Conway fires ’Town through

Bishopstown (Cork) 2-17 Claughaun (Limerick) 1-15

Once-mighty Claughaun, kingpins of Limerick senior hurling back in the 1960s, showed far more commitment in the opening minutes and raced into an 0-3 to 0-1 lead. Bishopstown were showing the signs of a long hard season but they recovered well to be on level terms by the 18th minute. In between, Claughaun had lost two great goal chances which might have put the game out of the Cork side’s reach.

The first came when full-forward Tom McCarry opted to pick Leo O’Connor’s cross instead of pulling first time from five metres out.

The second chance came in the 15th minute when O’Connor’s snap shot was only inches away from its target.

Claughaun’s early dominance was reflected in their number of wides — eight to just three for the ’Town — but the home side finally began to find their rhythm and, with Shane O’Neill and Denis Crowley dominant in defence, the scores began to flow. Patrick Cronin gave them the lead for the first time with a splendid point and they finished the half strongly to lead 0-9 to 0-6 at the break.

It was still all to play for after Ian McNamara’s point reduced the deficit early in the second-half. But, in a devastating five-minute spell, the ’Town rattled in 1-4 without reply to open up a 1-13 to 0-7 lead. Their goal was a superb individual effort by Ronan Conway, who raced 60 metres before billowing the net. But back came the Limerick champions for a like-score by Leo O’Connor, who drove a 20-metre home.

However, the Cork champions had an eight-point cushion and they were able to soak up the pressure as Claughaun came looking for a second goal.

Donal O’Mahony then set up James Murphy for a marvellous second goal with 10 minutes to go there was only going to be one outcome.

Credit to Claughaun they continued to press forward but their only reward were four splendid points by David Loughrey, easily their best attacker. The only blip on Bishopstown’s splendid victory was the sending off of Tim Bogue two minutes from time for a straight red card offence which means he now misses the final.

Scores for Bishoptown: R. Conway 1-4; P. Cronin 0-6 (0-3 frees); J. Murphy 1-2; S. O’Neill (free), T. Murray, D. O’Mahony, M. Power, R. McDonnell 0-1 each.

Claughaun: D. Loughrey 0-5; L. O’Connor 1-0 (free); I. McNamara 0-3 (0-2 frees); E. Harty, K. Holmes 0-2 each; P. McGarry, S. Mullally 0-1 each.

BISHOPSTOWN:.K. O’Halloran; C. O’Driscoll, M. Cogan, P. O’Donoghue; S. O’Neill, D. Crowley, B. Murphy; B. Cuthbert, P. Cronin; R. Conway, K. Coughlan, J. Murphy; T. Murray, D. O’Mahony, M. Power.

Subs: T. O’Donoghue for Cuthbert; T. Bogue for Crowley; R. McDonnell for Power; B. Nunan for Coughlan; M. O’Donoghue for B. Murphy.

CLAUGHAUN: G. Power; D. Geary, A. Loughrey, T. Bennett; J. Dervan, P. McGarry, C. Gregan; S. Mullally, E. Harty; K. Holmes, L. O’Connor, P. Judge; I. McNamara, T. McGarry, D. Loughrey.

Subs. A. Kerley for T. McGarry; J. O’Reilly for Cregan.

Referee:, A Heagney (Clare).

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