KEITH SMYTH’s return to action following a lay off due to injury proved to be a big boost for Feakle/Killanena to seal their place in the U21A hurling final.
Clare senior panellist Smyth was a huge lift for the East Clare side at a well-appointed Whitegate venue on Saturday morning.
Smyth contributed some excellent scores, particularly from placed balls, to help his side advance to a final meeting with Inagh/Kilnamona next Sunday.
At the end of a fairly evenly contested first half the winners were three points in front, 0-7 to 0-4. The East Clare side dominated the exchanges in the second half and were fully deserving of their comfortable victory.
Clooney/Quin will be disappointed with a large number of missed chances, particularly from placed balls but, that said, the fact is they were outplayed in many of the key positions as they exited at the semi-final stage for the second year in a row.
Ian Macnamara and Oisin O’Connor gave the winners the upperhand at midfield while behind them Adam Hogan and Oisin Clune ensured that the Clooney/Quin forwards got few opportunities.
Up front seventeen year Ronan Keane excelled at wing forward, giving great support to Keith Smyth.
The game’s only goal was scored by Clooney/Quin’s corner forward Dannan Fox who also chipped in with two points.
Feakle/Killanena; Liam O’Connor; Conor McGann, Eoghan Daly, Enda Madden; Padraic O’Callaghan, Adam Hogan, Oisin Clune; Ian Macnamara, Ronan O’Connor; Ronan Keane, Eoin McGann, Patrick Daly; Gearoid Keane, Keith Smith, Oisin O’Connor
Subs; Seamie O’Donnell for P. Daly; John Walsh for R. Keane; Darren McMahon for G. Keane
Clooney/Quin; Cormac O’Halloran; Enda O’Halloran, Evan Maxted, Cillian O’Gara; Eoin Guilfoyle, John Conneally, John Cahill; Darragh Keogh, Sam Scanlan; David Considine, Jack O’Neill, Dylan Cunningham; Darragh White, Shane Harrison, Dannan Fox;
Subs; Colm Cassidy for Harrison; Martin Frain for Guilfoyle; Lorcan O’Connor for D. Cunningham
Referee: John Bugler (Whitegate)