ANNIHILATION! That’s the word that springs to mind when describing this group clash. Clarinbridge produced a dominating display all over the field to ease to victory over Carnmore in front of a small crowd last Saturday in Athenry.
To their credit, Clarinbridge produced a dazzling array of fluid, attacking hurling and through spells of the game were an absolute joy to watch. Some of the interchange, passing and off-the-ball movement of the ‘Bridge attack was breathtaking.
That said, it’s difficult to put into words just how flat and devoid of ideas Carnmore actually were. Sure, they might not possess the quality in their ranks of the opposition but it’s worrying that this game was as good as over after only 15 minutes and without much of a fight. Given their Houdini acts in recent seasons of escaping relegation – this year may provide one rescue act too many for them, especially in light of this display.
They only managed a paltry 1-3 from play and outside midfielder Barry Hanley and keeper Sean Nugent, there was very little to take in terms of positives. They weren’t exactly wasteful in front of goal either, given they only hit seven wides over the course of the contest – it was the lack of ability to manufacture genuine scoring chances which will worry them most.
Clarinbridge are in a rebuilding stage, given they have only now three starters remaining from the club’s All-Ireland’s success in 2011 – Paul Callanan, Barry Daly and Eoin Forde, who in particular looked back to his very best landing an impressive six points from play.
Blend that with the four starters from Galway’s 2015 minor success in Ian O Brien, Patrick Foley, Cian Salmon and the devastating Evan Niland – all the ingredients should be in place for the club to have an excellent year.
It was Niland who opened the scoring, but to Carnmore’s credit they responded through Kevin Kilillea seconds later. Subsequently, Niland would point again and this was added to by a brace from Forde and a Niland free.
For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.