*Brandon O’Connell. Photograph: Gerard O’Neill
Clondegad re-emphasised that there’s no substitute for experience as they eased into a first quarter-final in four years at the expense of a subdued St Joseph’s Doora/Barefield in Cusack Park on Sunday afternoon.
St Joseph’s Doora/Barefield 0-8
Venue: Cusack Park, Ennis
Trailing by 0-3 to 0-2 nearing the end of the opening quarter, Clondegad’s response was to kick the next ten points to not only completely turn this tie on its head but finish the game as a contest even before the turn of the final quarter.
As ever, Gary Brennan was the perfect targetman at full-forward, ending up with a handsome nine point tally but also instrumental in the increased space for a counter-attacking second period capped off by Eoghan Donnellan’s 52nd minute goal.
The roving Barry Toner was also exceptional as playmaker alongside key fellow protagonists Shane Brennan and Cillian Brennan while Eoghan Donnellan in his first start raided for 1-2.
St Joseph’s Doora/Barefield, despite reaching the knock-out stages for the second successive season since returning to senior, will be totally disillusioned by this flat display.
A 36 minute barren patch is inexcusable even for such a young side as with Cillian Brennan shadowing Parish talisman Tom McDonald, Doora/Barefield essentially lacked creativity up front. The Hannan twins Jack and Tom allied to Fionn Kelleher provided the main resistance but the Parish will be scratching their heads as to why they failed to spark into life at any stage.
Gary Brennan opened the scoring with an early brace, only for Tom McDonald to do likewise at the other end to nudge St Joseph’s in front for the first and only time by the eleventh minute at 0-3 to 0-2.
From there however, Clondegad incrementally seized total control as five different scorers – Gary Brennan (2), Shane Brennan (2), Barry Toner, Eoghan Donnellan and Ryan Jennings – contributed to seven unanswered points to ensure a 0-9 to 0-3 interval cushion.
St Joseph’s rang the changes at the break but even that reshuffle couldn’t ignite a response as Clondegad simply picked up where they left off with points for Gary Brennan (2) and Eoghan Donnellan. They could have added too but following slick counters, shots from Eoghan Donnellan and Ryan Jennings were superbly kept out by goalkeeper Tom O’Brien at 0-12 to 0-3.
The goal did arrive entering the final ten minutes when a Declan O’Loughlin kick-out broke through for James Murphy, Shane Brennan and substitute Podge McMahon to combine and cleverly pass across the square for Eoghan Donnellan to round O’Brien and fire to an empty net at 1-13 to 0-5.
Consolation points from Fionn Kelleher, Conor Brannock and Tom Hannan were matched by the unmarkable Gary Brennan who guided his side over the line and into Monday’s quarter-final draw.
Scorers for Clondegad: Gary Brennan (0-9, 5f); Eoghan Donnellan (1-2); Shane Brennan (0-2); Barry Toner, Ryan Jennings (0-1 each)
Scorers for St Joseph’s Doora/Barefield: Tom McDonald (0-2, 1f); Dara Nagle, Eoghan Thynne, Joseph Rafferty, Fionn Kelleher, Conor Brannock (f), Tom Hannan (0-1 each)
1: Declan O’Loughlin
2: Brian Casey
3: Brian Murphy
4: Niall Lynch
9: Brandon O’Connell
6: Peter Casey
5: Conor Gavin
8: James Murphy
17: Cillian Brennan
10: Morgan Garry
14: Shane Brennan
15: Barry Toner
13: Ryan Jennings
11: Gary Brennan
18: Eoghan Donnellan
23: Podge McMahon for Jennings (46)
29: Cormac Reidy for Gavin (49)
28: Sean O’Leary for Donnellan (54)
12: Eoghan Gavin for J. Murphy (57)
St Joseph’s Doora/Barefield:
1: Tom O’Brien
2: Peter Collins
9: Cian Barron
4: Samuel Costello
5: James Curran
3: Fionn Kelleher
7: Cian McDonough
8: Eoin Hanrahan
10: Tom McDonald
15: Dara Nagle
6: Jack Hannan
12: Kieran Thynne
11: Tom Hannan
14: Joseph Rafferty
13: Eoghan Thynne
20: Darragh Whelan for Costello (HT)
21: Conal Dorgan for McDonough (HT)
17: Conor Brannock for K. Thynne (HT)
22: David O’Brien for Rafferty (51)
18: Conall Kelleher for Nagle (56)
Referee: Barry Keating (Lissycasey)