Clonguish Gaels played away to Lusmagh from Offaly in the first round of the Leinster Club Hurling Championship on Sunday last. Lusmagh, who were crowned Offaly intermediate champions earlier this month, were always going to be very difficult opponents and they proved so on the day.
On Lusmagh’s first attack Aidan Hanrahan scored an excellent goal which helped to settle the home side and made Clonguish’s task all the more difficult. To their credit Clonguish showed great character and they registered their first point from a well struck free by Joe O’Brien.
Midway through the first half the score read Lusmagh 1-6 Clonguish 0-4, and one of the Clonguish points was an excellent effort from Brendan Burke. Lusmagh then pushed on and at half-time they had built up a commanding 4-11 to 0-8 lead.
Playing against a very strong breeze Clonguish showed great heart and determination in the second half and the defence, led by John O’Brien and Thomas Prunty, manage to curtail the Lusmagh forwards to only long range points.
John Minnock gave an excellent display of goalkeeping from start to finish. Brendan Burke and Anthony Watters put in a huge effort at midfield while up front Joe O’Brien, who was outstanding throughout the game, finished with a personal tally of 9 points.
This was a very big step up in standards for this Clonguish team who can be more than happy with their achievements this year by winning the Tain League and regaining the County title for the first time since 2006.
CLONGUISH: J. Minnock; S Connolly, John O’Brien, R. Breslin; P Barden (Junior), T. Prunty, D. Connolly; A. Watters, B. Burke (0-2); C. Corcoran, P. Dowd, K. Murray; P. Corcoran, P. McGarry, Joe O’Brien (0-9, six frees).
Subs:- R. Howard, K. Curran, D. Lee, S. Gregg, R. O’Brien, A. Smith.