Cashel Rally, But Clonmel March On

County Under-21B

County Under-21B

Football Semi-Final

Clonmel Og 1-13

Cashel King Cormac’s 2-6

A two goal rally in the closing five minutes by Cashel King Cormacs at New Inn on Friday evening last was not enough to stop the march of Clonmel Og to the county under 21 B football final.

The victory was richly deserved by the Clonmel lads but the late scare will serve as a reminder to them that nothing can be taken for granted. Indeed, Cashel almost had a third goal in those last hectic minutes but Seamus Reade’s blast from twenty meters skewed high and wide much to the relief of the winners.

In what was an entertaining contest with some fine passages of football, Clonmel Og produced the more consistent level of quality play and on this showing, they will make a bold bid for county honours. Cashel too showed great potential, but their failure to turn possession into scores cost them dearly.

The game was only two minutes old when Cashel won a penalty but Seamus Reade’s shot for the corner of the net skidded by the wrong side of the post. Points by Eoin Ryan and Alan Coughlan stemmed for excellent Cashel play in the opening five minutes.

A fancied Clonmel Og soon settled to their task and with Dean Kelleher, their man of the match, showing the way, scoring three points, they had pulled 0-5 to 0-2 clear by the end of the quarter, Conor Arrigan and Cian Hogan also obliging.

Cashel then enjoyed a good spell, Michael McDermott(2) and Robert Anglim raising flags to level the game by the 23rd minute. But Clonmel Og had the final say in a lively and very competitive first half as Mark Ahearne and Eddie Power whipped over injury-time points to give them an interval lead of 0-7 to 0-5.

Very much all to play for at this stage but Clonmel Og’s third quarter was to prove decisive. Two Kelleher points in four minutes at the start of the second half got them moving and then Cashel goalie Gearoid Slattery denied Jason Hassessy a goal with a top-drawer save.

In the 38th minute Alan Coughlan’s goal-bound effort for Cashel tailed wide after a surging run by Simon Delaney. A Seamus Reade point for Cashel cancelled an earlier effort by Dean Kelleher but Clonmel were now firmly on top.

Defender Mark Ahearne burst forward for his second point and the decisisve score came in the 44th minute when Dean Kelleher, who else, finished a smashing Clonmel move to the net with a well-directed shot. He added two points and with a 1-13 to 0-6 lead, Clonmel looked uncatchable.

Cashel never gave up. Time was against them when Michael McDermott rifled a 20 meter free to the roof of the net in the 55th minute. Cashel almost had another as a jittery Clonmel defence scrambled a Seamus Reade “forty five” off the line a minute later, and in the 59th minute McDermott was again in the picture as he finished another Reade “forty five” to the Clonmel net.

Clonmel’s four point advantage looked vulnerable and in injury time Seamus Reade powered through but this blaster for goal soared high and wide leaving a relieved Clonmel Og to savour a county final encounter.

Clonmel have every reason to be pleased as this was a quality Cashel side, who would hold their own with any opposition at this level. However, Clonmel “ held the aces” and in Dean Kelleher they had a real “thrump card” who finished the evening with an impressive 1-8 to his credit. He was not alone as such as Mark Ahearne, Matthew Norris, Graham Quinn, Colm O Connell, and Conor Arrigan all had fine games in an excellent team performance.

Cashel really have only themselves to blame for the defeat as their lapses in front of goal cost them scores that could have been so vital at the finish. They showed admirable spirit all through, particularly in the manner in which they refused “ to die” when their’s seemed a lost cause at the three quarter stage. Unfortunately for them, their rally came just a shade too late – had they had another few minutes, they might well have pulled off a win, given the momentum they generated in the closing spell.

Jonathan Grogan, Dylan Fitzel, Andy Kelleher, Simon Delaney, Donal Davern and two goal opportunist Michael McDermott did most to tip the scales in their favour.

Clonmel Og - Cianan O Sullivan; Dean Horton, Aaron Arrigan, Brian Bates; Colin O Connell, Dara Kearney, Mark Ahearne(0-2); Matthew Norris, Graham Quinn; Eric Smith, Cian Hogan(0-1), Jason Hahessy; Conor Arrigan(0-1), Dean Kelleher(1-8), Eddie Power (0-1); Sub – Shane Fehilly for Bates.

Cashel - Gearoid Slattery; Donal Davern, Paddy Morrissey, Niall Anglim; Cathal Minogue, Jonathan Grogan, Niall Fitzgerald; Dylan Fitzell, Simon Delaney; Andy Kelleher, Seamus Reade(0-1), Eoin Ryan (0-1); Robert Anglim(0-1), Alan Coughlan(0-1), Michael McDermott(2-2); Subs- Brian Quinlan for Fitzgerald; Eoin Quirke for Coughlan; Michael K O Dwyer for Morrissey;

Ref- Martin Doyle, Ardfinnan