Clonad eased themselves into the 2011 Laois IHC with what turned out to be a comfortable eleven point win over Rosenallis on Saturday evening.
Rosenallis started the brighter and were first on the scoreboard with a point within the opening minute from Patrick Keating, and he immediately followed this up with another before Clonad could respond, with Seán Kerr responding for Clonad.
Rosenallis were looking very up for the game and were eager to cause an upset against a Clonad side who were a full league division higher. Rosenallis added two more points from corner forward Brian Fitzpatrick and another for Patrick Keating. Clonad, with twenty minutes having elapsed, were now beginning to get a foothold in the game when they landed thee frees in quick succession, two from Seoirse Conroy and the other from Sean Kerr.
Clonad began to look dominant in some vital areas of the field with Ross Gill, their full-forward impressing. Despite having failed to get his name on the scoreboard in the early stages, he was creating some good quality chances by getting out in front of his man and taking him on. On the stroke of 23 minutes he did manage to land his first score, when he again got out in front of his marker turned and shot over his shoulder. Micheál Kerr added to this soon after.
Coming into the break centre forward Seoirse Conroy notched on two more points before Micheál Kerr landed another one. Patrick Keating did pull one back just before the whistle, but things were beginning to look ominous for Rosenallis.
Into the second half Clonad immediately began to build on their lead when Seoirse Conroy added to his already growing personal tally. Rosenallis responded in the best possible way to give themselves confidence and to bring them right back into contention wih three unanswered points, two from Keating, and one for Simon Smith.
The game was now beginning to heat up, but Clonad again opend up a lead when they shot over two more points from Dean Delaney and Seoirse Conroy. Both sides exchanged points before Clonad hit Rosenallis with a killer blow. Fifteen minutes into the second half there was a huge scramble in the goal as the ball bounced around the small square with nobody able to clear nor put it in the net, until Micheál Kerr dove at it and at last edged it over the line.
This was followed five mintes later with another Kerr goal, and that was the end of the Rosenalls challenge. As the game began to die off Clonad did manage to notch on another Conroy point to bring his personal tally to six points. Rosenallis and Clonad now await the challenge of Rathdowney-Errill.
SCORERS - Clonad: Micheál Kerr 2-3, Seoirse Conroy 0-6, Sean Kerr, Scott Conroy 0-2 each, Ross Gill, Patrick Norton, Dean Delaney 0-1 each; Rosenallis: Patrick Keating 0-6 (0-2 frees), Simon Smith 0-3, Niall Doolin 0-1, Brian Fitzpatrick 0-1
CLONAD: Jimmy Farrell; Gary Hogan, Eoin Ging, Dinny O’Shea; Brian Murphy, Emmet Ging, James Ging; Scott Conroy, Paul Ging; Seán Kerr, Seoirse Conroy, Micheál Kerr; Patrick Norton, Ross Gill, Dean Delaney. Subs: Fergal Keyes for S Kerr
ROSENALLIS: Ronan Doolin; Rory C Fennell, Tom Gorman, Marcus Redmond; Anthony Gorman, Joe Dooley, Damien Gorman; Enda McEvoy, Patrick Keating; Patrick Keating, Niall Doolin, Simon Smith; Brian Fitzpatrick, Ritchie McEvoy, Declan Conroy. Subs: Ronan Murray for E McEvoy
See this week’s Leinster Express for extensive coverage of the first round of the Laois Intermediate Hurling Championship