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Heroic Clonkill Performance Days After Tragic Loss Just Falls Short

Heroic Clonkill Performance Days After Tragic Loss Just Falls Short
By Arthur James O'Dea Updated

The Leinster SHC quarter-final between Dublin's Ballyboden St. Enda's and Westmeath's Clonkill scheduled to take place on Sunday reached its conclusion tonight in Parnell Park; Ballyboden keeping their hopes alive for a first provincial triumph.

A result that will unquestionably pain the hurlers of Clonkill, their performance tonight was nothing short of remarkable. Under the lights in Parnell Park on a Tuesday night, the reason for such unusual scheduling came with tragic undertones.

On Friday evening, Annabel Loughlin, the 3-year-old daughter of former Westmeath hurler Enda, was fatally injured in a tragic accident.

Causing unspeakable grief amongst the local community of Clonkill and Westmeath generally, it was decided that the game due to be played last weekend would go ahead only a few days later.

Speaking of Clonkill's decision to go ahead with the game, manager Kevin O'Brien assured his side would "do our utmost to put in a performance everyone can be proud of."

After a pulsating affair in Parnell Park tonight, there can be no doubt whatsoever that Clonkill did just as O'Brien suggested they would.

Leading by as much as 3-points after 12-minutes of play, Clonkill would soon encounter the gritty resilience of the Dublin senior champions. m

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Reeling in that lead, the provincial quarter-final all but took on a score-for-score look from that moment on. Consistently trading points throughout, few would have been left surprised when the game ended level, and extra-time was required.

Extra-time started as well as Clonkill could have hoped; awarded a penalty almost immediately after the restart. Unfortunately for the Westmeath champions, Brendan Murtagh hit the resulting penalty wide.

Making some amends when he hit the first point of extra-time shortly thereafter, Ballyboden began to assert a greater degree of control over proceedings nevertheless.

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Hitting the next three points without reply, it ultimately guaranteed them an insurmountable lead. In the end, it finished 2-25 to 2-19.

On a night when the hurlers of Clonkill will undoubtedly have more pressing matters in mind, they gave a tremendous account of themselves is the most horrific of circumstances.

Ballyboden St. Enda's will now go forward to play the provincial semi-final against Offaly's Coolderry on 18 November.

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See Also: All-Ireland Champions Dublin To Take On Meath For Injured Sean Cox


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