Busy time for Clerihan NS girls and boys football teams

The past week has been a very busy G.A.A period for Clerihan N.S.

The past week has been a very busy G.A.A period for Clerihan N.S.

The Under 13 footballers played their first two Championship matches, while the Under 13 Ladies Footballers played their Roinn B Championship Blitz.

On Tuesday 2nd October in Moyle Rovers the Under 13 Ladies Footballers took part in a four team Roinn B Championship Blitz. The winning team would go on to play in The Under 13 Roinn B County Final. The four teams in question were Clerihan N.S, Rathkeevin N.S, Ardfinnan N.S and Grange N.S. It had a special feel to it as all four teams are very close to each other geographically and good, healthy, honest rivalry exists between the schools!

The weather was dry but cold for the beginning of the Blitz, however during the first game the heavens opened and the rain made it difficult for players, on all teams, to demonstrate their vast array of skills. However the young girls got on with the job and played through the bad weather. Great credit is due to the girls on all 4 teams for continuing to play with enthusiasm and endeavour.

In the first round of games Clerihan defeated Ardfinnan on a scoreline of 1-2 to 1-1. It was a close, exciting game. Rathkeevin defeated Grange in the other first round match. Then Clerihan and Rathkeevin took part in a classic match. The game ebbed and flowed throughout. There were great scores, block downs, tackles and saves seen during the course of an excellent game. Rathkeevin looked like they had the match in the bag, leading by 2 points, as we approached the last few minutes. However Leah Clancy scored a great goal for Clerihan to put them a point up with time almost up. But Rathkeevin were not to be denied and a wondrous 45 metre point from them levelled the game, right at the end. The final score was 2-1 to 2-1.

Ardfinnan beat Grange in the other first round game.

In the last round of matches Clerihan defeated Grange 5-2 to 0-1 and Rathkeevin defeated Ardfinnan. Rathkeevin and Clerihan finished level on points at the top. Both teams agreed to have a replay play-off match the following week to determine who would play in the County Final. The Replay took place on Thursday 11th October in Moyle Park. Willie Barrett was the referee again.

The game lived up to expectations, as both teams tore into one another again. Rathkeevin drew first blood with an early goal but Clerihan responded with 2 goals to take command. The intensity of the battle was incredible as both teams were giving of their all to emerge victorious. The blocking and tackling from the girls on both teams was magnificent. The player in possession was always under immense pressure from the opposing team. Players were being chased in twos and threes around the midfield area. Both team’s defences were defending heroically, and the attackers were finding it very hard to get the necessary scores.

However Rathkeevin scored two goals in quick succession to move a goal ahead. Clerihan responded with a pointed free from Hannah Phelan, before Rathkeevin closed the half with another goal. The score at the interval was Rathkeevin 4-0 Clerihan 2-1.

Clerihan were 5 points in arrears, but knew that they had the ability to come back. The half time team-talk focussed on the positives and an attempt to focus the girls’ minds to have the confidence in themselves to mount a come-back.

The start of the second half saw a rejuvenated Clerihan team come roaring back. Kayleigh Flannery scored a cracker of a goal and Hannah Phelan pointed a free to leave just one point in it, after 4 minutes of the second half. Clerihan began to get on top and enjoyed a lot of possession. However the Rathkeevin backs were defending brilliantly and were continuously thwarting the Clerihan forwards.

Both teams swapped points before Rathkeevin scored what looked like the decisive goal. It was a marvellous strike from their wonderful midfielder Caoimhe Murray. Now Rathkeevin were 4 points up with around four minutes to play. Clerihan kept attacking and attacking. Rathkeevin kept keeping out the Clerihan girls with excellent defending.

Hannah Phelan got a free close in and scored a spectacular goal from the resulting kick. It was now a one point game with 2 minutes left. It was heart pounding stuff as the game neared its conclusion! Clerihan had a goal chance in the last minute, after excellent build-up play, that almost resulted in the winning score.

However Rathkeevin kept them at bay. Willie Barrett blew the final whistle and Rathkeevin had won the day by a single point. The final score, at the end of this masterpiece of a football match, was Rathkeevin 5-1 Clerihan 4-3. Great credit is due to the players on both teams for serving up such a wonderful contest. The Clerihan girls were very disappointed at the end but they had given everything they had. They can be extremely proud of their performances on the day, and at the blitz last week. Their coaches Mr. Walsh, Mr. Fahey, Mr. Ryan and Aodhan Wrenn were very proud of all the girls. They were all heroines. We, in Clerihan N.S, would like to sincerely congratulate Rathkeevin on their epic victory. You could see from the elation of their girls at the final whistle what this victory meant to them. You could see from the utter disappointment of our girls that they too craved victory with all their might. It wasn’t to be however, and we would like to say well done to Rathkeevin. We wish them the very best of luck in the County Final, when they proudly fly the flag of South Tipperary, against Boherlahan.

There were many heroines on the team for Clerihan. I will not single anyone out. Each and every girl on the panel played their part fully, and showed how much wearing that school jersey means to them. They were all great.

Team and Panel: Orla O’Donnell, Fiona McGrath, Lisa Walsh (captain), Mia Cooney, Kate Corcoran, Hannah Phelan, Kayleigh Flannery, Niamh Laste, Leah Clancy, Megan O’Donnell. Julie Burke, Michelle Cronin, Sadhbh McGrath, Joanne Morrissey, Aisling Morrissey, Samantha Buckley, Abbie Conron, Zoe Power, Emma Hennessy, Hollie Connors. Thanks to Willie Barrett for refereeing the games to his usual exceptional standard. Also thanks to Moyle Rovers for generously allowing us use their pitch which was, as usual, in fine condition.

The Clerihan N.S Under 13 Boys Footballers played Rathkeevin in the first round of the Championship on Tuesday 9th October. Then the following day they played Gaelscoil Clonmel. Clerihan won both games comprehensively, and move on to face Grange in the Roinn C Under 13 County Semi Final next week. Best of luck to the boys in that game. They know it will be really difficult to win that game, and they all realise that they need to play to the absolute peak of their abilities to have any hope of winning. It is a game that everyone in Clerihan N.S is eagerly looking forward to. Next week sees the Clerihan Under 11 Footballers and Ladies Footballers play in their Championship Go Games Blitzes. The Boys are playing next Tuesday in Moyle Rovers, while the Under 11 girls will have their Blitz next Thursday in Moyle Rovers. We wish both teams the very best of luck. Go n-éirí libh go léir!

TIPPERARY ALLIANZ CUMANN NA MBUNSCOL PLAYERS OF THE WEEK

Name: Rachel Ryan

School: Rossmore NS

Favourite Player: Pádraig Maher

Favourite Moment: Winning three County Titles with Clonoulty.

Favourite Movie Snow White & The Huntsman

Name: Kathleen Delaney

School: Scoil Eoin Naofa Roscrea

Favourite Player: Eoin Kelly

Favourite Moment: Playing for my school in Semple Stadium

Favourite Movie: Titanic