ONE of the main talking points from Clonakilty’s 3-10 to 0-11 victory over Ilen Rovers in Rosscarbery on Sunday centred around goalkeeper Mark White.
As is fast becoming the norm, the Cork custodian ventured up field beyond the Ilen 45 after 11 minutes only to suffer a leg injury.
White was clearly affected by it for the rest of the Bon Secours county premier senior football championship opener and it posed a difficulty for the side as selector Eoin Ryan outlined.
“Mark’s injury gave us a problem with the kick-out. He has a massive kick, but couldn’t drive it any great distance because of the injury,” he said.
“We get him involved in the game as much as we can, but you could see he was restricted. We spoke about taking him off, but Mark was able to carry on.
“And fair play to the backs, who protected him well and didn’t give up any goal chance of note until Dan MacEoin’s shot near the end which Joe Grimes blocked.”
Ryan stressed the importance of winning the first game in a group containing St Finbarr’s and Ballincollig with the city side next up for Clon.
“It took us a while to get going, but we’re happy with the performance and the win obviously. You never get anything soft from Ilen Rovers and the goals were the difference in the end. The lads worked hard.
“It’s huge to win your first match because if you don’t you’re under ferocious pressure and means you must win your next two games.
“Ilen would have been targeting us as well, but we had a plan to keep an eye on Ilen’s dangermen up front and it worked.”
Tom Clancy shadowed Stephen Leonard all through and did a fine marking job.
“Tom is as good a full-back as you’ll get once his head is in it. Tom’s enjoying his football and that’s what it’s all about, fellows playing with a smile on their faces.”
Clon also welcomed back Maurice Shanley for a cameo appearance off the bench after 40 minutes.
I’d say the Munster final against Tipperary was his last game. He’s had terrible problems with hamstrings in both legs, one after the other.”
And there’s also encouraging news about Liam O’Donovan, who suffered a cruciate injury last summer.
“He’s only a couple of weeks away and maybe we’ll have Liam, who is working hard,” Ryan commented.