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Good start for Cloone to Championship Campaign


Cloone got their 2009 Championship ambitions off to a perfect start with a comprehensive 3-14 to 0-03 victory over Allen Geals in Ballinamore. Allen Geals took an early one point lead but after Niall Brennan finished a rebounded shot to the net in the 4th minute Cloone took a lead they would never relinquish.

Cloone were vastly superior to the opponents but struggled to convert their dominance into scores in the first half. However a fortuitous goal from Donal Brennan gave Cloone some breathing space and left them leading at half time by 2-04 to 0-02.

The second half was all one way traffic as Cloone's Damien O'Donnell dominated the forward line kicking some fine scores. Cloone eventually ran out comfortable winners and set themselves up to play St. Mary's next week in the 2nd and final group game.

Cloone: Dermot McCrann, Seamus McCaffrey, Aidan Mulvey, Daragh Tiernan, Seamus Maguire, Gavin Reynolds, Declan Brennan, Mark Beirne, Alan Canning, Donal Brennan, Mickey Lohan, Adrian Nicholls, Niall Brennan, Damien O'Donnell, Mark Creegan. Subs: Brian Mulvey for Adrian Nicholls.

Pictures from todays game can be viewed here >>

The Leitrim Observer article on the match is available below:

Cloone record easy opening round victory

29 July 2009  By Philip Rooney


Cloone got their Intermediate championship campaign underway on Sunday afternoon last in Ballinamore with what was a relatively straight forward victory. In fact had Cloone been more clinical in the opening half the winning margin could have been significantly bigger.
While Allen Gaels took the lead in the second minute courtesy of Patrick McManus' free, the longer the game went on, the more inevitable it seemed that Cloone would emerge comprehensive victors.

Cloone could and should have opened their account in the third minute when Mickey Lohan was picked out by an inch perfect pass from Donal Brennan. Lohan attempted to fire the ball to the top corner, but succeeded only in shooting wide.

That miss was soon forgotten as Cloone struck for the opening goal, although it is not one that Allen Gaels goalkeeper, Neil Nolan will to reflect on for too long.

After showing a good turn of pace on the wing, Mark Creegan delivered a hopeful ball that should have been straightforward for Nolan to deal with. Unfortunately for the Drumshanbo supporters, the ball squirmed from his grasp as he attempted to gather at head height. Niall Brennan, was quickest to react and he made no mistake in dispatching the ball to the net.

Huge gaps were appearing in the Allen Gaels defence and Damien O'Donnell was unlucky to see his sixth minute effort strike the crossbar, although Adrian Nicholls did fist the rebound over the bar.

Having had numerous warning, the Allen Gaels defence was still looking very vulnerable, with Donal Brennan's measured passing proving to be a constant source of danger. His pass for Adrian Nicholls presented Cloone with yet another goal chance, but the Cloone men looked to be lacking a killer instinct as Nicholls blazed wide.

For all their possession and chances, the half was 14 minutes old before Cloone added to their tally as Damien O'Donnell pointed after a Declan Brennan pass.

Allen Gaels were guilty on numerous occasions throughout the course of the game of overplaying the ball and this proved to be the case when Mickey Lohan won possession for Cloone and when the ball came to Donal Brennan he provided a fine score to open up a five point lead.

While the watching Mickey Moran and John Morrison may not have been overly impressed with the standard on offer, Donal Brennan gave a reminder of his array of skills.

A Damien O'Donnell free was cancelled out by Allen Gael's first score in 22 minutes as Patrick McManus converted a 24th minute free.

Allen Gaels enjoyed their best period after that score but were undone by some wayward shooting and then in injury time were dealt a cruel blow as Allen Gaels struck for their second goal.

Donal Brennan ran forward unchallenged and struck for a point having initially received the ball from Mark Beirne. It was quickly evident that Brennan's effort wouldn't have the legs to make it over the bar, but what wasn't expected was that it would drop underneath the crossbar and in to the Allen Gaels.

In truth the half-time scoreline of 2-4 to 0-2 was fair indication of the chances and possession enjoyed by Cloone but Allen Gaels would have been particularly unhappy with the concession of two soft goals.

As they did in the first half, Allen Gaels opened the scoring in the second half as Thomas Nolan converted a 45. Unfortunately for Drumshanbo's second team, that proved to be their final score of the contest as Cloone were totally dominant for the remainder of the half.

Points in quick succession from Damien O'Donnell and Donal Brennan added to the Cloone lead and as the half progressed, it appeared as though it was becoming all too easy for Cloone.

As a contest the game was now well and truly over and it turned into a case of shooting practice for Cloone. Three points from Damien O'Donnell along with points from Mark Beirne and Mickey Lohan further extended the Cloone lead before Cloone struck for their third goal.

Damien O'Donnell found himself through on goal and despite a fine save from Neil Nolan in the Allen Gaels goal, O'Donnell was on hand to force the rebound to the net from close range.

In the dying moments of the contest, Cloone added a further three points to their already emphatic winning margin with Damien O'Donnell converting a free before Mickey Lohan and Brian Mulvey completed the scoring.

It is difficult at this early stage of the championship to tell how good Cloone are. It could be argued that the opposition wasn't great and that they threw in the towel too early, but 3-14 is a comprehensive score and Cloone will rightly say they can only beat what is front of them and that is exactly what they did.

Dermot McCrann, Sheamus McCaffery, Aidan Mulvey, Daragh Tiernan, Sheamus McGuire, Gavin Reynolds, Declan Brennan, Alan Canning, Mark Beirne (0-1), Damien O'Donnell (1-7), Donal Brennan (1-2), Niall Brennan (1-0), Adrian Nicholls (0-1), Mickey Lohan (0-2), Mark Creegan. Sub: Brian Mulvey (0-1) for Nicholls (57 mins)

Allen Gaels
Neil Nolan, Damien Gilbane, Francie McManus, Mark Gunning, Sean McGovern, Alan Loftus, Eoin McHale, Thomas Nolan (0-1), Patrick McManus (0-2), Stephen Tiernan, Gearoid Lynch, Danny Egan, Damien Guckian, Wayne Gunning, Jason Loftus.

Referee: Finbarr Keaney