Clarinbridge dig deep to complete their mission
GALWAY SHC FINAL REPLAY Clarinbridgte 0-18 Loughrea 0-15( AET 0-13 to 0-13 after normal time): CLARINBRIDGE STAGED a dramatic late recovery to win their second county senior hurling title after an absorbing encounter at Kenny Park in Athenry yesterday.
A crowd of close on 10,000 saw Loughrea seemed destined for their third title when they opened up a three-point lead going into the closing stages.
However, Clarinbridge, with David Forde and Jamie Cannon superb in the half-back line, did not panic and picked off three late frees in the dying moments from Paul Coen to force extra time for only the second time in the history of Galway senior hurling finals.
And they went on to be the better side in the added time.
Coen took over the free-taking duties after Mark Kerins – who landed six from placed balls and a brace from play – missed a few, but Coen made no mistake to give the south Galway side a lifeline.
Eanna Murphy put Clarinbridge ahead for the first time in the final two minutes after the restart and with Alan Kerins and Barry Daly coming more into the game for Clarinbridge, Loughrea began to struggle.
Neil Keary, a minor who scored 0-9 from placed balls, kept Loughrea in touch and the sides turned round for the final period of extra-time with Clarinbridge leading by 0-16 to 0-15.
Mark Kerins hit the point of the match directly after the restart when he lifted the ball on his hurl, turned and in one movement without catching drove the ball over the bar from 70 metres.
Eoin Forde put a goal between them shortly afterwards and there was no way back for a Loughrea side that never trailed during normal time and who had beaten three-in-a-row champions Portumna in the semi-final.
CLARINBRIDGE: L Donoghue; C Forde, B Burke, P Callanan; J Cannon, D Forde, M Donoghue; B Daly (0-2), E Murphy (0-1); S Burke, M Kerins (0-8, six frees), S Forde (0-1); E Forde (0-1), A Kerins (0-1), P Coen (0-4, three frees, one 65). Subs: E Collins for M Donoghue (62 mins), A Armstrong for Murphy (68).
LOUGHREA: N Murray; B Mahony, D McClearn, T Regan; P Hoban, N Shaughnessy, V Maher; E Mahony, G Keary; J Coen (0-1), J Maher (0-3), K Colleran (0-1); N Keary (0-9, eight frees, one 65), J O’Loughlin (0-1), T Hoban. Subs: J Regan for T Hoban (56 mins), G Kennedy for Colleran (59 mins), Colleran for V Maher (60), S Mahony for E Mahony (75).
Referee: E Shaughnessy.
Next Up . . .
Clarinbridge will meet the Munster winners (De La Salle or Thurles Sars) in the All-Ireland semi-final.