Monday 26 August 2019

Anne's advance by point

All-county hurling league semi-finals

Kevin Walsh

St Anne's survived a late rally from Clongeen to prevail by the narrowest of margins in the All-County Hurling League Division 7 semi-final in Clongeen on Sunday.

St Anne's 2-9 Clongeen 1-11

Just two points separated the teams in the league table and they were again evenly matched here in a game that never really got flowing, with tension notable on both sides.

Clongeen made a blistering start, registering three unanswered points in the first five minutes, with Martin Kehoe adding to two frees from Gary O'Grady. St. Anne's, on the other hand, were sluggish from the get go but eventually dragged themselves into the game when Shane Mythen found the back of the net.

Another free from O'Grady put the hosts back in front but Mythen struck back with a free of his own, before firing over a long-range effort after good inter-play with Patrick O'Brien.

Clongeen dominated the remainder of the half but two late Mythen frees meant that the teams went into the break level.

The visitors raced to a three-point lead early in the second-half thanks to Mythen and Jess Codd. Meanwhile, the loss of Gary O'Grady through injury was a blow to the home side but Joe Toomey stepped into the void to hit three frees and level the scores once again.

The turning point came in the 52nd minute when St. Anne's substitute, Josh Cloney, rifled an unstoppable shot into the top corner of the net. That instilled confidence in the visitors and further points from Codd and David Kavanagh moved them five points clear.

Clongeen were not done with however, and when Peter Anthony Wall hit a late goal and a point, it made for a nervy end for the Anne's.

Time did eventually run out on the hosts, meaning the Rathangan men held on to win by just a point.

St. Anne's: Conor Kavanagh; Ray Kelly, Niall Doyle, Kevin White; Gordon Simpson, Tony McDonnell, Gary Cloney; Diarmuid Kelly, Michael O'Brien; Jess Codd (0-2), Patrick O'Brien, David Kelly; Wayne Hayes, David Kavanagh (0-1), Shane Mythen (1-6, 0-5 frees). Subs. - Roy Nunn for Hayes, Josh Cloney (1-0) for D. Kelly, Jack Moore for G. Cloney.

Clongeen: Paddy O'Gorman; Eric O'Grady, Anton Stafford, Kevin Toomey; Danny O'Grady, James Curtis, Cathal Murphy; Tom Donovan (0-1), Martin Delaney; Peter Anthony Wall (1-1), Shane Kilkenny, Martin Kehoe (0-1); Joe Toomey (0-4, 3 frees), Jamie O'Grady, Gary O'Grady (0-4 frees). Subs. - Robert Farrell for J. O'Grady, Tommy O'Gorman for P. O'Gorman, Jamie O'Grady for G. O'Grady.

Referee: Fintan Whyte (St. James').

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