Clonaslee/St Manman’s 1-7
By Pat Delaney
IN the opening round Clonaslee were well beaten by green clad Stradbally and on Sunday faced another green machine, Killeshin, whom they would have clashed with in recent years at intermediate level. Long before the final whistle last year’s intermediate champions were heading for the relegation trap door.
Killeshin were without first choice players but it mattered little as they had the ball in the Clonaslee net within two minutes of the throw in and it was the Laois minor player Adam Deering who got the final touch, unfortunately that was the only score he would get as he limped off injured in the tenth minute.
Full forward Cathal Brennan landed a point and eight minutes into the contest the talented David Ashton blasted a second goal from close range.
Clonaslee settled down and kicked two good points by Ger Reilly and John Rigney but Killeshin replied with equally good points by David Ashton and Cathal Brennan.
Gearoid Carroll pointed for Clonaslee but the second quarter belonged to Killeshin. They added four more points and five minutes before the interval international soccer talent, Ashton smashed home his side’s third goal to leave the half time score 3-7 to 0-3 in favour of Killeshin.
The second half was always going to be a non-event although Clonaslee refused to give up. John Rigney opened the scoring from play but Killeshin responded with a goal after 37 minutes from Mark McDermott. This was followed by points from the Brennans, Cathal and Eoin, to leave the score board reading 4-11 to 0-6 entering the final quarter.
Clonaslee introduced hurling star John Rowney and he pointed with his first touch.
There was then a moment of controversy when the referee, David Moore awarded a penalty for a foot block by the Killeshin keeper who was incensed by the decision and picked up a yellow card for his troubles. Former Laois minor Conor Gorman hammered past his opposite number but it was never going to alter the outcome of the game.
Killeshin finished with a flurry of well executed points from Cathal Brennan, David Ashton and Eoin Brennan. Glen McEvoy closed the Clonaslee scoring with a well taken point.
Were it not for the heroics of Conor Gorman, Killeshin might have added at least four more goals. Clonaslee now trod that well worn path of the relegation scrap where they often play their best football. They face a team they condemned in the final only five years ago, Emo.
Killeshin can look forward to a clash with finalists of recent years Arles Killeen in two weeks.
KILLESHIN: Shane Coakley; Owen Scully (0-3), Kevin Ryan, Mark McDermott (1-2); Shane Bolger, Brian Lowry, James Davis; Barry Ryan, Damian Lowry; Simon Attride, David Aston (2-2), Adam Deering (1-0); Arnie Mahon (0-1), Cathal Brennan (0-6), Eoin Brennan (0-2).
Subs: Pat Doyle for Deering (12m, inj), Keelan Galligan for Doyle (54m, inj)
CLONASLEE/ST MANMAN’S: Conor Gorman (1-0); Mark McEvoy, Willie Murray, Diarmuid Conroy; Tom Tynan, Ger Dunne, John Molloy; Seamus Rosney, James McRedmond ; John Rigney (0-2), PJ Fitzpatrick, Niall Hogan; Gearoid Carroll (0-1), Ger Reilly (0-2), Glen McEvoy (0-1).
Subs: Conor Dunne for Hogan (h/t), John Rowney (0-1) for Carroll (35m), Shane Conroy for M McEvoy (36m), Pat White for Molloy (54m), Niall Hogan for Rowney (56m, inj)
Referee: David Moore (St Joseph’s)