Raharney and Clonkill booked their place in this year’s decider thanks to wins over Oliver Plunkett’s and Castletown respectively last weekend. In the first of the semis Raharney were never really troubled by a disappointing Plunkett’s showing.
John Shaw bagged an early goal to give the Deelsiders an early cushion and they went on to enjoy a six-point lead at the break. The Mulllingar side battled gamely in the opening period of the second half and did manage to reduce the deficit to four points. However the key turning point came with fifteen minutes remaining when Robbie Greville bagged his side’s second goal. With the scoreboard now reading 2-10 to 0-9 in favour of the 2010 champs the game was over as a contest and there was little drama in the closing quarter.
Raharney will be relieved to have secured their final berth but will have to show considerable improvement if they are to oust the reigning champions when the sides meet on September 30.
Much was expected of the second semi-final which was a repeat of last year’s decider. However the game failed to live up to its expectations as Clonkill comfortably booked their place in yet another final. No doubt aware of the widespread talk of a possible upset here the reigning champs put their stamp on proceedings right from the throw-in.
An Alan Mangan goal for the black and ambers left his side trailing 1-7 to 1-3 at the break. A number of missed chances in the opening minutes of the second half proved costly for Castletown as Clonkill bagged 1-3 in the 10 minutes after the break. Now holding a commanding 2-10 to 1-4 lead all that was in doubt was the final score.
It ended 2-15 to 2-7 in favour of a Clonkill side who look determined to retain their crown, even though Castletown were disappointing on the day.