Seven players from the successful Tipperary Minor Football panel - five from Commercials and two from Kilsheelan Gaels - were in action in the South Tipperary Minor A Football Final at Ned Hall Park in Clonmel, a match that the Clonmel side won easily to retain their title and complete the three-in-a-row in the division. The final score was 2-18 to 0-5.
In front of a disappointingly small crowd the game was very slow in getting off the ground and never lived up to last year’s final between the same clubs.
Commercials will now carry the mantle from the South onto the county stage in September.
With referee Seanie Lonergan in charge of his first Minor A Football Final Commercials were dominant in the opening half. The game was 8 minutes old when a long delivery from the Commercials defence found Jason Lonergan in the middle of the field and his delivery found Evan Comerford, who caught a great ball on the edge of the square and he turned to fire a low shot into the net.
Kilsheelan Gaels responded with a converted 20 metres free from Paul Maher, although Evan Comerford hit back with a point from 30 metres in the 18th minute. Within 2 minutes the same player added another point from play to leave Commercials 1-2 to 0-1 ahead. Darren Cass, Keith Browne, Jason Lonergan, Colman Kennedy and Evan Comerford were all in commanding form, with Bill Maher for Kilsheelan Gaels trying hard to keep his side in touch. In the closing 10 minutes of the opening half Commercials added 5 points - the first from a great run by Jason Lonergan; the second from Keith Browne when he kicked out of his hands from 40 metres; the third from Brian Walsh, who was set up by Jason Lonergan; the fourth from Padraic White and the fifth was scored by Evan Comerford. Kilsheelan Gaels had a point from another free on the 13m line by Paul Maher to leave the half-time score Clonmel Commercials 1-7 Kilsheelan Gaels 0-2.
At the break Coilin Gleeson came on as a sub for the Kilsheelan/Newcastle combination, replacing Paudi O’Donovan, and he converted a free shortly after the resumption. However Commercials remained in control and Padraic White had a point from play and their next four points, all from play, were scored by Colman Kennedy.
Kilsheelan Gaels had a solitary point in the middle of these scores from Colin Gleeson. Then we had 2 further points from play from Commercials’ Padraic White and Colman Kennedy in the 45th and 46th minutes to give them an unassailable lead, 1-14 to 0-4. An exchange of points followed between Kilsheelan Gaels’ Eoin Kehoe and Commercials’ Padraic Whte. Then substitute Shane Flynn got a great pass from Evan Comerford to give Gaels goalie John Smyth no chance with a blistering shot.
With Jason Lonergan in great form for Commercials he got the score of the game, a point off his left, in the 55th minute and he followed up witha point from play.
Best for Commercials were their four county players as well as Keith Browne, Jake McDonald and Brian Walsh. For a gallant Kilsheelan Gaels Bill Maher, Paul Maher and Diarmuid Devaney could not be faulted.
Clonmel Commercials - Michael Boland, Ross Dennehy, Jake McDonald, Kevin Fahey, Darren Cass, Cathal McGeever, Michael Connolly, Paraic Looram, Brian Walsh 0-1, Colman Kennedy 0-5, Jason Lonergan 0-2, Padraic White 0-6 (2 frees), Sammy Ryan, Evan Comerford 1-3, Keith Browne 0-1.
Subs - Sean Lyons, Shane Flynn 1-0, Sean Gunne and Shane Moloney.
Kilsheelan Gaels - John Smyth (K), Paidi O’Donovan(K), Kevin Guiry (K), Cormac Fahey (K), Tadhg Lonergan (K), Bill Maher (K), David Smyth (K), Brian Hyland (N), Eoin Kehoe 0-1 (K), Anthony Condon (N), Diarmuid Devanney (N), Kevin Kehoe (K), Paul Maher 0-2 frees (K), Joseph O’Neill (K), James Lonergan (N).
Substitutes - Colin Gleeson (K) 0-1 free and Kevin Kirwan 0-1.
Referee - Seanie Lonergan (Moyle Rovers).