*Clonlara’s Cian Moriarty. Photograph: Gerard O’Neill
A rally of 1-03 in the opening three minutes of the second half was central to Clonlara overcoming last year’s beaten county finalists O’Callaghans Mills in round one of the Clare SHC.
O’Callaghans Mills 1-16
Venue: Cusack Park, Ennis
Trailing by six points, 0-8 to 1-11 at the half time whistle, that bright start to the new half levelled the tie and from here on they held a slight edge and deservedly captured the victory.
The winners got off to a great start racing 0-5 to 0-1 clear after twelve minutes. A brace from Colin Crehan cut their lead to two by the first water break and when play resumed the Mills continued to hold the upperhand and added 1-2 without reply to open a three point lead with eight minutes remaining to the half time whistle. Their goal came from a Colin Crehan penalty after Gary Cooney had been fouled.
They continued to enjoy the upperhand from here to half time when the score was 1-11 to 0-8.
Clonlara clearly needed to step up a gear and when the new half got underway there was more urgency in their play. Micheál O’Loughlin, Cathal O’Connell and David Fitzgerald had points inside two minutes before John Conlon put Cormac O’Donovan through on goal and the former Clare under 21 hurler made no mistake when drilling the ball to the O’Callaghans Mills net.
With just three minutes of the half played, the Mills’ six point half time advantage had been wiped out.
Two pointed frees from Micheál O’Loughlin who was much more influential in the second half, had the South Clare outfit ahead but Jacob Loughnane responded by converting two frees and the teams were level again with twelve minutes of the half played.
Clonlara had edged two clear when the second waterbreak arrived and they stretched this out to three when play resumed. The Mills kept their hopes alive through Jacob Loughnane frees but a better balanced Clonlara held the edge and deservingly emerged with the points.
Padraic O’Loughlin, Paul McNamara, Cathal O’Connell, John Conlon and Micheál O’Loughlin in the second half were prominent for the winners while Pat Donnellan, Jacob Loughnane, Aidan O’Gorman, and Colin Crehan got through some good work for the Mills.
Scorers; Clonlara; Cathal O’Connell (0-5, 1f); Micheal O’Loughlin (3 frees) John Conlon (0-4) each Cormac O’Donovan (1-1) Ian Galvin, David Fitzgerald (0-2) each; Colm Galvin, Cian Moriarty (0-1) each
Scorers O’Callaghans Mills: Jacob Loughnane (0-9, 6f, 2 ‘65’s); Colin Crehan (1-2, 1-0 penalty) Sean Cotter (0-3); Ciaran Cooney, Conor Henry (0-1) each
1: Cillian O’Brien
2: Colm O’Meara
3: Paul McNamara
4: Jathan McMahon
5: Aidan Moriarty
6: Paraic O’Loughlin
7: Dylan McMahon
8: Colm Galvin
9: Ian Galvin
10: Micheál O’Loughlin
21: Cian Moriarty
12: John Conlon
13: Cormac O’Donovan
14: Conor Bourke
15: Cathal O’Connell
20: David Fitzgerald for C. Bourke (HT)
1: Killian Nugent
2: Michael Cotter
3: Conor Cooney
4: Sean O’Gorman
5: Pat Donnellan
6: Aidan O’Gorman
7: Ciaran Cooney
8: Conor Henry
9: Sean Cotter
10: Jacob Loughnane
20: Colm Cleary
12: Aidan Fawl
13: Gary Cooney
14: Cormac Murphy
15: Colin Crehan
22: Conor Cooney (Ermhill) for Murphy (49)
18: Michael McGrath for S. Cotter (59)
21: Adrian Flaherty for Cleary (59)
Referee: Niall Malone (Éire Óg)