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*David Fitzgerald produced a man of the match display for Ennistymon. Photograph: Gerard O’Neill

ENNISTYMON ARE THROUGH to the last eight in the bid to claim the Jack Daly after overpowering Doonbeg in the second half.

Ennistymon 1-08
Doonbeg 0-09
Venue: Cusack Park, Ennis

Trailing by three points at half-time and with ten minutes of normal time to go, standings had Ennistymon in a relegation battle but the North Clare side came good with a flurry of 1-03 without reply to send Doonbeg out of the championship.

A margin of two points was enough to see the 2018 finalists take top spot of Group 3 at the expense of Kilmurry Ibrickane while Clondegad who were unbeaten heading into the weekend must now face St Joseph’s Doora/Barefield in a play off to determine who claims the last quarter-final place.

Holding a two point advantage, the most dangerous lead in the game for additional time, Ennistymon were grateful that a goal by David Tubridy on sixty one minutes was disallowed.

Tubridy palmed a rebounded effort to the back of the net but umpires adjudged that the Clare star was in the square, a decision that the Doonbeg management have vehemently rejected.

Were the goal to stand, the outcome would likely have been much different and the price for Ennistymon coughing up two scoring chances in the closing stages and nine over the hour would have been fatal.

Moving David Fitzgerald out the field was a big turning point in the contest, he was deprived of possession when lining out in the full-forward line but his move to the middle third resulted in Ennistymon breaking through the Doonbeg defence with more success. The addition of his hurling clubmate, Kevin Hehir also aided Mark Shanahan’s side greatly in sealing a last eight spot.

An ultra defensive Doonbeg built a wall in the opening half that Donald Trump could only dream of having constructed at his West Clare resort, it was one Ennistymon could never scale despite having some assistance of the elements and it’s why they only kicked two scores in the entire first half. The first put them ahead with Diarmuid Fahy linking up well with the returning Sean Rouine.

Doonbeg were more astute when it came to converting chances and added well-taken scores via Cian O’Mahoney and Darragh Burns while the ever reliable Tubridy kicked three first half points to have them 0-05 0-02 ahead at the interval.

Both David and Michael Tubridy pointed on the restart while Ennistymon added much needed scores through Sean Rynne and a Brendy Rouine double to trail by two points.

A black card for Cillian Rouine had the potential to derail Ennistymon’s challenge but they responded admirably, not alone did they keep Doonbeg scoreless for this spell but they 1-02 to take the lead approaching the final straight.

Hehir and Fitzgerald once again combined to perfection with Fitzgerald raiding for a trademark goal which put them in the ascendancy. Rouine and Tubridy swapped scores before the controversial decision to deny the Doonbeg goal was made.

For the winners, Fitzgerald, Hehir and Brendy Rouine stood out. Similar first half displays will not suffice when it comes to knockout football but the lift in taking down Doonbeg in a must-win encounter has the potential to propel this talented side forward.

Relegation play-offs await the eternal battlers of Doonbeg. They would have had to be content with their showing in the opening half but will rue their inability to make hay when they had a numerical advantage for ten minutes, remarkably this was the only ten minute period in the entire game where they failed to score. David Tubridy was their best player over the hour while the O’Mahoneys Cian and Conor had their moments.

Scorers Ennistymon: B Rouine (0-04 1f), D Fitzgerald (1-00), D Fahy (0-02 1f), S Rynne (0-01), R Barry (0-01).

Scorers Doonbeg: D Tubridy (0-06 2f), Cian O’Mahoney (0-01), D Burns (0-01), M Tubridy (0-01),

Ennistymon:
1: Noel Sexton

25: Joey Rouine
6: Cillian Rouine
2: Ciaran McMahon

5: Liam Cotter
3: Adam Ralph
7: Tiernan Hogan

12: Eoin Rouine
8: David McNamara

28: Sean Rouine
14: Brendy Rouine
20: Josh Guyler

11: Diarmuid Fahy
9: David Fitzgerald
15: Sean Rynne

Subs:
29: Kevin Hehir for Hogan (HT)
13: Ryan Barry for Cotter (48)
19: Keelan Guyler for S Rouine (57)

Doonbeg:
1: Eamonn Tubridy

4: Jason Linnane
3: Adam Ralph
2: Conor O’Mahoney

5: Paraic Aherne
6: Joe Blake
7: Cian O’Mahoney

8: Kevin McInerney
9: Eoin Conway

10: Cathal Killeen
14: Kevin Pender
12: Mikie Tubridy

15: Eoin Killeen
11: David Tubridy
13: Darragh Burns

Subs:
24: Luke Conway for Pender (43)
25: Sean Conway for J Blake (48)
22: James Killeen for McInerney (55)
17: Paul Dillon for C Killeen (58)

Referee: Chris Maguire (Wolfe Tones)

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