Tipperary Youth Cup Final
CLONMEL TOWN 5 ST. MICHAEL’S FC 0
Hat-trick hero Thomas Fitzgerald saw Clonmel Town produce a devastating five star performance against arch-rivals St. Michael’s FC to lift the Tipperary Youth Cup and complete the League and Cup ‘double’ at rain soaked Cahir Park on St. Patrick’s Day.
A heavy hailstone shower before the match made the conditions very slippery and it was a case of players trying to keep their feet early on. Despite the unpleasant elements, Clonmel Town showed they meant business from the start when Colman Kennedy robbed Darragh McKenna on 9 minutes and fed Kevin Kirwan whose centre went invitingly across the box, but nobody was on hand to apply the finishing touch. On 17 minutes a quick Town counter-attack saw Kennedy again set-up Kirwan on the left and he flashed wide when well placed to score.
Clonmel Town deservedly took the lead on 22 minutes when Kevin Fahey picked up a breaking ball in a crowded goalmouth and neatly chipped Saints keeper Peter Mulhair from the angle of the 18 yard box to make it 1-0. It was 2-0 on 28 minutes when a Colman Kennedy flick-on found Greg Henry whose low shot from the 18 yard line beat Peter Mulhair. Philip Roche and Mark Hoban tried hard on the flanks but Saints weren’t on the same level as Town who bossed the middle of the park with Greg Henry, Colman Kennedy, Kevin Fahey and Michael Connolly creating numerous chances.
Saints hopes of getting something from this game faded when they lost the services of Darren McKenna through injury and that situation even got worse on 35 minutes when Thomas Fitzgerald made it 3-0 to Town finishing off a neatly weighted pass from Michael Connolly. Town with another flowing move made it 4-0 on 38 minutes when Jonathan Yates overlapped on the left wing and his low cross from the end-line saw Thomas Fitzgerald sliding in to finish from close range for his second of the afternoon. The second half was largely a non event with Clonmel Town outplaying a St. Michael’s side that showed plenty of determination, but lacked physique, stamina, and struggled to make a serious dent in a rock solid Town defence. Town’s Kevin Kirwan hit a post on 47 minutes when well placed by Greg Henry. A very busy Peter Mulhair saved well from both Michael Connolly and Thomas Fitzgerald as Town continued to turn the screw. That relentless Town pressure paid dividends again on 58 minutes when a long kick-out from ‘keeper Evan Comerford - a mere spectator for most of this contest - found the head of Greg Henry who flicked the ball on for Thomas Fitzgerald to fire high into the roof of the net to complete his hat-trick and make it 5-0.
St. Michael’s did well for the next 15 minutes as Clonmel Town eased off, but the nearest Saints came to getting a consolation score was when Kevin Stapleton hit a post with Evan Comerford beaten on 61 minutes. However, it was a dominant Clonmel Town that regained the upper hand and although playing the rest of the game in cruise control could have added to their tally. In the final action of this disappointing one-sided contest St. Michael’s ‘keeper Peter Mulhair produced yet another fine save tipping Colman Kennedy’s blistering 20 yard shot over the crossbar.
Prior to the Tipperary Youth Cup being presented to a victorious Clonmel Town, John Quirke of John Quirke Jewellers, Cahir presented the ‘man of the match’ award to Clonmel Town’s hat-trick hero Thomas Fitzgerald.
Clonmel Town: Evan Comerford, Rob Flynn, Jonathan Yates, Cathal McKeever, Tom Kirwan, Greg Henry, Colman Kennedy, Kevin Fahey, Michael Connolly, Thomas Fitzgerald, Kevin Kirwan.
Substitutes: Conor Arrigan (K. Kirwan), Mark Wallace (for Flynn), Sammy Ryan (for Yates), Harry O’Connor, Stephen Kelly
St. Michael’s FC: Peter Mulhair, Dean Holmes, Garry O’Callaghan, Seamus Kinane, Ger Carey, Tom Frewen, Darren McKenna, Kevin Stapleton, Philip Roche, Mark Hoban
Substitutes: Jordan Noonan (for McKenna), Kevin Byrnes (for Carey), Gavin Hickey (for Holmes), Stephen Cunningham
Officials: T. Keating, M. Coady, N. Coughlan