Calry/St. Joseph’s had a decisive win over Cluainín Iomáint in Monday afternoon’s Connacht Junior Club hurling semi-final in Páirc Seán MacDiarmada in a game at the end of which there were a number of unsporting incidents which led to four straight red card dismissals for three Cluainín players and a Calry/St. Joseph’s player.
Following a melee that took place in the Manor half of the field about 30 meters from their posts in the 57th minute Roscommon referee Tom Killion dismissed Cluainín Sean McTiernan and Michael Poniard and Calry’s Ronan Cox.
Cluainín Iomain 0-7
Calry St Josephs 3-9
When the referee resumed the game some more skirmishing broke out again and a red card was also issued to Cluainín’s Dominic Kelly. The game was into injury time at this stage and the referee called a halt to the proceedings shortly afterwards with Calry claiming a place in the Connacht hurling final against the Galway champions and an eleven point win over Manor.
Calry dominated Monday’s Connacht semi-final from the outset against a battling Manor side. Manor’s concession of two first half goals left them struggling from early on and never in a position to get back into contention.
Manor did manage to match Calry point’s tally for a long period during the contest but the undoubted advantage of the goals that the Sligo side had in hand always seem to make the possibility that the Leitrim side would never turn the tables on their opponents.
Calry took the lead in the first minute when Damien Burke fired over a point from play. Manor struck back three minutes later and levelled after Gary Hickey slotted a free between the Calry uprights.
The Clary men struck for their first goal when corner forward Conor Griffin hammered a 7th minute shot past Manor net minder Val Cronin. After Ronan Cox was issued with a yellow card Gary Hickey kept Manor in contention when he shot a point from play.
A 17th minute Keith Raymond free conversion increased Calry’s advantage and when Conor Griffin struck for another goal eight minutes later after another Raymond long range hit free came back off the post to Griffin Calry had a huge degree of control in this showdown.
Before halftime Raymond pointed two further frees to keep the pressure on Manor. David Poniard was fouled in 31st minute and as result Gary Hickey slightly reduced the Calry lead when he put over the resultant free with Manor still trailing by 0–4 to 2–4 at the interval.
After the restart David Poniard was issued with an early yellow card. Keith Raymond edged Calry further ahead when he found the range from a free within seven minutes of the restart.
But three minutes later Gary Hickey managed to blot out Raymond’s score when his accuracy served him well from a Manor placed ball. Calry put the game somewhat out of Manor’s reach when Ronan Cox drove to the net in the 41st minute even though Niall McLoughlin answered with a Manor point from play in the space of another minute.
Micheál Dolan reduced the deficit with Calry to a slight degree when he slotted a Manor free between the Sligo side’s uprights in the 49th minute. Ronan Cox added a Calry point from a free seven minutes later and Kevin Gilmartin again stretched the Calry lead with a point from play a minute later.
Following this score the game was interrupted for some minutes when a number of players became involved in a melee. After the game restarted Calry added two late points by Damien Burke point from play and Keith Raymond from a free.
Calry/St. Joseph’s: Declan Reidy, Michael Gilmartin, Kevin McCarthy, Ciaran Maguire, Fiachra Coyne, Liam Reidy, Jamie Kemmy, Keith Raymond (0–5), Eamonn Kelly, Damien Burke (0–2), Dáithi Collery, Kevin Gilmartin (0–1), Conor Griffin (2–0), Ronan Cox (1–2), Danny Keown. Subs: Dara Cox for Keown (41mins.), Shane Martin for Kelly (49mins).
Cluainín Iomáint: Val Croninin, Patrick Clancy, Stephen Feeney, Patrick Clerkin, Seamus McTiernan, Michael Poniard, Patrick Loughlin, James O’Brien, Michael McKeon; Niall McLoughlin (0-1), David Poniard, Sean McTiernan, Kevin Clerkin, Micheál Dolan (0–1), Gary Hickey (0–5). Subs: Rossa Ó Snodaigh for Cronin (52 mins), Cronin for K. Clerkin (52 mins).
Referee: Tom Killion (Roscommon).