*David Fitzgerald on the attack. Photograph: Gerard O’Neill
INAGH/KILNAMONA produced a commanding second half to ensure they will play no part in the relegation series of the Clare SHC and in the process sent Doora/Barefield into a battle for survival.
St Joseph’s Doora/Barefield 1-16
Venue: Cusack Park, Ennis
Trailing by a single point at half-time, a turnaround in fortunes was expected by Inagh/Kilnamona for the second half but none to the manner in what transpired as they completely ripped Doora/Barefield asunder.
Life was missing from Inamona’s opening half showing but their tactic of lumping the ball into full forward Aidan McCarthy paid dividends and led to their first green flag on thirty four minutes, Conner Hegarty’s strike serving as a major turning point in the contest.
Indeed McCarthy’s influence was telling, he finished the tie with 1-12 to his name and was central to Inamona turning things around in the second half.
For Doora/Barefield the manner of their second half collapse is far from ideal for a side now bidding to stay in the top tier, a level they only reached after claiming the intermediate title last season.
It went from being oh so bright to a cloud of darkness for The Parish who played excellently as a team in the opening half but their collective approach dissipated on the restart as they were never recovered from the concession of two goals in the third quarter.
An even first half saw the sides on level terms on seven different occasions, such a statistic seems difficult to comprehend when the final score is viewed. What worked for Doora/Barefield was how they fetched scores off their own puckouts, they didn’t claim ball directly in the sky but rather flicked it onto a runner or read the breaks well, this was them at their best while their second half was them at their worst.
David Conroy and Aidan McCarthy both of whom hit double scores, swapped efforts twice inside the opening seven minutes. McCarthy’s shots were from placed balls as Doora/Barefield felt they had no choice to try prevent him from scoring but by fouling him, the fact that he is as dangerous from placed balls as from play negated this plan.
Conner Hegarty, Eoghan Foudy and McCarthy then pointed to give Inagh/Kilnamona a three point advantage but this was blown asunder when Eoghan Thynne struck for goal after Cian Barron played him through on thirteen minutes.
With David Fitzgerald and McCarthy setting the way, the 2021 finalists managed to settle themselves to regain the lead. Through Conroy and Jack Hannan, Doora/Barefield did just enough to hold a one point advantage as half-time arrived.
Inagh/Kilnamona were quickest out of the blocks when Chris Maguire restarted the game with Sean Rynne and McCarthy splitting the posts. Dara Nagle pulled one back for the challengers but then Louis Mulqueen’s side hit 1-2 without reply, the goal arriving from Hegarty.
Although Eoin Lahiffe got The Parish’s second score of the half, their opponents were beginning to move through the gears and added 1-1, McCarthy raising the green flag as Sean Rynne popped over his second score.
Conroy continued to keep his account ticking over but the contest was well and truly sealed when Niall Mullins struck for goal number three on fifty four minutes.
They had a fourth green flag when a superb cross-field pass from Mullins put Sean Rynne through and he gladly nestled the sliotar beyond Paul Madden.
Showing their dominance and their opponents’ collapse was the fact Inamona finished the tie with an unanswered 2-4.
In this tale of two halves, Inagh/Kilnamona showed their potential but also with their opening half gave an indication as to why they will not be competing in the business end of this year’s championship. A strong collective pushed them on their way to the county final two years ago but they are presently depending far too much on Aidan McCarthy and David Fitzgerald, both of whom were their best players once again and not seeing enough from all their quality players when the pressure is on.
Repeating their first half performance could well suffice for Doora/Barefield in their bid to remain a senior club but should they produce another second half like this where they were outscored 4-13 0-06 they will be heading back to the intermediate grade.
Davy Conroy throughout was best for Shane O’Grady’s side while Kevin Dilleen, Alan O’Neill and Cian Barron all had spells where they did well.
Scorers Inagh/Kilnamona: A McCarthy (1-12 6f), S Rynne (1-2), C Hegarty (1-2), D Fitzgerald (0-5), N Mullins (1-1), E Foudy (0-1), D Cullinan (0-1), K White (0-1).
Scorers St Joseph’s Doora/Barefield: D Conroy (0-11 8f), E Thynne (1-0), A O’Neill (0-2), J Hannan (0-1), D Nagle (0-1), E Lahiffe (0-1).
1: Eamonn Foudy
7: Seamus Foudy
20: Damien Lafferty
3: Cathal McConigley
6: Jason McCarthy
4: Shane Woods
17: Jason Griffin
9: Darren Cullinan
8: David Fitzgerald
11: Conner Hegarty
5: Sean Rynne
12: Evan McNamara
13: Niall Mullins
18: Aidan McCarthy
19: Eoghan Foudy
2: Keith White for Lafferty (47)
10: Ronan Mescall for E Foudy (50)
22: Keelan Guyler for McNamara (58)
27: Colin Shannon for McConigley (59)
14: Shane Vaughan for Hegarty (59)
St Joseph’s Doora/Barefield:
1: Paul Madden
3: Darragh McMahon
2: Brian Clancy
18: Ian Williams
7: Adam Mungovan
5: Eoin McMahon
4: Frances Meaney
8: Jack Hannan
6: Darragh O’Shea
29: Kevin Dilleen
9: Davy Conroy
20: Alan O’Neill
15: Eoin Lahiffe
13: Cian Barron
12: Eoghan Thynne
10: Darragh Nagle for Clancy (HT)
30: Donal O’Halloran for Meaney (43)
25: Jarlath Colleran for E McMahon (49)
12: Cathal Ruane for Thynne (49)
14: Conor Tierney for O’Neill (53)
Referee: Chris Maguire (Wolfe Tones)