over Clonkill.
Clonkill started brightly and a fine free against the wind by Brendan Murtagh teed up Niall Dowdall, who opened the scoring in the fourth minute. David Redmond and Mickey Heffernan traded points, but the home side were guilty of giving away possession cheaply throughout the hour and one such instance allowed the visitors to equalise in the seventh minute via impressive corner-forward Des Mythen.
Two minutes later, the same player gave them a lead they never looked likely to relinquish. A range of well-taken points ensued, the best of them from Redmond in the 19th minute, as the Wexford men made the most of the strong wind, defying the driving rain with some slick hurling. At the other end, a lightweight Clonkill attack seldom posed a threat to the visitors' defence, in which Shaun Murphy and Keith Rossiter ruled supreme.
Deep into added-time, a great save by Gary Healy from Tommy Storey resulted in a '65, which was converted by Nicky Kirwan with the last puck of the half, leaving the Wexford men ahead by 0-11 to 0-3 at the interval.
Oulart increased their advantage courtesy of points by Mythen and Storey within seven minutes of the resumption.
However, four unanswered points by the end of the third quarter gave Clonkill hope. The first three came from the stick of Anthony Price, two of them from frees, before Niall Dowdall made it 0-13 to 0-7, shortly after Healy did well to keep out a shot from Sinnott at the expense of an unconverted '65.
That was as close as Clonkill came, as their loose clearances and passing continued to prove costly.
Indeed, Healy was called on to produce more outstanding goalkeeping - this time from Redmond - as Oulart eased to the final.
To add to the Westmeath champions' woes, Shane Power picked up a straight red card in the last minute of normal time. Oulart's holy grail of a provincial crown is now just one hour away, with Dublin champions, Cuala, standing in their way.
SCORERS - Oulart-The Ballagh: D Mythen 0-5, N Kirwan 0-4 (1f, 1 '65'), D Redmond, R Jacob 0-2 each, P Roche (f), T Storey, G Sinnott 0-1 each. Clonkill: Anthony Price 0-3 (2f), M Heffernan, N Dowdall 0-2 each, B Murtagh 0-1 (f).
Oulart-The Ballagh - C O'Leary; E Moore, K Rossiter, B Kehoe; P Roche, S Murphy, K Sheridan; R Jacob, D Redmond; T Storey, T Dunne, P Murphy; D Mythen, G Sinnott, N Kirwan. Subs: D Morton for Moore (39), P Sutton for P Murphy (42), M Doyle for Kirwan (46), M Jacob for Storey (48), L Prendergast for Dunne (58).
Clonkill - G Healy; K Reilly, C Scally, S Power; A McGrath, B Murtagh, L Folan; P Dowdall, E Price; M Heffernan, Adam Price, C Crentsil; Anthony Price, N Dowdall, A Dowdall. Subs: D Egerton for Crentsil (26), N Mitchell for P Dowdall (45), A Mitchell for Adam Price (47).
Ref - P Murphy (Carlow).