Even though they were forced to field without the injured David Barden along with other notable absentees in Brendan Burke and David Faughnan who are also on the current casualty list, Clonguish were still too strong for Mostrim and ended up winning by the comfortable margin of seven points in the Senior Football Championship quarter-final at Pearse Park on Sunday last.
Clonguish 2-10 Mostrim 0-9
From the moment Joe O’Brien put Paul Barden through for a decisive early goal with 13 minutes gone in the first half, the pressure was firmly on the Edgeworthstown outfit and while they showed a lot of character to remain in contention the chances of a shock win suffered a severe setback when their most dangerous forward Brian Farrell was forced to retire with a knee injury in the opening minutes of the second half.
The accurate Farrell had fired over four points (three from play) in the first half to ensure that Mostrim only trailed by 1-5 to 0-5 at the break and he proved to be a major loss as the underdogs struggled for scores thereafter. Having said that, Gerard Smith shot over the bar immediately after coming on for the unfortunate Farrell and when another substitute Barry Noonan landed a cracking score in the 42nd minute the gap was reduced to the minimum of margins.
Mostrim had much the better of the exchanges in the third quarter of the contest but failed to convert this superiority into further scores and when Clonguish eventually woke up to regain the upper hand the response was emphatic as four points followed in quick succession with the prominent Paddy Dowd kicking over a terrific long range strike.
Dowd then converted a free while Niall O’Reilly and Paul Barden also shot over the bar as the 2009 county champions opened up a comfortable five point lead, 1-9 to 0-7. Conor Tuite then fisted a score for Mostrim before Ciaran Williams replied with a glorious point from near the sideline and the same Clonguish player put the issue well and truly beyond all doubt when smacking the breaking ball into the roof of the net in the 56th minute.
Thomas Gallagher (free) slotted over a consolation score for Mostrim in stoppage time and while they did not deserve to lose by seven points in the finish it must be said that Clonguish had a fair bit left in the tank on this occasion and must now be strongly fancied to reach the county final on Sunday September 11th.
The sides shared four points in the early stages of the game with Paddy Dowd (free) and Ciaran Williams (who was posing a lot of problems in the full-forward-line) on target for Clonguish while Brian Farrell landed a brace of points (play and free) for Mostrim.
Paul Barden then had a goal attempt blocked down before he found the back of the net to put Clonguish in control and that crucial score separated the sides at half-time. Another six points were registered during the remainder of the first half with Brian Farrell (2) and Thomas Gallagher (free) getting the Edgeworthstown scores while Joe O’Brien fired over a couple of well struck points for Clonguish along with a Paddy Dowd free.
Losing Brian Farrell was too big of a handicap for Mostrim and while they came close to scoring a goal when the always alert Clonguish keeper Stephen Watters got his fist to a centre from Shane Kiernan to clear the danger in the 39th minute, the boys in green gradually stepped up another gear with commanding centre-half-back Enda Williams leading the charge on the road to victory.
CLONGUISH: Stephen Watters; Danny Keenan, Anthony Watters, John O’Brien; Ciaran Maguire, Enda Williams, Anthony Corcoran; Padraic Cooney, Paddy Dowd (0-4, three frees); Niall O’Reilly (0-1), Paul Barden (1-1), Brendan Devine; Joe O’Brien (0-2), Ciaran Williams (1-2), Kevin Burke.
Subs:- John Dowd for N O’Reilly (55 mins); Shane O’Brien for K Burke (57 mins).
MOSTRIM: Ciaran Garvey; Paddy Smith, Fintan Coyle, Aaron Gallagher; Thomas Gallagher (0-2, frees), Martin Coyle, Ciaran Gallagher; Seamus Hannon, Conor Tuite (0-1); Michael Kenny, David Morgan, Michael Victory; Cillian Lynn, Brian Farrell (0-4, one free), Shane Kiernan.
Subs:- Barry Noonan (0-1) for C Lynn (injured, half-time); Gerard Smith (0-1) for B Farrell (injured, 34 mins); John Coyle for M Victory (56 mins).
Referee: John Bannon (Legan Sarsfields).