Cumann na mBunscol
St. Mary’s CBS 3-5
Tipperary CBS 2-3
In an exciting game of quality football, played in the right spirit throughout, St. Mary’s C.B.S. Clonmel overcame the strong challenge of Tipperary C.B.S to claim the U11 County A Football title at Monroe on Friday, November 25.
St. Mary’s got off to a whirlwind start with a move straight from the throw-in leading to Ben Owens firing over a fine opening point. In the next attack a combination of quick passes in the St. Mary’s forward line led to Gavin Maguire dispatching a well-taken goal. Tipperary C.B.S. responded with a nicely taken point by Niall Sharpe to open their account.
St. Mary’s increased their advantage when Leigh Carroll ensured that a thunderous drive from the boot of Ian Healy made it over the line. Ben Owens followed this up with a point from a free to put St. Mary’s seven points in front. Tipperary C.B.S. gradually worked themselves back into the game and some dangerous attacks eventually led to their first goal from the boot of Brian Roche. More good play in the St. Mary’s attack by the hard-working Sean Leahy and impressive Aaron Kinsella yielded two more scores from frees, both from Ben Owens.
Determined to keep in contention, more pressing play from the Tipperary Town side led to an important second goal from Killian Noonan leaving the half-time score St. Mary’s C.B.S. 2-4, Tipperary C.B.S. 2-1.
With just a goal between the sides, Tipperary C.B.S. knew it was all to play for and they made all the attacks early in the second half. Despite the pressure some excellent positional play by Seán O’Connor and tenacious tackling by Christopher Grogan meant that the lead was only reduced by one point.
St. Mary’s rearranged forward line was feeding on limited possession now. In a rare attack good foraging by Eddie Dunphy and Brian Lynch created space for Kian Duggan whose fierce drive found the net for a crucial score. Once more Tipperary C.B.S. went looking for a goal. Another point narrowed the gap and gave them hope.
The game now hung in the balance and it was during this period that the St. Mary’s defence stood tall. Some fine fielding by team captain Ben Norris, important interceptions and a brave block by Barry Kehoe and a superb high catch under his crossbar by Enda Dunphy kept the Tipperary boys at bay.
Welcome relief from the onslaught was provided by St. Mary’s dynamo Michael O’Donnell who won some vital possession around the middle of the field. A pointed free and fifth score from the tireless Ben Owens gave some extra breathing space. To their credit Tipperary C.B.S. kept pressing to the end adding another point to their tally, but the day belonged to St. Mary’s. The combination of superb teamwork, honesty of effort and no shortage of skill made it a victory to savour.
St. Mary’s C.B.S. - Enda Dunphy, B. Kehoe, S. O’Connor, A. Kinsella, C. Grogan, B. Owens, B. Norris, I. Healy, S. Leahy, G. Maguire, L. Carroll, B. Lynch, K. Duggan, M. O’Donnell, Eddie Dunphy
Tipperary C.B.S. - David Kelly, Dylan Farrelly, Noel O’Mahony, Edward Nolan, Dean Morrissey, Jonathon Ryan, Adam Dunne, Brian Roche, Niall Sharpe, Killian Noonan, Jake O’Dwyer, Darren Heuston, Ray Hennessy, Andrew Richardson, Mark Butler