Ring leads way as courageous Cloughduv turn tables on Sars

Cloughduv 0-10 Sarsfields 1-06
Cloughduv denied Sarsfields back-to-back county junior hurling league titles with a one-point victory in a keenly contested decider at Pairc Uí Rinn yesterday.

The win was all the sweeter as Sars had won the inaugural title last year defeating Cloughduv by a point, and it’s a victory that delighted team coach Tim Barry-Murphy.

“We have lost a number of county titles over the years and only recently lost the divisional league and championship titles by the narrowest of margins, so this victory is timely,” said Barry-Murphy.

“The conditions weren’t conducive to good hurling, but we battled very hard and deserved our win. It is badly needed. A county hurling title is always welcome out in Cloughduv and it will give us the spur to drive on in 2013,” he added.

Fifteen minutes elapsed before Darragh Ring finally opened the scoring with a point for Cloughduv. Ring, who was a county minor three years ago, was the best forward on view. He made light of the conditions to score five points, and was inches away from a goal when a first-time pull on Donal Corkery’s pass just cleared the crossbar midway through the second-half.

Cloughduv were grateful to a very solid back-line in which Andrew Cronin and Denis O’Sullivan gave nothing away, and they confined Sarsfields to just one point from play in that opening half, at the end of which the Mid Cork side led 0-4 to 0-2.

Sarsfields were much improved on the changeover and they were level by the 35th minute after Niall McCarthy pointed twice.

With conditions deteriorating as the rain continued to cascade down, Cloughduv went four points clear, 0-10 to 0-6 with eight minutes to go after Ring pointed superbly from 65 metres out.

Sarsfields moved James Cussen to full-forward and he posed a lot of problems. The goal eventually came when Niall McCarthy’s effort from a 20 metre free found the corner of the net. However, Cloughduv held firm for a victory that, on the run of play, they just about deserved.

Scorers for Cloughduv: D. Ring 0-5 (0-2 frees); D. Corkery 0-2; D. O’Sullivan, A. O’Connor, A. Cronin (65) 0-1 each.

Sars: N. McCarthy 1-3 (1-2 frees); C. Harrington, J. Cussen, T. Crowley 0-1 each.

CLOUGHDUV: K. Barry-Murphy; B. Walsh, P. O’Sullivan, D. Cronin; T. Dineen, A. Cronin, D. O’Sullivan; L. Long, C. Dunne; W. Ahern, B. Ahern, S. O’Connor; D. Corkery, C. Ryan, D. Ring.

Subs: D. Kelly for C. Ryan (half time); C. Ryan for K. Barry-Murphy (50).

SARSFIELDS: C. Duggan; F. McSweeney, G. Grey, J. Flannery; J. Leopold, T., Crowley, B. McCarthy; C. Harrington D. O’Regan; J. Cussen, N. McCarthy, N. Horgan; D. Crowley, R. Duggan, D. O’Mahony.

Subs: S. Quinn for D. Crowley (half time); P. Roche for D. O’Mahony (55).

Referee: D. Daly (Brian Dillons).

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