Cloughduv 1-16 Boherlahan-Dualla 0-12
“WE’RE in bonus territory now,” was Cloughduv selector Derry Keane’s summation after the Cork champions had comfortably seen off the challenge of Tipperary standard bearers Boherlahan-Dualla in the Munster club junior hurling semi-final at Boherlahan on Saturday.
Cloughduv were not flattered by the seven points winning margin and Derry Keane reflected afterwards, “It is great to be playing championship hurling going into the month of December. It is great to be representing the parish and the county at this level.
“Hopefully we will keep going and come out at the right side at the end of it all.”
The foundation for this success was laid in the opening half, in the opening quarter in particular, as the wind-aided Cloughduv lads swept through the opposition with an impressive display. They got the ideal start when, inside 20 seconds, James Moynihan had the ball in the Boherlahan net, off Joe Ryan’s pass and with Brian Verling deadly accurate from frees, they raced into a 1-8 to 0-1 lead after 16 minutes, Verling hitting six points, five from frees.
The absence of injured team captain Mark Verling was scarcely noticed, such was the superiority of the Cork champions, and though Boherlahan settled in the second quarter, the ball was very much in Cloughduv’s court at the break as they led 1-10 to 0-5, all the Boherlahan scores coming from Tossy Ryan frees.
“We were the lighter team and Boherlahan were physically stronger. We knew at half-time that it was going to be a fair battle in the second half and that’s how it proved to be,” said Keane.
The Tipperary champions needed a big second half to rescue their provincial championship hopes, but there were no immediate signs of a revival. Cloughduv had the first two scores of the half, points from Verling and a great score into the wind from Dave O’Leary, but then Boherlahan rallied with purpose.
Former county man Darragh Hickey, who started in defence, was now in attack and hit three points as Boherlahan notched five without reply to leave only five points in it (1-12 to 0-10) with nine minutes to play. The scores were coming for Boherlahan but not quickly enough.
Questions were being asked of Cloughduv and they came up with answers. A Verling free after 56 minutes was their first score for 18 minutes but Moynihan immediately added another as did sub Liam Long.
Cloughduv were back in control and the Boherlahan surge was over.
Boherlahan were not helped by the dismissal of defender John O'Dwyer for a second yellow card on the hour but by then they had shot their bolt and victory was safely in Cloughduv hands.
As Keane said later: “At half-time, we knew the big thing for us was not to concede a goal. It was great that we achieved that, but we were also able to pick off a few points of our own to keep things ticking over.
“We are very pleased to have come here and got the victory which puts us into the Munster final for the first time.”
While Brian Verling’s accuracy from frees was a significant factor in Cloughduv’s win, all round it was an impressive performance with wing-back Eoghan Clifford outstanding and Dave O'Leary, Donal Corkery, Moynihan, and Andrew Cronin others to work their socks off.
Boherlahan took too long to find their form after a dismal start and can have no complaints about the result. Hickey was their top performer with Cathal Darcy, Colm O'Dwyer, Fionn McCullagh, John Ryan and William Hickey, when introduced, others to catch the eye.
Scorers for Cloughduv: B Verling 0-10 (0-9 f), J Moynihan 1-1, M Walsh 0-2, D O'Leary, J Ryan, L Long 0-1 each.
Boherlahan: T Ryan 0-5 f, D Hickey 0-4 (0-3 f), W Hickey, J Kirby, C O'Dwyer 0-1 each.
CLOUGHDUV: J Buckley; S Curzon, B Ahern, P Buckley; G Ahern, D O'Leary, E Clifford; G Egan, A Murphy; M Walsh, A Cronin, D Corkery; B Verling, J Ryan, J Moynihan.
Subs: D Sullivan for G Ahern (h-t), P Sullivan for Curzon (50), L Long for Murphy (54).
BOHERLAHAN-DUALLA: Joe Ryan; J Maher, D Devane, John Ryan; J O’Dwyer, D Hickey, C Darcy; P O’Dwyer, A Maher; F McCullagh, JM Geehan, T Ryan; C O’Dwyer, L Hickey, J Hayes.
Subs: S Hickey for Geehan (h-t), J O’Sullivan for A Maher (38), W Hickey for T Ryan (40), C Moloughney for L Hickey (50), J Kirby for Hayes (54).
Referee: M Sexton, Limerick.