The County Bord na nOg football action finally came to a conclusion last Saturday in Clonoulty.
Defending U 16 champions for the last four years Clonmel Commercials were in action against north contenders Newport Gaels.
The electronic score board was put into immediate use with Commercials Jack Kennedy recording the opening point. Thirty seconds later it was accompanied by a Keith Fahy point to give Commercials a two point advantage.
Newport won the resulting kick out and managed to work the ball into the Commercials goal area and Colin Floyd had the net shaking but it did not count as Paddy Russell’s whistle had sounded. James O’Toole slotted over the free to put Newport on the score board and similar to what Commercials had done Newport recorded a second point within seconds courtesy of Keith Mawdsley to level matters at 0-2. Cian Fitzgerald’s effort came off the woodwork to deny another Commercials point.
Indeed the north men were to rue the failed attempts at goal that came their way during the next few minutes before Kevin Connolly put the ball sailing over the bar to put Newport ahead 0-3 to 0-2 on the ninth minute.
Clonmel captain Ross Peters was playing a captain’s role roving everywhere and saw his free coming off the wood work. Dillon Kennedy had the sides all square 0-3 apiece on the eleventh minute. This was to prove to be the second and only time that the game would be so close. Jack Kennedy slotted over a free some 45 metres out and was always central to many attacks posed by Commercials. On the 18th minute Kyle Farrell slotted another point and seconds later saw his chance of a goal strike the upright but he pounced on the rebounding ball and clocked up another Commercials point to put the score 0-5 to 3. Ryan Lambe added another point quickly followed with a pointed free from Keith Fahy. The opening goal was recorded by Keith Fahy on the 24th minute for a commanding lead 1-7 to 0-3. A minute later Ryan Lambe had the Newport net shaking once again for his side’s second goal
Commercials added three more points courtesy of Ryan Lambe, Dillon Kennedy and Michael Morrissey. As the first period was nearing its conclusion Keith Mawdsley added a point for Newport to put the score 2-10 to 0-4 in favour of the defending champions at the interval.
Upon the resumption the agony continued for the north boys as inside the opening four minutes Jack Kennedy clocked up two more Clonmel points from dead ball positions. On the sixth minute Clonmel’s Jamie Ahearn made way for the introduction of Eoin Hoctor. Both Keith Fahy and Ryan Lambe added two more points to the Commercials tally bringing it to 2-14. On the eleventh minute Newport missed out on a goal opportunity; however Colin Floyd slotted over a point which was followed with another converted free by Jack Delahunty for a score reading 2-14 to 0-5.
On the sixteenth minute Newport were dealt a severe blow as Jack Delahunty on the receipt of a second yellow had to leave the action. Commercials substitute Eoin Hoctor showed his delight as he slotted over a point following a run down the right hand side of the pitch. On the 25th minute Jack Kennedy sent a lobbying ball which slipped off the goal keeper to go over the line for Commercials third goal. Two minutes later Keith Fahy added another point with Michael Murphy scoring the last Commercial point to put the final score at Clonmel Commercials 3-17 Newport Gaels 0-5.
Full credit has to be accorded to Newport who despite being out played in all sectors of the pitch never gave up and always concentrated on the game of football. For Clonmel Commercials they have to be applauded for the manner that they went about their business and winning the title to record a five-in –a –row, a marvellous achievement by any standard.
In doing so they have the distinction of never losing a final since the start of this century and lead the order of merit with six titles.
Prior to making the presentation to victorious captain Ross Peters, chairman Joe Kennedy thanked Paddy Russell and his officals. He also acknowledged the Clonoulty Rossmore club for putting their pitch at our disposal. He said that Clonmel Commercials have set a high standard and any club with aspirations of success have to try hard to remove them from their perch.
Clonmel Commercials - Liam Powell, Matt Barlo, Gavin Ryan, Darragh Phelan, Cian Fitzgerald, Kyle Peters, Calvin Boland, Jack Kennedy 1-4 (0-3 Frees), Ross Peters( Captain), Dann Van Derr Waal, Michael Morrissey 0-1, Kyle Farrell 0-1, Dillon Kennedy 0-3 (0-1 frees), Keith Fahey 1-4, Ryan Lambe 1-2, Jamie Ahearne, Eoin Hoctor 0-1, Michael O’Reilly, Dean McLoughlin, David Leo, Adam Peters, Michael Murphy 0-01, Adam O’Ceallaigh, Shane Nee, Michael Farrow.