*David Tubridy gets past Eoin Cleary. Photograph: Gerard O’Neill
Doonbeg deservedly consolidated their senior status after finally shaking off St Joseph’s with an extra-time masterclass in Cooraclare on Saturday evening.
St Joseph’s Miltown 1-16
Level seven times over the hour, crucially Doonbeg were never behind at any stage of the contest and with a reshuffling of their pack, experience made way for the energy of youth as the Conway brothers Luke (1-0) and Sean (0-2) stunned Miltown into submission to ease up to victory.
Fortunately for the warweary 2018 and ’19 champions, who already suffered relegation from the Cusack Cup, their latest reverse isn’t detrimental but they will need to improve dramatically if they are to finally garner their first win of the campaign against Kilmihil in a fortnight’s time.
Doonbeg, who were a tad unlucky to find themselves in such peril having only been edged out by a kick of the ball in all three of their group matches, were full value for victory as in contrast to their opponents, the Magpies played with real guts to attack this game from the outset.
David Tubridy inevitably provided the guiding points, ten in all over the 80 minutes, to keep his side on track but warriors like captain Paraic Aherne, Tadhg Lillis, Mikie Tubridy, Paul Dillon, Darragh Burns, Cathal Killeen and Eoin Killeen worked tirelessly for the cause.
With the wind at their backs, three David Tubridy points helped the Magpies to a 0-5 to 0-1 advantage by the 21st minute, only to see it dramatically wiped out in the space of three minutes as Micheál Murray teed up Conor Cleary to find the net before converting a mark himself to regain parity at 0-5 to 1-2.
Doonbeg’s response was pivotal as only two minutes later, Mikie Tubridy and the overlapping Paraic Aherne manufactured an almost identical goal for Eoin Killeen to finish to the net at the back post and boost their side to a 1-6 to 1-2 interval cushion.
Inevitably back came Miltown but while it took until the 44th minute for Eoin Cleary to level matters for only the third time at 1-7 to 1-7, the All-Star nominee would have to scramble to do likewise on three more occasions amidst a tense finale, the last of which came from a free with the final kick of the hour at 1-13 apiece.
Having earned a reprieve, Miltown were expected to push on from that juncture but the opposite proved true as Doonbeg’s fresh legs made an immediate impact including a 63rd minute goal from a Luke Conway flick to catapult his side into a 2-15 to 1-13 lead.
Down the other end, goalkeeper Eamon Tubridy produced a stunning reactive save with the help of the crossbar to somehow deny Eoin Cleary as instead Doonbeg only stretched their lead thanks to the Tubridy’s, David (2) and Mike (1).
Miltown tried in vain to snipe a goal but were noticeably fatigued and devoid of energy, especially in extra-time in contrast to a rampant Doonbeg.
Miltown do have one final opportunity to save their senior souls but will know that Kilmihil will be licking their lips after watching this lacklustre performance.
Scorers for Doonbeg: David Tubridy (0-10, 7f); Eoin Killeen, Luke Conway (1-0 each); Darragh Burns, Paul Dillon, Sean Conway, Mikie Tubridy (0-2 each); Kevin McInerney (0-1)
Scorers for St Joseph’s Miltown: Eoin Cleary (0-8, 5f, 1’45); Conor Cleary (1-1); Cian Mahony (0-2, 1f); Gearoid Curtin, Micheál Murray (m), Aidan McGuane, Darragh McDonagh, Kieran Malone (0-1 each)
1: Eamon Tubridy
2: Conor O’Mahoney
3: Tadhg Lillis
4: Jason Linnane
5: Paraic Aherne
21 Cian Clancy
7: Cian O’Mahoney
8: Kevin McInerney
12: Mikie Tubridy
9: Eoin Conway
15: Eoin Killeen
10: Cathal Killeen
11: David Tubridy
17: Paul Dillon
13: Darragh Burns
14: Kevin Pender for Conway (49)
24: Luke Conway for Dillon (59)
25: Sean Conway for Clancy (59)
20: Brian Behan for Killeen (60+2)
22: James Killeen for Pender (60)
26: Eoghan Tubridy for Burns (69)
6: Joe Blake for D. Tubridy (79, inj)
St Joseph’s Miltown:
1: Sean O’Brien
4: Euan Reidy
3: Seanie Malone
2: Eoin O’Brien
7: Aidan McGuane
6: Oisin Looney
5: Gearoid Curtin
8: Conor Cleary
9: Micheál Murray
10: Sean Neylon
11: Kieran Malone
12: Cian Mahony
15: Eoin Cleary
14: Darragh McDonagh
13: Brian Curtin
27: Sean McMahon for Neylon (43)
33: Cormac Murray for McMahon (66)
24: Euan Lineen for Mahony (72)
Referee: Jim Hickey (Cratloe)