Slieve Bloom 3-13 Clonaslee 0-17
Laois Shopping Centre SHC ‘A’ Relegation Final
Slieve Bloom preserved their Senior ‘A’ status as they prevailed agaisnt a tough Clonaslee side in the Relegation Final in Mountrath this evening.
Clonaslee got the aid of a gale in the first half but it was Slieve Bloom who flew out of the blocks, Man Of The Match Ciaran Conroy in particular.
He opened the scoring after a superb catch and score. The opposing full forward, Liam Senior, replied with a free.
Two minutes later and Fergal Burke blocked down his man after a short puckout and Ciaran Conroy picked up the break and finished with an incredible top spin finish.
However this woke Clonaslee up and they rattled off five unanswered points through Senior and Paddy Hyland. Ciaran Conroy hit a free from distance into the wind to end his teams drought.
Ciaran Conroy and Senior traded frees before Gavin Conroy become the first man, besides his brother, to score for The Bloomers.
With half-time on the horizon Clonaslee were becoming more and more frustrated as they struggled to take advantage of the massive wind.
Every time Clonaslee snuck ahead, Slieve Bloom would haul them in again. Ger Reilly fired over the last score of the half to tie things up at 0-11 to 1-8 at the break.
Slieve Bloom started the second half with the same passionate but skilful hurling that had kept them in the game to date. C.Conroy converted a free yet again to open the half and a goal for his side soon followed.
Fergal Burke broke his hurl around the Slieve Bloom half forward line but with the bit that was left, managed to hit the ball into Gavin Conroy.
Clonaslee shot stopper, Conor Gorman, pulled off an incredible save but Gavin was on hand to to tap the ball in.
This gave Slieve Bloom serious momentum and two further scores from Conroy put them six clear.
Perhaps without much suprise, Clonaslee did not throw in the towel as they continued to fly into tackles and fight for every inch.
Two Liam Senior scores saw them keep within touching distance. Evan Power replied with a fantastic score but Clonaslee came again. Four points on the trot from Senior, Willie Young (2) and Ger Reilly, left three between them.
With two minutes to go Darragh Delaney caught a high ball on the edge of the square and smashed it into the roof of the net to deservedly give Slieve Bloom some breathing room.
Clonaslee threw the kitchen sink at Slieve Bloom in the final minutes. With the help of a smart Damien Champion save, Slieve Bloom held on and in doing so avoided relegation as they will have another crack at Senior A hurling next year.
SCORERS – Slieve Bloom: Ciaran Conroy 1-10 (0-5 frees), Gavin Conroy 1-1, Darragh Delaney 1-0, Evan Power 0-1, Robbie Burke 0-1 Clonaslee: Liam Senior 0-8 (seven frees), Willie Young 0-4, Ger Reilly 0-3, Paddy Hyland 0-2,
SLIEVE BLOOM: Damien Campion; Ben Shore, Tom Delaney, Sean Nolan; Martin Delaney, John Lowry, Gearoid Lowry; Shane Farrell, Evan Power; Darragh Delaney, Robbie Burke, Rory Power; Fergal Burke, Ciaran Conroy and Gavin Conroy. Subs: R.Holmes for R.Power (45), J.Delaney for Holmes (60)
CLONASLEE: Conor Gorman; Jonathon Carroll, Conor Hyland, Mark McEvoy; MJ Hyland, Rory Conroy, Oisin Murray; Willie Young, Diarmuid Conroy, Robert Downey, Ger Reilly, Glen McEvoy, Tommy Tynan, Liam Senior, Paddy Hyland. Subs: J.Rowney for M.Hyland (28), M.Hyland for Conroy (40), Enda McEvoy for Mark McEvoy (54)
REFEREE: Alan Doheny (Castletown)