County senior football secondary schools champions Clonmel High School
Clonmel High School ..............................1.11
Rockwell College .................................. 2-7
This was as hard earned a county title as you could possibly expect ,a Clonmel High School triumph fashioned by virtue of a gritty and spirited team performance which was just enough to overcome the challenge of Rockwell College in the secondary schools county senior football A final by the narrowest of margins.
Two very evenly matched teams played out an absorbing contest in atrocious conditions in Cahir on Tuesday afternoon with Clonmel High School getting over the line after Cian O Sullivan held his nerve to convert a free with a minute left in the game.
Rockwell had an opportunity to level matters two minutes into injury time in a nail biting finish to the match but from a narrow angle and against the wind Conal Kennedy was unable to force the game to extra time when his free kick just fell short.
At points in this game both Clonmel High School and Rockwell College looked in trouble but goals for either side ensured the outcome of this battle was always in doubt up until the final whistle.
Rockwell were the much brighter team at the start and they raced into a three point lead within four minutes. Clonmel responded after a sluggish start with points from Billy O Connor and Manus McFadden but Rockwell were on top and after Ryan O Sullivan converted his second free of the game full forward Conal Kennedy finished to the net.
That goal put Rockwell in a strong position after seventeen minutes as the High School were still reeling from the harsh black card dished out to centre back Darrragh Bolger a few minutes earlier.
Clonmel High School found themselves five points adrift, a huge margin in the prevailing conditions, but they worked incredibly hard to force their way back into the game.
The Moyle Rovers combination of Luke Fogarty and Ben Owens started to get a grip on proceedings in midfield and that combined with the hard working captain Diarmuid Mulcahy(pictured above receiving the trophy ),Manus McFadden ,Joe Gunne and Brian Lacey the Clonmel team started to get on top.
Rockwell failed to add to their 1.5 they picked off in the opening nineteen minutes and the High Schoool went on to level matters before half time with an excellent goal from Cathal McKeown ,and scores of the highest quality from Cian O Sullivan and a Mark Stokes brace.
Just as the High School had to rely on a goal to get them back into the game in the first half Rockwell struck for a goal when Sean O Connor finished off a good move at a time when it looked like the High School were going to move away from them in the second half.
Twelve minutes into the second half the teams were still locked together after they had managed two points apiece in the opening ten minutes.Then Clonmel High School enjoyed a great spell punishing Rockwell for poor kick outs.
Kilsheelan's Sean Martin scored two exceptional points for the High School and Cian O Sullivan won another kick out and slotted over to inflict more damage on Rockwell for their kick out strategy.
With eleven minutes left in the game,however,Rockwell were given a lifeline when Commercials man Sean O'Connor pounced for a goal to level the game after Clonmel High School failed to clear their lines.
In a game packed with end to end action both teams had their chances to step up.Cian O Sullivan and Conal Kennedy traded points before Cian O Sullivan took on a free in the last minute.
The Clonmel Og man converted the chance but Rockwell with Jack Harney, Jake Flannery, Sean Cotter.Jack Holohan and Stephen Grogan driving on their team with strong second half performances, just ran out of time after Kennedy's injury time free drifted .
It took a replay for Clonmel High School to get over the Abbey CBS challenge in the semi final and on Tuesday they needed to pull out another top performance to see off Rockwell to win back to back senior county football titles for the Clonmel school.
Clonmel High School
Cian Quinn (Kilsheelan),Paudie O Loughlin(Newcastle),Joe Gunne(Clonmel Commercials),Brian Lacey(Moyle Rovers) ,Manus McFadden(Grangemockler),Darragh Bolger(Moyle Rovers), Ben Owens(Moyle Rovers),Luke Fogarty(Moyle Rovers),Mark Stokes(Kilsheelan),Cathal McKeown(Moyle Rovers),Diarmuid Mulcahy(captain)(Moyle Rovers),Billy O Connor(Kilsheelan),Jason Madigan(Kilsheelan),Cian O Sullivan(Clonmel Og),Sean Martin(Kilsheelan)
Scorers- Cian O'Sullivan 0.6,3f's,Cathal McKeown1.0,Mark Stokes and Sean Martin 0.,2 each, Manus McFadden,Billy O Connor 0.1 each.
Subs- Darragh Ahearn for Darragh Bolger (black card),Sean Kennedy for Cathal McKeown(inj)
Dylan Cusack(Kilgarvan) Jack Holohan(Moyle Rovers) Stephen Grogan(Cahir)Alex RyanGaltee Golden)Cathal Hayes (Durlas og)Jack Harney (Moyle Rovers)Joe Dwan (Durlas Og),Jake Flannery(Galtee/Golden),Conal Kennedy(Clonmel Commercials,Alan Flannery(Galtee/Golden) Ryan O Sullivan(Cashel),Sean Cotter ( Moyle Rovers)Mark Heffernan(Killenaule)Conor O Brien (Cahir)Sean O Connor(Clonmel Commercials)
Scorers- Ryan O Rullivan 0.4,3f's,Conal Kenedy 1.1,Sean O Connor 1.0,Alan Moloney Conor O Brien and Mark Heffernan 0.1 each.