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O'Dwyer saves key for gutsy Clonoulty

CLONOULTY-Rossmore produced a strong second-half performance against Kildangan to book their place in a first county decider since 1998.

Conor Gleeson's men came from six points down in the first half to claim a three-point victory and set up a final meeting with Thurles Sarsfields at Semple Stadium next Sunday week.

Eoin Gleeson's fifth-minute goal handed Kildangan an early fillip and with Darragh Egan and Gerry Slattery in good form, they led by 1-6 to 0-3 with 16 minutes gone.

It could have got even better for Kildangan in the 22nd minute, but Clonoulty 'keeper Declan O'Dwyer pulled off a superb save to deny Eoin Kelly.

It proved a real turning point as Clonoulty rallied and were very much in touch at half-time, trailing by 0-10 to 1-9.

But within 18 minutes of the restart, the West divisional champions tied the scores at 1-13 apiece as Fiachra O'Keeffe finished well from close range.

Clonoulty, with John O'Neill in superb form, took the lead for the first time when Timmy Hammersley nailed a 50th-minute free and they never looked back from there.

In stoppage-time, O'Dwyer denied Kildangan a second goal as he produced a brilliant double save to frustrate Egan and RuairĂ­ Gleeson.

Scorers -- Clonoulty-Rossmore: T Hammersley 0-6 (0-5f), J O'Neill 0-5 (0-1f), F O'Keeffe 1-1, J O'Keeffe 0-3, Thomas Butler 0-2, S O'Connor, Tom Butler 0-1 each. Kildangan: D Egan 0-6 (0-6f), G Slattery 0-4 (0-2 '65's, 0-1f), E Gleeson 1-1, E Kelly 0-2, P Kelly, C Hanrahan, R Gleeson 0-1 each.

CLONOULTY-ROSSMORE -- D O'Dwyer; J O'Keeffe, J Heffernan, K Horan; P Heffernan, J Devane, L Devane; J O'Keeffe, S O'Connor; Tom Butler, Thomas Butler, P White; F O'Keeffe, J O'Neill, T Hammersley. Subs: C Ryan for White (37), M Coen for O'Connor (49), J Forrestal for Tom Butler (55).

KILDANGAN -- K Hayes, M Minehan, L Kelly, F Hayes; H Flannery, D Hackett, G Slattery; P Kelly, J Gallagher; T Connors, E Kelly, D Egan; C Hanrahan, P Lynch, E Gleeson. Subs: R Gleeson for Lynch (38), B Kelly for E Kelly (47).

Ref -- W Clohessy (Drom & Inch).

Irish Independent