A BLUSTERY and cool Jenkinstown was the location for this minor hurling Roinn C championship final replay between Cloneen and recently promoted senior side Danesfort. The pitch was in perfect condition after being barraged by heavy rain that had fallen all morning and the wind was blowing into the faces of Cloneen in the first half.
Danesfort got off to a flying start. Jack Bruton pointed his first free from the sideline on the right. David Wilson responded after a deft flick by M.J. Feehan put him free to shoot over. Wilson pointed the first of two frees before Bruton tapped over his second from a placed ball.
A foul on Podge Delaney let Wilson add to his free tally on 29 minutes before a flurry of shots by the Danesfort attack were all stopped and blocked down by an excellent defence before the ball fell to Cillian Treacy, who found space to shoot over right on half-time. This left Danesfort trailing 0-4 to 0-3 at the rest.
The greasy conditions made scoring chances rare and the scrappy play resulted in a lot of frees for both sides. The Cloneen midfielders Mark Maguire and Podge Delaney were hurling well while the Danesfort defence was being led strongly by Darragh Sheen and Paddy Hickey.
A foul on Paul Kelly allowed David Wilson score his first free of the second half before a pass from substitute Cian Mullally to danger man Bruton let him finish over at ease. Wilson pointed another free before Bruton shot his fourth after a long run down the left sideline.
Cloneen were starting to dominate but they were leaving Danesfort in the game by missing chances. M.J. Feehan scored after a quick burst of pace down the wing. The turning point came midway through the half when an off the ball altercation led to Cloneen having a player red card.
Paddy Hickey then started playing as the spare man in the ’Fort defence and they pushed no up field. Steven McKenna and Ronan Leahy pointed sweetly and the sides were all tied up 0-7 each. David Wilson pointed from a free in quick response but the 14 man team was starting to weaken badly.
Jack Bruton, the danger man, was the one who put a real dent in Cloneen’s chances when he buried the ball in the net after a blazing run into the heart of the defence. After the goal they never looked back. Colm Phelan, Bruton and Treacy all pointed in quick succession.
A minute into injury-time Cloneen won a penalty. The effort was stopped on the line by ’keeper Patrick Tynan to leave Danesfort good winners.
Brilliant performances from Paddy Hickey and captain Darragh Sheen in defence and Bruton and Treacy in attack meant the winners dominated in the closing minutes, but xcellent performances from Mark Maguire and Podge Delaney will perhaps spur them into the club’s junior team next year.
Danesfort - Patrick Tynan, Paddy Hickey, John Ford, Darragh Knox, Gary Tynan, Darragh Sheen, Michael O Neill, Ronan Leahy (0-1), Colm Phelan, Steven McKenna (0-1), Ryan Bolger (0-1), Ger Dunne, Jack Bruton (1-5, o-2 frees), Cillian Treacy (0-2), Shane Banaghan. Subs - Cian Mullally, Philip Cooney.
Cloneen - Sean O Neill, Conor Delaney, Anthony O Neill, Gearoid O Neill, Dean Shortall, Paul Kelly, Ciaran Brennan, Mark Maguire, Podge Delaney, M.J. Feehan (0-1), David Wilson (0-7, six frees), Ciaran Whelan, Sean Feehan, Eoin Doyle, Brian Mahon. Subs - Sean Maguire, Ronan Egan, Chris Buggy.