Bunclody Minors hit for six in Leinster opener
Clane (Kildare) 6-13 HWH-Bunclody 2-7
HWH-Bunclody's jaunt into the Leinster Club Minor football championship ended with a thud as Clane won with a superb brand of attacking football in Eire Óg, Carlow, on Sunday.
The Kildare boys were simply too good for the unbeaten Wexford champions.
They played quick, attacking football with an emphasis on the kickpass that must have been foreign to what Bunclody typically come up against.
In fact, it would be no exaggeration to say that the victors had comfortably more kickpasses than handpasses in the first 30 minutes on their way to an unassailable 4-10 to 1-2 interval advantage.
Throwback football is great and a nice break from the norm, but the most impressive thing about Clane was their accuracy.
They have clearly played like this all season; it's not a new tactic to them and they did it with supreme efficiency.
It was 0-5 to nil after 13 minutes as Bunclody adopted the bend but not break mentality. However, Shane O'Sullivan netted for Clane right at the end of the opening quarter to put a shot of reality on the scoreboard.
Darren Doyle responded for Bunclody but when another long, accurate ball found Sam Reilly inside he was never likely to miss. A moment's respite, in which Peadair Cowman netted and Doyle pointed again, did repair some of the damage (2-5 to 1-2).
Yet Bunclody dropped six balls into Cian Burke's hands in the first-half and that was never likely to be a recipe for success.
Clane finished the half on fire, with goals from O'Sullivan and James Behan eventually seeing them in 17 points clear.
The boys in all-white weren't as expansive in the second-half as they protected their advantage. Cowman and Cathal Doyle scored third quarter points for Bunclody but, after Behan netted again, substitute Danny Vaughan sent a sublime lob over Jack Regan to make it 6-11 to 1-4.
In fairness to the Wexford boys, they battled away.
Darren Doyle popped over a couple of frees, Edward Dunbar pointed, and Mark Conville sent a comical half-volley into his own net after Cowman's initial shot rebound out off the crossbar.
However, it was all in vain for Bunclody as Clane coasted into the semi-final, and they look a good bet to become the fifth different Kildare winner of this competition - promoted and organised by the Eire Og club in Carlow town - in the last eight seasons.
HWH-Bunclody: Jack Regan (capt.); Lee Levingston, Adam Hogan, Tadhg Kelly; Jamie Kavanagh, Byron Byrne, Ciarán Kavanagh; Steven Kavanagh, Peadair Cowman (1-1); Darren Doyle (0-4, 2 frees), Cathal Doyle (0-1), Edward Dunbar (0-1); Ciarán Regan, John McCormack, Daniel Farrell. Subs. - Aidan Mahon for Levingston (31), William Dunne for C. Regan (31), Ryan McDonald for Farrell (43), Alan Carton for J. Kavanagh (51).
Clane: Cian Burke; John Lynch, Mark Conville (own goal), Eoin Walsh; Conor Ward, Dan Reilly (capt.), Mark Kelly; Mikey Culhane, Seán Callan (0-1); James Behan (2-2, 0-1 '45), Shane O'Sullivan (2-3, 0-1 free), Sam McCormack (0-1); Aaron Connolly (0-1), Paddy Culhane (0-1), Sam Reilly (1-2). Subs. - Eoghan McGuire for McCormack, inj. (26), Conor Walsh for Kelly (41), Danny Vaughan (1-0) for Connolly (41), Conor Larkin for Ward (43), Ciarán McGuire for Walsh (47), Eoin Twohig (0-2) for O'Sullivan (49), Mark Gorham for Behan (51), Kelly for Conville, inj. (55).
Referee: Pat Kehoe (Carlow).