Joe Mallon Renault Senior Football Championship Pre-Quarter Final
Moorefield had to come behind from two sizeable deficits before eventually doing enough to get the better of Clane in a thrilling Senior Football Championship game in St.Conleths Park.
Clane had the County Champions in trouble for long periods with a first half Shane O’Sullivan goal giving them a seven point lead.
Gradually Moorefield reeled them in though with an Adam Tyrrell goal keeping them in touch before a similar Niall Hurley Lynch effort turned the tide in their favour.
Moorefield kicked a number of wides throughout and on another day if they had been more clinical they may have been more comfortable on the scoreboard but even still Clane missed two gilt edged goal chances with Shane O’Sullivan shooting wide and Sam McCormack having an attempt brilliantly saved by Ian McDonnell.
The win sees Moorefield into the Quarter-Finals but their performance level will need to be much improved with a few big teams awaiting in the next round.
It was a tight opening to the game as after James Behan kicked Clane in front Adam Tyrrell replied in kind a couple of minutes later for Moorefield.
Sam McCormack after selling a dummy edged Sean O’Dea’s Clane side back in front in the 6th minute but upon his return from injury Eanna O’Connor levelled up matters.
Clane then got a bit of momentum going with points from Danny Egan and Bernard Deay before Moorefield replied via Daryll Flynn with a shot from distance.
Clane led 0-4 to 0-3 at that stage but in the space of ten minutes they added on 1-3 without reply in a stunning period.
It started with a Danny Egan free which was followed by a fine Chris Byrne score on the run and then in the 23rd minute they got the game’s opening goal when Sam McCormack ran almost half the field before offloading to Shane O’Sullivan who shot past Ian McDonnell.
Egan kicked his third free moments later and Moorefield looked in real trouble but the Newbridge side had a lifeline in the 28th minute when a long ball from David Whyte landed in the Clane square and Adam Tyrrell got up above Paddy McKenna to palm the ball to the net.
Eanna O’Connor then landed a monstrous free from outside the 45 to leave just three in it but it could have been double that at the break as Shane O’Sullivan caught an inside pass from James Behan but he pulled his shot narrowly wide as Clane went in leading 1-7 to 1-4.
By the start of the second half Moorefield had sprung team captain James Murray but Clane’s flow still wasn’t interrupted with Egan landing a free from range.
David Whyte responded with a lovely point on the wing and the teams were soon level for the third time in a move where Clane had Moorefield under ferocious pressure but it showed how composed the Moores are as James Murray played across the square for Niall Hurley Lynch to palm home.
The corner forward waved to the hill in celebration and it felt like a real turning point but Clane stayed competitive with a point from Chris Byrne putting them back in front.
The sense of a huge upset was still in the air but when the chips are down Moorefield come out fighting more times than not and three points in a row from O’Connor who finished with 0-7 left the Moores two to the good.
Clane were back within the minimum thanks to an effort from Tadhg Montgomery but Moorefield always had an answer with frees from Tyrrell and O’Connor giving them a 2-10 to 1-10 buffer entering the final stages.
Clane had a glorious chance to go level when Sam McCormack got free but his shot was brilliantly saved by Ian McDonnell and with that went Clane’s chance as O’Connor and Kevin Murnaghan knocked over late scores to keep Moorefield’s three in a row dreams alive.
Moorefield: Ian McDonnell; Mark Dempsey, Sean Dempsey, Liam Callaghan, Kevin Murnaghan 0-1, Anthony Durney, Sean Healy, Aaron Masterson, David Whyte 0-1, Daryll Flynn 0-1, Eddie Heavey, Cian O’Connor, Adam Tyrrell 1-2 (0-2fs), Niall Hurley Lynch 1-0, Eanna O’Connor 0-7 (0-5fs).
Subs used: James Murray for C.O’Connor 29 mins, Eamonn Callaghan for Flynn 40 mins, Mark McDermott for Hurley Lynch 44 mins, Eoin O’Connor for Heavey 56 mins, Jason Phillips for Tyrrell 61 mins, Daire Dunne for Durney 62 mins.
Clane: Paddy McKenna; John Lynch, Noel Haverty, Cathal Egan, Cian O’Donoghue, Robbie Phillips, Tadhg Montgomery 0-1, Eoin Naughton, Chris Byrne 0-2, Sam McCormack 0-1, Shane O’Sullivan 1-0, Shane McCormack, Bernard Deay 0-1, James Behan 0-1, Danny Egan 0-4 (0-4fs).
Subs used: Sean Christiansen for Byrne 22 mins, Cathal Geoghegan for Shane McCormack 45 mins, Sean Christiansen for Deay 50 mins, Paddy Regan for Naughton (Black Card) 58 mins.
Ref: Dave Coady
Subscribe or register today to discover more from DonegalLive.ie
Buy the e-paper of the Donegal Democrat, Donegal People's Press, Donegal Post and Inish Times here for instant access to Donegal's premier news titles.
Keep up with the latest news from Donegal with our daily newsletter featuring the most important stories of the day delivered to your inbox every evening at 5pm.