Piltown 2-19, Clara 1-6
This All County Junior League game in bitterly cold Piltown – was there any warm spot in the entire County over the weekend?- on Saturday evening was somewhat of a mismatch as Piltown took care of the Clara challenge more easily than they probably expected.
The big difference between the sides was the fact that the Clara forwards, on the rare occasions they managed to gett eh ball into challenging positions in front of the Clara goal, just could not manage to inflict the fatal shot. It must be said too, that in the art of good defending, Piltown lacked nothing in the expediting of good defending. Andrew Norris was a competent custodian, while his full back trio of Brendan Norris- a little undisciplined at times- Andrew McCarthy and Michael Burchill were rock solid, as their individual defending abilities were even better than their sum of the three parts.
They had in the Kenny brothers, Philly and Nicky, two players willing to die for the black and amber. They practically controlled the midfield areas, and they even found time and space to contribute to the score. Big Paul Kirby was a revelation, and his goal just before half time was a seminal score that probably knocked the steam out of the Clara resolve. All of the Piltown forwards looked good, and their inter-passing was excellent.
To be fair to the Clara lads, they never gave up the ghost. They tried as only Clara teams can, and even though the pressure was an ever- rising tide, they never bent the knee.
Piltown were buzzing from the gun. Paul Kirby shot an early opening point, which was answered by Brian Prendergast. Clara suffered a dreadful body blow in the 13th minute when Richie McCarthy smashed home a fine goal after strong work by Daniel Norris. There were still only five points between the sides before Kirby got that well-taken goal. That stunted the Clara resolve for a while, and it left them in poor shape at the break, where Piltown led by 2-6 to Clara’s 0-5.
It was all Piltown in the second half, as Clara were finding it difficult to curb the dominance of the Kenny’s, and more difficult to break down the presence of Peter McCarthy at number 6.
A plethora of points by James Norris, Daniel Norris, Richie McCarthy, Kirby and Nicky Kenny presented an enormous challenge to the gallant Clara men. They fought the brave fight, and their only reward was a pile-driver of a 20-metre free by Brian Prendergast which tore a hole in the Piltown net. That was as good as it got for the boys in maroon. Ben Nolan added a point but that was it.
Piltown: Daniel Norris (0-5); Richie McCarthy (1-2); James Norris (0-4, frees);Paul Kirby (1-1); Nicky Kenny, Martin Power (0-3 each); Philly Kenny (0-1).
Clara: Brian Prendergast (1-1, frees); Peter Nolan (0-3, two frees); Jack Langton (0-1.
Piltown: Andrew Norris, Brendan Norris, Andrew McCarthy, Michael Burchill, Pa Connolly, Peter McCarthy, Nigel Brennan, Philly Kenny, Nicky Kenny, Paul Kirby, Daniel Norris, Neil Kelly, Martin Power, James Norris, Richie McCarthy. Subs (used): David Kinsella, Brendan McCarthy
Clara: Michael Bergin, James Dowling, Michael Barcoe, Michael McDonald, Bill Carrigan, Tom Langton, David Mulrooney, Jack Langton, Peter Nolan, Conor Phelan, Ben Nolan, Jody Creane, Eoin Curtis, Brian Prendergast, Nicky Langton. Sub (used): James Barry.
Ref: W. Kearney (Dunnamaggin)