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Solid start the key as Clongeen power on to quarter-final clash


A SOLID start gave Clongeen the upper hand as they saw off a dogged Cloughbawn side in this entertaining Permanent TSB Junior ‘A’ hurling championship preliminary quarter-final tie in St. Patrick’s Park on Sunday.

After racing to an early seven-point lead, the victors were challenged throughout the remainder of the game and, while Cloughbawn narrowed the gap to three points midway through the second-half, Clongeen pulled away in the final ten minutes for a thoroughly deserved win.

A lot of the damage was done in the first quarter of the game as points from Shane Cahill, Emmet Kent, Shane Kilkenny and an excellently taken goal from Paudie Cahill gave Clongeen a seven-point lead in a period that saw their opponents struggle to create any scoring chances.

Cloughbawn eventually got off the mark just before the water break with points from M.J. Furlong and Mikey Fleming which seemed to settle their side, as they hit the next four scores while limiting their opponents to just one point from an Emmet Kent free.

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The new half was a wholly entertaining affair with both sides exchanging scores evenly, with Daryl Murphy causing problems for Cloughbawn, though they were well served by the accurate free-taking of both Paul Foley and Noel Carton.

Trailing by four as the second water break approached, and doing their utmost to narrow the gap, Cloughbawn created a glorious goal chance after a well-worked move which sent M.J. Furlong bearing down on gaol.

However, heroics by Michael Dundon in the Clongeen defence saw the danger averted and kept their four-point lead intact going into the final quarter.

This piece of play inspired Clongeen as their next attack saw Paul Curtis cut inside the defence and hit the net to put seven points between the sides with ten minutes remaining.

Cloughbawn kept fighting however, and a late penalty goal from Foley gave them a glimmer of hope.

But points from Collie Byrne, Shane Cahill and Seamus Kiely put any doubts to bed, setting Clongeen up for a quarter-final date in the process.

Clongeen: Danny O’Grady; Marty Reville, Enda Murphy, Jamie Keating; Donal Whelan, Michael Dundon, Stephen Dundon; Robert Farrell, Daryl Murphy (0-1); Shane Kilkenny (0-1), Emmet Kent (0-3 frees), Paul Curtis (1-0); Ricky Rochford, Shane Cahill (0-2, 1 free), Paudie Cahill (1-3). Subs. - Joe Toomey for S. Dundon (HT), Cathal Murphy (0-1) for Rochford (40), Collie Byrne (0-1) for Farrell (48), Adam Ryan for D. Murphy (49) Seamus Kiely (0-1) for Whelan (55).

Cloughbawn: Noel Carton (0-2 frees); Corey Bolger, Colin Doyle, Liam Kehoe; David Doyle-Murphy, Tomás Furlong, Ryan Murphy; M.J. Furlong (0-2), Cathal Spratt (0-1); Luke Cummins, Paul Foley (1-3, 1-0 pen.), Joey Lawler; Nathan McDonald, Mikey Fleming (0-1), Kyle Murphy. Subs. - James Flood for K. Murphy (HT), Colin Murphy for Lawler (41), Stephen Casserly (0-1) for Bolger (47), Aaron Byrne for Kehoe (54).

Referee: Eddie O’Sullivan (Kilanerin).