Clonmel Commercials had three points to spare over Cahir in the Clonmel Oil sponsored South Senior Semi-Final in Ned Hall Park on Friday last, winning 0-11 to 0-8.
In a sometimes scrappy game Commercials were full value for their win which was build on a solid foundation of an excellent first half performance. A tricky wind blowing straight down the field and favouring Cahir in the opening half caused problems for both sets of players particularly when it was in their backs Cahir had a blistering opening to the game and were three points ahead after just 3 minutes, Edmund Meehan, Shane Murphy and Benny Hickey all pointed in the opening minutes to give Cahir a tonic start. When the sides clashed in the County Championship a week earlier Cahir, with nothing at stake were steamrolled by Commercials but with changes to their stating line up including the return of the influential pair of Robbie Costigan and Benny Hickey such a result was never likely this time around.
After a scrappy opening Commercials set about their task and slowly got into their stride and began to play some very good football. Commercials were missing a few players from the previous week but the return from America of Michael Quinlivan proved a big plus and he was a constant source of trouble for the Cahir defence.
The full forward opened his team’s account in the 8th minute and by the end of the first quarter the sides were level with points from Ian Barnes and Kevin Harney. Commercials were on top at this stage and with Kevin Harney and Ian Fahey leading the way at centre field life was proving difficult for Cahir. The second quarter saw Commercials take a complete stranglehold on proceedings and four further points without reply saw them open a commanding lead with halftime approaching. Having pointed in each of the opening three minutes of the game it took until the last kick of the half for Cahir to register their 4th point when Padraig Whelan pointed. With the breeze in their backs and three points ahead at the interval it was difficult to see anything only a Commercials win. A point from Ian Barnes 2 minutes after the restart compounded Cahir’s difficulties. Centre forward Colman Kennedy increased the Commercials lead to five points soon afterwards. Cahir though are made of stern stuff and they were not about to exit this championship without a fight. Two points for Cahir saw the margin reduced to just three points as the game entered the final 15 minutes. Commercals were not playing with the same tempo as the opening half and Cahir were battling bravely. But try as they might Cahir could not get any closer than three points in the closing stages. A brace of points for each team in the closing stages saw the full time margin of 3 points in favour to Commercials, Cahir were honest in their efforts and will regret wasted chances in the opening half. Robbie Costigan, Edmund Meehan, Padraig Whelan and Benny Hickey were some of the better players on the night. They will hope other results go in their favour which will see them back into the county Championship. If this happens they will be no push over later in the year. For Commercials Seamus Kennedy, Danny Madigan, Ian Fahey, Jason Lonergan, Colman Kennedy and Michael Quinlivan were to the fore. An injury to wing back Danny Madigan looks to have put his football on hold for a few weeks. Overall they will be happy with the performance particularly in the opening half. There is still a lot of work to do and they will need to improve in these areas if they are to win the divisional title.
Commercials: Evan Comerford, Fergal Condon, Donal Lynch, Kevin Fahey, Jamie Peters, Seamus Kennedy, Danny Madgan, Kevin Harney, Ian Fahey, Jason Lonergan, Colman Kennedy, Richie Carroll, Johnny Harney, Michael Quinlivan, Ian Barnes. Subs Used: Ciaran O’Connell, Shane Power, Niall Kelly Cahir: Aaron Wall, Mickey O’Connor, Ryan Hennessey, Gerard Hally, James McGrath, Robbie Costigan, Dean Lonergan, Diarmuid Tarrant, Edmund Meehan, Padraig Whelan, Paddy O’Flaherty, Shane Murphy, Sean O’Connor, Benny Hickey, Niall McKenna. Sub: Johnny McMahon Referee: Paddy Russell