Senior Hurling Championship Group B Round 1
Defending Senior Hurling Champions Celbridge got their Championship campaign back on track with a comfortable victory over Clane in Manguard Centre of Excellence.
Celbridge were beaten in the preliminary round by Ardclough and despite a slow start they soon took control.
Sam White and Tom Finnerty were their main scorers on the day and although they are bound to get stiffer challenges they will be delighted to get their season going.
Clane on the other hand will be desperately disappointed by their performance and it will take a good job to pick them up for the games against Confey and Coill Dubh.
The first half was all about the various scoring exploits of Paddy McKenna and Sam White as the various free takers knocked over many points for their sides.
White opened the scoring for Celbridge with a free in the opening minute and it started off a sequence where himself and McKenna went score for score as the teams went level at 0-4 apiece.
A McKenna 65 edged Clane in front at the halfway mark of the half and the Conneff Park based outfit seemed to be moving well but that all changed when Celbridge found the net twice in three minutes.
The first attempt arrived when Tom Fitzgerald broke clear and as he bore down on goal he shot but his wayward attempt was forced in by Tom Finnerty.
McKenna replied with a free but the net was soon rattling again when a long range point attempt from Kevin Murphy looked to be dropping short into the hands of Clane keeper Lorcan Harney but he dropped the ball over the line.
Celbridge kicked on with consecutive points from Sam White before Kildare got a goal of their own when a ball inside from Caolan Smith dropped into the hands of Robbie Hyland and the corner forward made no mistake in blasting past Niall Lanigan.
That left Celbridge with a three point advantage and they increased that before the interval with points from White and Aaron Doran pushing them 2-8 to 1-6 clear.
A Robbie Hyland point at the start of the second half gave hope of a Clane revival but remarkably that was their only score in the entire half as Celbridge took complete control.
Points from the two Whites, and Tom Finnerty extended the Celbridge lead to seven before Shane Ryan pulled a Clane goal chance wide from a difficult angle.
That goal attempt was Clane’s last chance practically in the game and it reached a predictable conclusion from there.
Damien Byrne’s Celbridge side got two more goals with both Finnerty and Marcus Kinsella adding on goals.
It could have been more if they wanted as Finnerty hit the bar when going for his hat-trick but they were much the better side and they finished off with points from Niall O’Muineachain, Murphy, White, Finnerty and Aaron Doran as Celbridge cruised to a facile twenty one point victory.
Celbridge: Niall Lanigan; Patrick Curtin, Fiachra O’Muineachain, Sean O’Sullivan, Kevin Murphy 1-1, Niall O’Muineachain 0-1, Michael O’Donovan, Aaron Doran 0-2, Billy White 0-1, Sam White 0-12 (0-10fs), Tom Fitzgerald, Aidan O’Riain, Tom Finnerty 2-2, Marcus Kinsella 1-0, Paul Hogan.
Subs used: Leo Quinn for O’Riain h-t, Sean Leonard for O’Sullivan 55 mins,
Clane: Lorcan Harney; Michael Cahalane, Sean O’Rourke, James Coonan, Colm O'Sullivan, Sean Christiansen, Christian Smith, Conor Graham, Cillian Ryan, Paddy McKenna 0-6 ( 0-3fs, 0-2 65s), Shane Ryan, Caolan Smith, Cathal Egan, Ciaran Brady, Robbie Hyland 1-1.
Subs used: Simon Healy for Brady 41 mins, Ciaran Kavanagh for Caolan Smith 50 mins, Paddy Jordan for Egan 59 mins, Odhran Lally for Christian Smith 62 mins,
Ref: Brian Kearney