Murtagh and Dowdall lead charge for Clonkill
Leinster Club SHC quarter-final Clonkill 4-9 St Mullin's 0-9
Brendan Murtagh and Niall Dowdall contributed a combined 4-3 as Clonkill crushed St Mullins at Netwatch Cullen Park yesterday.
Carlow champions St Mullins started brightly and led 0-3 to 0-1 in the early stages, with frees from Marty Kavanagh (two) and James Doyle.
But the game changed completely once Westmeath champions Clonkill were awarded a 12th-minute penalty for a foul on corner-forward Anthony Price by Kevin Kehoe, which earned the netminder a yellow card.
Centre-back Murtagh came upfield and hammered the penalty to the net.
And Murtagh went on to record his sides's opening 2-1, recording a second goal from a close-range free on 19 minutes.
In total the No 6 contributed 2-2 from placed balls.
Dowdall struck for his team's third goal on 27 minutes as Clonkill stormed into a 3-4 to 0-7 interval lead.
When Dowdall again found the St Mullins net early in the second half it killed off any hopes of a revival for the hosts.
St Mullins never demonstrated the passion of their shock win over Mount Leinster Rangers in the Carlow final as the Westmeath men demonstrated a far greater level of skill and hunger.
It was cruise control for the visitors for the final 20 minutes as they coasted into a home provincial semi-final with Wexford's Oulart-The Ballagh.
St Mullins showed a lack of discipline, with six players being yellow-carded before midfielder Jack Kavanagh was shown a second yellow on 54 minutes to complete their misery.
This was a commanding Clonkill showing, as their teamwork proved too much for their outclassed opponents - it was indicative of the strides being made within Westmeath hurling.
Scorers - Clonkill: B Murtagh 2-2, N Dowdall 2-1, A Price (1f), A Dowdall 0-2 each, P Dowdall, C Thompson 0-1 each. St Mullins: M Kavanagh 0-6 (5fs), J Doyle 0-3 (1f).
Clonkill - G Healy; S Power, C Scally, J Fagan; L Folan, B Murtagh, A McGrath; P Dowdall, E Price; M Heffernan, Adam Price, P Walsh; A Dowdall, N Dowdall, Anthony Price. Subs: D Egerton for Walsh (h/t), C Thompson for P Dowdall (44), N Mitchell for N Dowdall (49), N Folan for Heffernan (56), M Keegan for E Price (56).
St Mullins - K Kehoe; P Doyle, J Doran, G Bennett; D Whelan, P Kehoe, G Coady; J Kavanagh, M Walsh; P Fortune, J Doyle, M Kavanagh; J Walsh, J Murphy, P Kehoe. Subs: P Connor for Fortune (37), J Murphy for P Kehoe (55), A Doyle for Whelan (58).
Ref - G McGrath (Dublin).