Tony Donohue Trophies U21 A Football Championship semi-final
Clane powered their way into the county final as they enjoyed a straightforward 10-point win over Maynooth in a one-sided affair in Hawkfield on Sunday evening.
A side packed with a host of players who feature prominently for the club's senior side on a regular basis had little trouble in accounting for their north Kildare neighbours as they led from the fourth minute right until the last and never looked in any trouble. By the time Kyle Devey plundered the only game of the game early in the second half there was no way back for Maynooth, who really struggled to get enough possession to create chances, with Danny O'Sullivan scoring all but one of their points.
Shane O'Sullivan opened the scoring on Clane's first foray intothe opposition half as he curled over a beautiful point from the left wing. Danny O'Sullivan responded by levelling the game with a good score from a free, but that was the last time in the match that Maynooth would enjoy parity as Clane showed little mercy after that.
Kyle Devey slotted over a good point to send the Lilywhites back into the lead, and they steadily built from there for the remainder of the half. James Behan doubled their advantage before Brian McLoughlin curled over a superb point as Clane's attack really began to click. Maynooth were struggling to make any impact in attack, though they did create a great goal chance in the 14th minute when David Bonass powered his way through on goal, but Clane keeper Jack McCrory got down smartly to parry his shot at goal.
The north Kildare outfit only managed two points from play in the entire 60 minutes, and one of them was a fortuitous effort from O'Sullivan which dropped well short but took a wicked bounce and hopped over.
Another big point arrived at the other end as McLoughlin boomed over a fantastic effort, before Clane had a goal chance of their own but Ciaran Kelly saw his shot excellently saved by Odhran Cussen as Maynooth just about managed to stay in the game.
Behan floated over his second eye-catching score with a long range effort to send Clane four clear, before Cussen was called into action once again as he had brilliantly tipped a rasping drive from Tadgh Montgomery over the bar.
O'Sullivan scored his second point of a fine showing for Clane to open up a six-point advantage, though Maynooth just about kept themselves in the hunt by landing the last two scores of the half through a Conor O'Giollain '45 and a free from O'Sullivan, but they trailed by 0-8 to 0-4 at the short whistle.
The second half was a relatively tame affair as Clane just did what they had to to see the game through and they never looked like being hauled back by their opponents from the moment they scored the game's only goal in the 32nd minute. O'Sullivan went on a storming run through the middle of the Maynooth defence before picking out the unmarked Kyle Devey who stroked the ball into the net. There was no coming back from that for Maynooth as they seemed to drop their heads from that point onwards, with their struggles around the middle ensuring that the normally threatening Danny O'Sullivan and Paddy Hever couldn't get going in attack.
Kelly and McLoughlin raised further white flags for Sean O'Dea's side as they continued their dominant display, while a couple of pointed frees from O'Sullivan at the other end was the best that Maynooth could serve up in the second half. Matters could have been much worse for Maynooth were it not for their goalkeeper, with Cussen perhaps being his side's best performer. He kept out a Ciaran Kelly penalty midway through the half and bravely smothered the rebound as he kept the score respectable.
Clane finished the game out strongly however, with McLoughlin, Jack McCreevy and Ethan O'Donoghue all hitting the target as they eased their way into the final.
Scorers for Clane: B McLoughlin 0-4(1f), K Devey 1-1, S O'Sullivan and J Behan 0-2 each, T Montgomery, C Kelly, J McCreevy ('45) and E O'Donoghue 0-1 each.
Scorers for Maynooth: D O'Sullivan 0-5(3f), C O'Giollain 0-1.
Jack McCrory; Dan Reilly, Colm O'Sullivan, Eimhin Gillman; Tadgh Montgomery, Brian Corbett, Chris Byrne; Ethan O'Donoghue, Sam McCormack; Robbie Hyland, Brian McLoughlin, James Behan; Kyle Devey, Shane O'Sullivan, Ciaran Kelly.
Subs used: J McCreevy for O'Sullivan 40mins, Danny Vaughan for Gillman 50mins, Shane McCormack for Hyland 51mins, Caolan Smith for Kelly 55mins.
Odhran Cussen; Cian Whyte, Conor Lynch, Darragh Hurley; Niall O'Sullivan, Callum McCabe, James Murray; Ben Carroll, Ronan Dunne; Kevin Dunne, Ruadhán Ó'Giolláin, David Bonass; Danny O'Sullivan, Paddy Hever, Conor O'Giollain.
Subs used: Andy Kelliher for R Dunne 24mins, Dara McCormack for D Bonass 45mins
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