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Clongeen run riot with fine display of scoring against Blackwater




CLONGEEN’S SUPREME form in the Permanent TSB Junior ‘A’ hurling championship shows no signs of slowing down as they advanced to the semi-finals after routing understrength Blackwater by 5-24 to 0-4 in Bree on Friday.

Such was the dominance of the New Ross District side that they could afford the luxury of taking off both Páraic Cullen and Emmet Kent just before half-time.

Kent had already bagged 2-3 for himself as one half of a lethal double-act with Darryl Murphy, and in this sort of form, it’s hard to disagree with the assessment that those two are perhaps the best players in the entire grade.

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Amazingly, the Geeners compiled some 21 wides over the course of the procession, and also saw a few efforts either saved or dropped short, so when it all adds up, they had over 50 shots in just over an hour of hurling.

Michael Dundon pointed after only nine seconds, and the game was already beyond Blackwater by the time they opened their own account on 22 minutes, with Clongeen having hit 3-9 without reply.

Their first goal arrived on five minutes when Kent gathered the puck-out from a Denis O’Brien wide, and played the ball into space for Murphy, with the latter never looking like missing as he picked his spot.

And their second green flag was as good a goal as you would see at any level. Danny O’Grady fed Dundon on the left wing and, after a nice touch off his hurl, he played a diagonal inside to Murphy, who caught above his head before banging home.

Kent turned on the style by himself soon after, befuddling his direct opponent with a dummy on the way to netting with a precise finish.

And when Shane Cahill’s delivery floated over the entire defence, Kent was on hand to tuck away his second goal to create an eye-watering 4-9 to 0-1 advantage after 24 minutes.

The gap increased to 4-12 to 0-2 at the break, and thankfully for the seasiders, Clongeen’s goalscoring rate plummeted in the new half, with substitute Jamesie Rochford getting their fifth major four minutes from time.

They did manage to double their points tally before the end, with five different players adding at least two each, including replacements Shane Kilkenny and Cian O’Grady (one free), along with Dundon, Darryl and Cathal Murphy.

For the record, Blackwater’s two points in the first-half came courtesy of Jimmy Whelan and Joe Neville, with a difficult evening for the last year’s Junior ‘B’ champions capped off by the fact that their two scores in the second period came from substitutes, Wayne O’Connor (free) and Josh Culleton respectively. After this ruthless performance, Clongeen will take some stopping.

Clongeen: Ricky Rochford; Paudie Cahill, Enda Murphy, Jamie Keating; Ger Foxe, Shane Cahill (capt.), Peter Anthony Wall; Danny O’Grady (0-1), Páraic Cullen (0-3 frees); Darryl Murphy (2-4), Seamie Kiely (0-1), Michael Dundon (0-3, 1 ’65); Stephen Dundon, Emmet Kent (2-3), Cathal Murphy (0-5). Subs. - Jamesie Rochford (1-0) for Cullen (29), Shane Kilkenny (0-2) for Kent (29), Cian O’Grady (0-2, 1 free) for S. Dundon (HT), Cian Murphy-Kehoe for S. Cahill (33), Robbie Rochford for M. Dundon (46).

Blackwater: Lar Lacey; Rían Sammon, Kevin O’Brien, James Cullen; Alan Malanowski, Denis O’Brien, Jason Wallace; Gavin O’Toole, Shane Wright; Tomás O’Brien, Joe Neville (0-1), Denis Carroll; James Dooley (capt.), Brendan Quirke, Jimmy Whelan (0-1). Subs. - Wayne O’Connor (0-1 free) for Wright (HT), Robert O’Leary for Lacey (HT), Johnny O’Toole for Malanowski (38), Josh Culleton (0-1) for Neville (38), Odie Carroll for G. O’Toole (56).

Referee: Thomas Furlong (Adamstown).