Clonaslee 5-11 The Rock 1-7
Laois Shopping IFC Semi-final
James McRedmond got a hat-trick as Clonaslee had 16 points to spare over The Rock this evening in the Laois IFC semi-final in McCann Park in Portarlington.
When the sides met three weeks ago in Round 2, Clonaslee needed a late Niall Corbet goal to avoid a shock defeat.
But having been forewarned that The Rock could make like difficult for them, they arrived ready for battle and tuned in from the start.
And it was essentially over as soon as it started. From the very first attack, James McRedmond got a goal and they were rampant in those opening few minutes as The Rock struggled to get the ball past the halfway line.
By the time The Rock had settled Clonaslee were leading 1-4 to no score thanks to points from Bob Downey, Ger Dunne and two from Niall Corbet.
The Rock did finally get to the pace of the game and an Aaron Dowling free and a Stephen Conroy effort from play meant it was back to 1-4 to 0-2 at the water break and The Rock’s Stephen McDonald had been denied a goal and possibly a penalty late in the quarter.
But Clonaslee came back all guns blazing from the brief break and Bob Downey pointed before great Clonaslee pressure forced a turnover in front of goals and Corbet fed McRedmond for his second goal.
And they soon had a third goal when Downey converted a penalty after being fouled himself. Liam Senior and Shane O’Connell traded points but at half time Clonaslee led 3-6 to 0-3 and it was game over.
After that initial onslaught The Rock had plenty of possession but they were rattled by that stage and kicked eight first half wides as well as missing a goal chance and dropping a couple more short.
A Corbet point stretched the lead early in the second half and then he sent a stunning crossfield ball that Ger Dunne got on the end of and ended up poking into an empty net.
The Rock did get a goal of their own when Stephen McDonald finished to the net after Kelly had saved Sean O’Neill’s initial effort.
Corbet replied with a point but The Rock, to their credit, kept going and Shane O’Connell, Sean O’Neill, Stephen McDonald and David Murphy all pointed from play.
But Clonaslee saw it out in style with a Corbet free and points from Diarmuid Conroy and Daire Hogan before McRedmond completed his hat-trick late on.
Clonaslee now go forward to compete in their second Laois IFC final in succession and will take on Crettyard in the final in MW Hire O’Moore Park next Saturday evening.
SCORERS – Clonaslee: James McRedmond 3-0, Niall Corbet 0-5 (two frees, one ’45), Bob Downey 1-2, Ger Dunne 1-1, Liam Senior 0-1, Diarmuid Conroy 0-1, Daire Hogan 0-1 The Rock: Stephen McDonald 1-1, Shane O’Connell 0-2, Sean O’Neill 0-1, Aaron Dowling 0-1 (free), Stephen Conroy 0-1, David Murphy 0-1
CLONASLEE: Barry Kelly; Oisin Murray, Will Young, John Rigney; Liam Senior, Diarmuid Conroy, Conor McEvoy; Sean Condon, Michael Hyland; Cian Barrett, Ger Dunne, William Murray; Niall Corbet, James McRedmond, Bob Downey. Subs: DJ Callaghan for Barrett (40), Niall Hogan for W Murray (40), Mark McEvoy for O Murray 945), Daire Hogan for Condon (55), Shane Conroy for Dunne (58)
THE ROCK: Conor Allen; Brian Conlon, Kieran Conroy, Niall Dunne; Victor Oladapu, Conor Flynn, Anavil Storey; Danny McRedmond, Sean Cullen; Shane O’Connell, Sean O’Neill, Stephen Conroy; Stephen McDonald, Aaron Dowling, Paul Allen. Subs: Tom McDonald for P Allen (HT), Wes Bergin for Conroy (HT), Fionn Kirwan for O’Connell (45), David Murphy for Cullen (45), James McDonald for McRedmond (45)
REFEREE: Brendan McCann (Portarlington)