Wolfe Tones set out their stall for a serious challenge in the U16 championship with a powerfully controlled effort against  Crusheen/Tubber side in this second round game played last week on home territory.

Clare U16 B Hurling Championship

Wolfe Tones 6-17

Crusheen-Tubber 2-09

Wolfe Tones set out their stall for a serious challenge in the U16 championship with a powerfully controlled effort against  Crusheen/Tubber side in this second round game played last week on home territory.  A cohort of strong, powerful players in key areas supplementing the lighter skilful players, suggest to this writer that the Shannon side will at least make it to the semi finals of the B championship with very little effort.

JP O'Shea had an outstanding game for Wolfe Tones

JP O’Shea had an outstanding game for Wolfe Tones

That said, the Crusheen-Tubber amalgamation did cause Johnny Markham’s charges some issues and did well with the chances they took. Still the North Clare side have a number of players who are yet to reach full age at this level. Despite scoring six goals and a bagful of points, Wolfe Tones should not rest on their laurels, and there’s no doubt that their wayward shooting resulting in 21 wides would have proven costly against stronger opposition.

Over the course of the hour, one of the hardest working players on the field was Joey Droney, the Crusheen-Tubber midfielder from the famed North Clare musical clan, who regularly outfought players taller and stronger than himself.  Droney registered the first point on the scoreboard in the second minute before Murrough McMahon’s half chance for a Crusheen/Tubber goal.

Wolfe Tones got back into the game with their first goal in the 5th minute despite the opposition enjoying most possession to that point. Murrough McMahon converted a 65 but this was as good as it got for his side during the remainder of the half.

Wolfe Tones’ bright new talent Fionn McInerney hit a minor before Conor Carrig struck for his side’s second goal.  Carrig and Eoin Naughton tagged on points as Wolfe Tones went ahead by 2-4 to 0-2 by the end of the opening quarter.

Murrough McMahon and Paddy Browne rallied with Crusheen/Tubber points as the home side hit the first seven wides of the game all in a row to end the first half with an unlucky total of 13 wides. McMahon was on hand with the final score of the half for his side as Wolfe Tones ended the first period with the final three scores of the half coming from Darin Aylmer, Eoin Naughton and Moloney to lead by 2-7 to 0-5 at the interval.

Fiona McInerney, a bright new talent for Wolfe Tones

Fiona McInerney, a bright new talent for Wolfe Tones

Facing into the second half it was apparent to most that the game was effectively over as a contest and damage limitation was the key objective for the visitors. Fionn McInerney struck for Wolfe Tones’ third goal after 33rd minutes while Eoin Naughton and Mark O’Sullivan also racked up points to surge 14 points clear with a full 25 minutes of normal time remaining to play in ideal conditions.

Crusheen/Tubber rallied somewhat following a Joey Droney point yet worse was to come for his colleagues as a series of soft goals were yet to materialise. Wolfe Tones hit their fourth goal before McMahon and Luke Ketalaar responded with points to leave the home side 4-11 to  0-8 ahead at the end of the third quarter.  Paddy Browne struck for his side’s first goal when his speculative effort evaded goalkeeper Daithi Lohan to go all the way to the Shannon net.

Both sides began to empty their benches as Wolfe Tones rallied once more with their fifth goal.  The remaining ten minutes were fairly competitive as Crusheen added  a Murrough McMahon goal and indeed had enough ball to score more but lacked the quality to get the ball into threatening positions.  Wolfe Tones rounded off the scoring with 1-6 to seal a well deserved win and effectively put a foot into the knock-out stage.

WOLFE TONES:  Daithi Lohan, Aaron Duggan, Mark O’Sullivan, Nathan McGrath, Darragh Treacy, Conor Carrig, Darin Aylmer, Liam Murphy, Daniel Riordan, JP O’Shea,  Joey Ryall, Adam Moloney, Fionn McInerney, Eoin Naughton, Adam O’Connor. Subs: Eoghan Casey for Naughton, Ben O’Neill for  O’Shea, Liam Divilly for Riordan, Stephen Frawley for O’Connor.

CRUSHEEN: Tommy Fahey, Ryan Waterhouse, Jack Rodgers, Tom Taaffe, Pappy Taaffe, Diarmuid Mullins, Oisin McDonagh, Joey Droney, Luke Ketelaar, Paddy Browne, Aaron Forde, Daniel Liddy, Murrough McMahon, Dylan Lyons. Subs: Matthew Meaney for Ketelaar, John Sullivan for P Taaffe, David Mullins for Liddy, Glen O’Sullivan for Lyons.
Referee: Andrew McMahon (Cratloe).