By James Hayden in Sixmilebridge, Clare
Munster IHC Quarter-Final
Silvermines 1-15 Ruan 0-6
Tipperary intermediate county champions, Silvermines overcame a disappointing Ruan outfit in what proved a one-sided Munster intermediate hurling quarter-final encounter at a cold and wet Sixmilebridge on Sunday afternoon last.
The ‘Mines were never really put to the pin of their collar by a Ruan side who failed to get to grips with a far superior Silvermines outfit and always appeared to be playing second fiddle to the Tipp champions.
Silvermines took to the field determined to further their Munster campaign and although there had been a number of injury concerns during the week with both Cathal Gleeson (hip) and Sean Quirke (knee) in doubt to start both were deemed fit prior to throw-in. Also, the return of bustling centre-forward, David Boland added much needed bulk and drive to the Silvermines attack.
Although both sides were slow to settle it was clearly evident in the opening stages that the Mines’ had the better of the Clare challengers.
Four wides from each side in the opening quarter told its own story but crucially it was the ‘Mines who were the only side to register on the scoreboard in this period.
Playing into the teeth of a stiff breeze blowing into the scoreboard end Silvermines opened their account with a Jason Forde point in the fifth minute following an incisive ball from corner-forward, Willie Keogh. Forde added a second from a placed ball seven minutes later after Gary Bell had pulled David Keogh to the ground in front of goal.
Ruan were clearly struggling to reach the pitch of the game and a far sharper, slicker ‘Mines outfit had them on the back foot time after time. Midfielders, Orrie Quirke and Cathal Gleeson dominated the opening exchnages while Ronan Sherlock, Donal Keogh and Noel Quirke mopped up a lot of ball in the half-back line.
Undoubtedly, Ruan centre-back, Jonathan Clohessy was doing his utmost to curtail a dangerous ‘Mines attack but when a sublime crossfield move involving David Boland, Daniel Keogh and Jason Forde resulted in the only goal of the game in the 14th minute there appeared little chance of recovery from the Ruan side.
Forde rattled the net with a fine strike but it was a pinpoint accurate delivery from Keogh which sliced open the Ruan defence and provided Forde with the goalscoring opportunity.
The ‘Mines twisted the knife further minutes later after David Keogh fired over a fine point to extend the ‘Mines lead to six.
In fairness to Ruan they responded well to the ‘Mines early barrage with successive points from John Punch and Caimin Howard but rather than allow the Clare champions gain any foothold the ‘Mines retaliated with three unanswered points. Jason Forde added a 20th minute free to his side’s tally before Willie Keogh and Forde (free) again ensured the ‘Mines held a commanding seven-point lead with just five minutes to the break.
Ruan replied with a 26th minute John Punch free but Ruan’s forays into the ‘Mines half were few and far between and it was the Tipperary champions who finished the half on the up with David Keogh arrowing over a sublime 28th minute point from a tight angle close to the bank sideline while captain, Cathal Gleeson fired over a booming long-range point from way out the field following tremendous work from Willie Keogh to ensure the ‘Mines took a commanding 1-8 to 0-3 interval lead to the dressing room.
Silvermines, with the aid of a strengthening wind, emerged determined to put the game firmly beyond Ruan’s reach. Ruan were first to bisect the uprights though with John Punch increasing his side’s tally to four with a close-range free.
The ‘Mines struggled to get back into the game in the opening eight minutes though and a number of wides hampered their progress before the men in blue and white restored normal service with a 38th minute Daniel Keogh point.
Orrie Quirke chipped in with a sweet long-range effort seconds later and even at this early juncture it was apparent the writing was on the wall for the Clare champions.
Jason Forde added a long-range 40th minute free to increase the ‘Mines advantage to ten before centre-forward, David Boland clipped over a fine 46th minute point to put the ‘Mines well and truly in command.
The closing quarter saw both sides empty their respective benches with Jason Forde adding two more points to his impressive tally of 1-7. Killian Ryan added a late consolation point for the Ruan men before Daniel Keogh rounded off a hugely satisfactory day for the Silvermines with his third point of the game deep in injury time.
Man of the Match: Jason Forde.
Silvermines : J. Forde 1-7 (0-4f); Daniel Keogh 0-3; C. Gleeson, O. Quirke, W., Keogh, D. Boland and David Keogh 0-1 each.
Ruan: J. Punch 0-3 (0-1f); J. Clohessy 0-1f; K. Ryan and C. Howard 0-1 each.
Silvermines: Cathal Sherlock, Maurice Leamy, Brendan Timmons, Damien Boland; Donal Keogh, Ronan Sherlock, Noel Quirke; Cathal Gleeson (C), Orrie Quirke; Jason Forde, David Boland, Sean Quirke; Willie Keogh, Daniel Keogh, David Keogh.
Subs: Paudie Fogarty for W. Keogh (48); Alan Ryan for Timmons (53); Willie Powell for David Boland (55); Peter Kennedy for S. Quirke (56).
Ruan: Pakie Roughan (C), Gary Bell, Niall O’Connor, Leon Quirke; Killian Ryan, Jonathan Clohessy, Darragh Roughan; Tadgh Hanrahan, Eoin Hanrahan; John Punch, Caimin Howard , Michael Vaughan; Patrick Keegan, Aidan Lynch, Brendan Lyons .
Subs: Colin O’Donoghue for Howard (39); Damien Brohan for Punch (49); Alan Bell for Vaughan (55); Damien McDonnell for E. Hanrahan (55).
Referee: Shane Hourigan (Limerick).