*Harry Fine tries to hold off Darragh Whyte. Photograph: Burren Eye Photography
2020 Under 14A finalists Sixmilebridge and Inagh-Kilnamona lead the way in the Under 15A Hurling Championship equivalent after cementing back-to-back victories on Monday evening.
In an early battle for supremacy in the group, a James Hegarty goal entering the final ten minutes proved decisive in edging Inagh-Kilnamona past previously unbeaten St Joseph’s Doora/Barefield by 2-09 to 1-10 in Gurteen.
Goal scoring sensation Eamonn Breen took his tally to seven in just two matches when a goal in either half helped Sixmilebridge to overcome Éire Óg by 2-15 to 0-03.
In the final Under 15A tie, midfielder Michael Collins produced a 0-13 masterclass to get Clonlara off the mark with a 2-22 to 1-13 home victory over a Clarecastle side that only took one of ten goal opportunities.
The entertainment value was only accentuated in the Under 15B&C Championship as there was an average of five goals scored per match in the nine Round 2 ties.
Michael Power and Sean Arthur were Newmarket-on-Fergus’ twin threats once more as they combined for all but two points of their side’s 3-18 to 3-09 victory over Tulla.
Last year’s Under 14B finalists Kilmaley also preserved their perfect start with a 2-15 to 1-09 win over Clooney-Quin.
First half majors through Gareth Murphy, Keelan O’Donoghue and Ian O’Brien fortified Cratloe’s advantage in advance of a storming Broadford finish before holding out for a 3-21 to 6-08 win.
The margins were equally tight for Feakle/Killanena to secure a first triumph of the campaign against Corofin/Ruan by 2-16 to 3-11 while only the minimum edged O’Callaghan’s Mills/Bodyke to an opening win over Ballyea by 4-13 to 1-21.
Whitegate, Wolfe Tones and the Banner are the early frontrunners in Group 2. Timely goals earned Whitegate a 4-11 to 0-15 derby win over Scariff/Ogonnelloe, the Banner had seven to spare over Ennistymon by 1-17 to 1-10 while the Shannon side got past Parteen thanks to a 4-15 to 2-09 success.
Finally, there was only a point in the difference as Peter Farrell and Osgar Dunford inspired Crusheen/Tubber to a breakthrough 1-13 to 2-06 victory over Smith O’Brien’s in Tubber on Monday evening.
The inaugural Under 13 Football Championships also got underway last Friday evening. 22 teams are competing for the three majors honours, seven of which compete in Division 1 that saw St Joseph’s Doora/Barefield, Clondegad and St Breckans’s record opening victories.
A first half trio of goals from full-forward Colm Daly laid the foundations for Doora/Barefield’s 8-15 to 0-10 away win over Lissycasey.
Dara Kennedy raided for an even quicker treble as his hat-trick came in a dramatic second quarter that saw Clondegad produced a ten point turnaround on their way to a 5-7 to 3-8 win over hosts Éire Óg.
The first round top-scorer award was actually secured by St Breckan’s centre-forward Cathal McNamara who finished with 4-3, with all four goals coming in a compelling seven goal exchange with neighbours Ennistymon that finished 4-11 to 3-07 in the home side’s favour in Lisdoonvarna.
In the Under 13 Division 2&3 Football Championship, 64 goals were scored through the seven group matches, with Doonbeg, Cooraclare and the peninsula amalgamation of Naomh Eoin/O’Curry’s/St Senan’s Kilkee taking the whip hand in Group 1 while Clarecastle, Cratloe, Parteen and the Banner got off to winning starts in Group 2.
The Under 13 Hurling Championship equivalent commences this Friday evening.