15 Aug 2022

Kilkenny SHL- Clara fightback floors weakened Shamrocks

Clara 2-22 Shamrocks 1-24

Kilkenny SHL- Clara fightback floors weakened Shamrocks

Niall Shorthall and Bill Carrigan contest the ball during last Sunday's Senior League clash in Thomastown. Pic: Willie Dempsey

An enthralling clash in front of a packed attendance in sundrenched Thomastown last Sunday saw Clara overturn a seven point deficit entering the final quarter as they emerged victorious in a contest that produced a dramatic finish.

The 4-in-a-row County Champions with County Senior Eoin Cody in exceptional form were the better team for the majority of the match & they were cruising towards victory as they led 1-21 to 1-14.

However, led by the outstanding Liam Ryan, Clara began the comeback.

Three points in succession in a three minute spell between the 45th & 48th minutes narrowed the gap to four points(1-21 to 1-17) as Liam Ryan struck two superb long distance points from play sandwiched in between a Jason Byrne free.

Points from the excellent Ronan Corcoran & Niall Shortall steadied the ship(1-23 to 1-17) but after Eoin Cody squandered a glorious goal chance in the 50th minute, Clara rallied again.

Jack Langton & Jason Byrne restored the advantage to four points(1-23 to 1-19) before Paul Cody crashed home his second goal in the 55th minute to leave just the minimum separating the sides, 1-23 to 2-19.

Eoin Cody pointed a free in the 57th minute to double the lead for Shamrocks but Clara finished strongest with points from Conor O'Shea, Jason Byrne & John Murphy with the winning score to snatch a dramatic victory that appeared most unlikely for the majority of the second half.

Eoin Cody had a chance with the last puck of the game to gain a share of the spoils but his attempt from a '65 went wide of the target.

A high scoring first-half saw the Shamrocks men lead 0-15 to 1-10 at half-time with Eoin Cody leading the way with 0-7 ( 0-4 from play ).

Conor O'Shea opened the scoring with a point from play after just 15 seconds but Shamrocks took over & by the 11th minute they led 0-7 to 0-2 with points coming from Eoin Cody(0-3 0-1 free), Eoin Reid, Evan Shefflin, Darragh Corcoran & Liam Barron.

Clara replied with four consecutive points between the 13th & 15th minutes from Chris Bolger(2) & Jason Byrne(2 frees )to narrow the deficit to the minimum(0-7 to 0-6) but Shamrocks replied with points in succession from Ronan Corcoran, Adrian Mullen & Eoin Cody to push further clear in the 19th minute, 0-10 to 0-6.

They remained four points clear(0-12 to 0-8) in the 25th minute but a Paul Cody goal in the 26th minute narrowed the gap to the minimum, 0-12 to 1-8.

However Shamrocks replied once more with points from Eoin Cody(2 frees) & Eoin Reid before Clara finished an absorbing half hour of hurling with consecutive points from Liam Ryan to trail 0-15 to 1-10 at half-time.

Further points at the start of the second half from Liam Ryan & a long distance free by Jason Byrne brought Clara level(1-12 to 0-15) but Shamrocks came roaring back & they outscored Clara 1-6 to 0-2 between the 33rd & 44th minutes.

The goal that came in the 33rd minute was a brilliant worked movement as a long puckout from Dean Mason found Eoin Cody in space & he stormed forward to pass to the onrunning Niall Shortall who finished expertly.

Cody added to his tally with four further points including two frees & a '65 while Ronan Corcoran was also on target adding a brace to his tally.

However Clara began the comeback from the jaws of defeat in which they displayed admirable strength of character & determination.

As mentioned Liam Ryan led the way, Matthew Kenny did an excellent man marking job on Adrian Mullen while goalkeeper Kevin Nolan produced heroics including a tremendous double save.

The hardworking David Langton, Conor O'Shea & the excellent free taking of Jason Byrne also came to the fore during that fightback.

Teams and Scorers

Clara - Jason Byrne 0-8(0-7 frees), Paul Cody 2-0, Liam Ryan 0-5, Chris Bolger 0-3, Conor O'Shea 0-2, Martin O'Connell, Jack Langton & John Murphy 0-1 each

Shamrocks - Eoin Cody 0-12 (0-6 frees 0-1'65), Niall Shortall 1-2, Ronan Corcoran 0-4, Eoin Reid 0-2, Adrian Mullen, Evan Shefflin, Darragh Corcoran & Liam Barron 0-1 each

Clara - Kevin Nolan, Bill Carrigan, Jack Langton(Captain), Sean O'Shea, Shane Staunton, Matthew Kenny, John Murphy, David Langton, Conor O'Shea, Paul Cody, Martin O'Connell, Liam Ryan, Tom Ryan, Chris Bolger, Jason Byrne.

Sub: Paddy Ryan.

Shamrocks - Dean Mason, Kevin Mullen, Darren Mullen, Brian Butler, Evan Shefflin, Darragh Corcoran, Conor Phelan, Ronan Corcoran (Captain), Patrick Mullen, Liam Barron, Adrian Mullen, Killian Corcoran, Eoin Reid, Eoin Cody, Niall Shortall.

Subs: Mark Gorman, Stephen Barron.

Referee: Eoin Hayes

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