Champs Clarinbridge make a winning start

Greg Lally of Gort and Neil Keary of Loughrea in action from the Cooper Senior Hurling Championship game at Athenry on Saturday. Photo:-Mike Shaughnessy

Greg Lally of Gort and Neil Keary of Loughrea in action from the Cooper Senior Hurling Championship game at Athenry on Saturday. Photo:-Mike Shaughnessy

Clarinbridge’s new management team of Johnny Lee, Monty Kerins and Martin Kennedy will have been pleased to get their 2011 championship off to a winning start last weekend when they defeated Sarsfields by 2-14 to 0-13.

The Bulluan/New Inn players magnanimously applauded the All-Ireland champions onto the Kenny Park pitch, but they were not able to match the champions who came out of the blocks impressively.

Two second-half goals by Paul Coen and Eoin Forde left the Bridge with plenty to spare. Barry Daly, Jamie Cannon and the Kerins were also to the fore, while Kerill Wade, back in John McIntyre’s Galway squad, Naill Quinn and Joseph Cooney caught the eye for Gerry Fahy’s charges.

The first game in Kenny Park last Saturday afternoon saw Gort too strong for last year’s beaten finalists Loughrea. Mattie Murphy’s team won on a score-line of 3-16 to 2-11.

The Gort men rattled in three quick-fire goals from Mark Nestor, Paul Killilea and Gerard O’Donoghue to put them in a commanding position in the third quarter, after leading by 0-7 to 0-4 at half time. Aiden Hart also impressed and scored 1-06.

However when they pounced for those three goals in six minutes in the third quarter there was no way back for Joe Sweeney’s team, despite late goals by Johnny and Johnny Coen. Niall Keary hit six points from frees for the losers and Nigel Shaughnessy and Brian Mahony also tried hard.

Two wins for Carnmore

One of the surprises last weekend was a 1-12 to 0-12 victory for Carnmore. A strong wind in the first half allowed Mike Fox’s to storm into a nine-points lead. Ronan Maloney led the Tynagh-Abbey-Duniry men on a second half comeback, but the gap was too large to close and Carnmore held out for their second win on the trot.

Mullagh won their second game of this year’s championship to make it two wins out of two. They defeated Tommie Larkins in the first round and they easily saw off Padraig Pearses in Duggan Park last Saturday on a score line of 2-18 to 1-14. Niall Cahalan was best on the day for Mullagh, scoring 1-6.

Craughwell also made it two wins out of two, beating Kinvara with eight points to spare on a score line of 2-18 to 2-12. Craughwell’s powerful number 14, Alan Cahalan, got them off to a flyer with a goal within 15 seconds. They never looked back from there and even two goals from David Huban were not enough to stop Craughwell taking the victory.

In Loughrea Kiltormer got the better of Ardrahan by two points on a score line of 1-14 to 1-12. Emmet Goode played a major part in this victory with a sensational display in goal, while Cathal Keogh did the business on the pitch with four points from play. Ger Hennesey was best for Ardrahan.

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