*Photograph: Burren Eye Photography
Corofin/Ruan’s bid to complete back to back Minor A hurling titles remains on track after they recorded a comprehensive fourteen point semi-final win on Wednesday evening.
A dominant performance from start to finish saw Corofin/Ruan deservedly and impressively shake off the challenge of Inagh/Kilnamona to seal their place in the Kerry Group Minor A hurling championship final.
Eight of last year’s starting team which won the amalgamation’s first ever Minor A title lined out in the semi-final. Their return of 3-24, 3-18 of which was from play is likely to win a contest at any level and it is an indicator of the sheer ability that is sprinkled all over the North Clare outfit.
They raced into a 1-04 0-00 lead inside the first six minutes with the goal coming via the stick of Shane Punch. Inagh/Kilnamona would open their account via Conner Hegarty soon after and the joint captain of the Dr Harty Cup winning St Flannan’s College side contributed to over half their scoring tally, the vast majority of which were from placed balls.
Jason Organ struck for the champions second goal on twenty six minutes serving as a sucker punch for Inagh/Kilnamona who despite three Hegarty frees on the bounce would trail by twelve points at half-time.
In truth it was game over at half-time so Inagh/Kilnamona who last won a title at this grade in 2017 needed to put up a decent showing to conclude their involvement in the campaign. That they did notching 1-09 in the second half but their improvement was epitomised by substitute Mark Cullinan who made a handful of turnovers and displayed the merits of an attacking unit possessing strong defensive skills.
However anytime the Flan Hegarty managed side put a few scores together, damage soon followed at the other end as a clinical Corofin/Ruan demonstrated why they are heading for a successive county final. Killian O’Connor did the hard work to create their third and final goal which was finished to the net by Shane Punch ten minutes into the second half.
Josh Guyler was denied a green flag at the other end when Keelan Mounsey smartly and quickly batted the ball out of the danger area. He had no such luck in stopping a super Hegarty free which was aided by a switched off Corofin/Ruan backline.
Corofin/Ruan finished out the tie with the final three scores coming through O’Connor, the lively Shane O’Brien and Punch. The trio along with Conor Leen and Ryan Power impressed most for the John Punch managed side.
Scorers Corofin/Ruan: Shane Punch (2-09 5f 1’65), Diarmuid Cahill (0-05), Shane O’Brien (0-04), Jason Organ (1-00), Killian O’Connor (0-02), Michael Barrow (0-02), Ryan Power (0-02).
Scorers Inagh/Kilnamona: Conner Hegarty (1-08 1-05f 1’65), Josh Guyler (0-02), Eoghan Foudy (0-02), Mark Cullinan (0-01), Niall Mullins (0-01), Sean Wynne (0-01), Keith Barry (0-01).
1: Keelan Mounsey
2: Marc O’Loughlin
3: Conor Leen
4: Jason Power
7: Darragh McInerney
6: Cillian McGroary
5: Jack Lyons
9: Ryan Power
8: Killian O’Connor
10: Shane Punch
11: Diarmuid Cahill
12: Michael Barrow
15: Jack McDonagh
14: James Organ
13: Shane O’Brien
18: Oisin Madigan for McInerney (54)
1: Jack O’Connor
5: James Cullinan
2: Colm Kearney
4: Liam Callinan
7: Dean McInerney
3: Shane Woods
6: Eoghan Foudy
8: Ricky Wynne
9: Keith Barry
15: Cormac Devitt
11: Conner Hegarty
12: Ronan Mescall
10: Niall Mullins
14: Josh Guyler
17: Sean Rynne
18: Mark Callinan for Devitt (27)
13: Daniel Rynne for Mescall (34)
24: Jamie Wynne for Wynne (59)
Referee: Wayne King (St Josephs Doora/Barefield)