WHEN Claregalway’s Barry Goldrick, who already had six points to his name, took on a decent scoring opportunity in the second period of extra time in the gloom of Tuam Stadium on Saturday evening, it looked as if these two sides would be level yet again in an epic encounter that more than matched the drawn game two weeks previously.
Goldrick’s shot dropped agonisingly short but defender Barry Callanan had got forward into space and he read the situation perfectly. Kilkerrin-Clonberne goalkeeper Francis Heverin could only parry the ball in the tricky conditions and Callanan, who only a week previously was part of the minor A winning side at the same venue, arrived on the scene at just the right moment to bundle the ball into the net and this proved the game’s decisive score.
Given the conditions, with Storm Brian blowing hard throughout and driving rain added to the mix near the end of normal time, the standard of play was of immense credit to both sides but Claregalway, by the narrowest of margins possible, deserved to claim their place in the final as for the second game running they had Kilkerrin-Clonberne chasing the game for large spells.
Claregalway incredibly scored with their first ten efforts and did so without a contribution from key forward Danny Cummins, who had a relatively quiet outing. They were five points to the good by the ten minute mark after a blistering start with the aid of the wind, with five different players raising white flags.
Mark Rohan, Eoghan Commins (free), Seán Moran (’45), Barry Goldrick, and Conor Campbell were all on target, but they had also received notice, if they needed it, that Shane Walsh would again be Kilkerrin-Clonberne’s main attacking threat. Walsh, who started on the edge of the square, galloped clear in the right corner on his first involvement, but chose to pass inside to Brian Miskell whose palmed effort was saved by Brian O’Donoghue.
Full coverage in this week’s Connacht Tribune