Clashmore serve due notice

Sean Byrne

| Photo: Sean Byrne

Clashmore 2-10; Brickey Rangers 1-6


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Clashmore confirmed their standing as formidable contenders for County Senior Football Championship honours in getting the better of a spirited Brickey Rangers challenge at a well-attended Ardmore grounds on Sunday last.

They’d seven points to spare in the finish, having looked at the halfway stage as if they would win in the proverbial canter. The losers had opened the scoring with a well-taken Dermot O’Neill point after three minutes, but it was the only time that they would enjoy the luxury.

Clashmore, aided by the breeze, soon set about stamping their authority on the game and driven on by the truly outstanding Mark Power in the middle of the field they duly dominated most of the first-half play.

Equality came as early as the 6th minute, with Sean Fleming obliging from a free, and when Karl O’Keeffe popped up with a superb point two minutes later, Clashmore took the lead and never looked back.

In the very same minute, the Brickeys’ citadel was breached as teenager Brian O’Halloran gained possession and his inch-perfect pass was fisted to the net by Karl O’Keeffe. It was all Clashmore now, and further points from Killian O’Keeffe, Brian O’Halloran and Declan Allen left them in an unassailable position (2-6 to 0-1) by the 13th minute.

Three minutes into added-on time the Brickey Rangers were thrown something of a lifeline when a Carthach Shalloe 25-metre free dipped sufficiently for Olan Casey to finish to the net. Straight away Declan Allen replied with a Clashmore point, leaving his side sitting pretty at the break, 2-7 to 1-1 up.

No way back

While it was readily acknowledged all round that it would take something of a miracle for the Brickeys to turn this game around, they never stopped trying and even though Brian O’Halloran stretched the winners’ lead with a magnificent 33rd minute point, a brace of Carthach Shalloe points in the 35th and 38th minutes provided last year’s Intermediate champions with a glimmer of hope.

The winners responded in double quick time, however, with Karl O’Keeffe and Sean Fleming raising Clashmore’s final white flags. Brickeys did score three of their own between the 49th and 59th minutes, per Shane McGrath (two) and Richard Halpin, but it wasn’t enough.

In a winning side unconcerned on who they are likely to play in the semi-final, Jason Seward, Kieran Connery, Philip Dee, Karl and Killian O’Keeffe, Brian O’Halloran and man of the match Mark Power, contributed handsomely to victory; while for the losers the likes of Conor Phelan, Jimmy Sheehan, Conor McGrath, Shane McGrath and Dermot O’Neill played well. 

Clashmore: Brian O’Neill, Eddie Beresford, Jason Seward, Ciaran Bourke, Padraig Connery, Kieran Connery, Philip Dee, Mark Power , Stephen Barron, Declan Allen, Seamus Landers, Karl O’Keeffe, Brian O’Halloran, Cillian O’Keeffe, Sean Fleming. Subs: Fintan Breathnach for D Allen , Barry Dunne for K Bourke. 

Scorers: Sean Fleming 1-3, Karl O’Keeffe 1-2, Declan Allen and Brian O’Halloran 0-2 each, Killian O’Keeffe 0-1. 

Brickey Rangers: James Cooney, Kieran O’Brien, Conor Phelan, Mark Cummins, Vincent McCarthy, Jimmy Sheehan, Richard Halpin, Dermot O’Neill, Conor McGrath, Christy Power, Carthach Shalloe, Andrew Murphy, Shane McGrath, Olan Casey, Mark Scanlan. Subs: Matt Kiely for M Cummins, Stephen McCarthy for A Murphy, Mark Shalloe for C Shalloe, Bob O’Brien for V McCarthy, Ian Walsh for C Power. 

Scorers: Olan Casey 1-0, Carthach Shalloe and Shane McGrath 0-2 each, Richard Halpin and Dermot O’Neill 0-1 each.

Referee: Bryan Power (Cnoc Sion).

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