Battling High School come from behind to earn another draw

Harty Cup 3rd Round

Harty Cup 3rd Round

Clonmel High School 0-9

Castletroy College 0-9

Clonmel High School earned yet another draw in their second group game of the Harty Cup competition in Golden last Thursday. Castletroy College from Limerick looked like they had secured the win and full points as they had the benefit of a two-point lead with less than five minutes remaining. Yet again Clonmel’s tremendous battling qualities and resilience stood to them and they left Golden happy to have taken a share of the spoils.

Castletroy played with a slight wind advantage in the opening half. The half time score was six points to four in favour of the Limerick lads, although they had also struck a large number of wides. They had not fully capitalised on their possession and Clonmel were still in the game.

Conor Gleeson scored all four points for the High School, two from frees and two from play. The High School players were using too much short passing when they needed to be far more direct and speedier in getting the ball into their inside forwards. Both sides found it difficult to cope with the slippery, wet conditions.

Clonmel started the second half very promisingly by scoring the first two points and pulling level. Both scores came from placed balls, the first from Conor Gleeson and the second from further out the field by Ross Mulcahy. Castletroy then pointed from play. Conor Gleeson next converted another free to draw the sides level again. Castletroy then scored the next two, both from frees to put them two points up with just minutes remaining.

The Clonmel forwards continued to work hard to win possession and were awarded a close-range free, once again struck over by Conor Gleeson. One point in arrears and with seconds left, Clonmel desperately needed to salvage something from this game. Wing back Kevin Guiry, with the ball in his hand and a long way from the posts, hit a very good shot towards the goal. Castletroy’s goalkeeper had difficulty bringing it under control and he somehow managed to deflect it over the bar for the equalising point. The referee then immediately blew for full time. There was huge relief and even joy in the Clonmel camp.

Another hard-earned point was secured (they now have two points from two games) just as all hope was beginning to run out. Clonmel’s team spirit was evident in the final quarter and every player played his part. Coming into this game they had their minds set on getting full points but they produced a below-par performance. The Castletroy defence was tight marking and difficult to break down. At times they successfully crowded out Clonmel’s forwards. Yet the Clonmel lads showed real character and worked bravely to the final whistle to secure an unlikely draw.

Clonmel’s full back line of Michael Meagher, Sean Nagle and Richie Gunne coped extremely well under pressure, they kept their discipline and conceded few frees. The youngest of the trio, Richie Gunne, has been showing maturity beyond his tender years. Team captain Tom Kirwan was yet again a crucial presence at the heart of the Clonmel defence. Liam Ryan enjoyed another very steady performance and has settled very well into the team.

Dermot Ryan as usual exerted a lot of influence at midfield. A tremendous fielder and an all-round strong competitor, he won a lot of ball.

Ross Mulcahy was a steadying influence in the half-forward line and he has the knack of finding time on the ball. Tomas Cooney fought bravely to win ball. His workrate in matches is an example to his team mates. Conor Gleeson has been the scorer-in-chief this season. However he won’t be happy until he starts rattling the net.

Clonmel High School - Tadhg Lonergan (Kilsheelan/Kilcash), Michael Meagher (Grangemockler/Ballyneale), Sean Nagle (Ballybacon/Grange), Richie Gunne (St. Mary’s), Liam Ryan (St. Mary’s), Tom Kirwan (Ballybacon/Grange), Kevin Guiry (Kilsheelan/Kilcash 0-1), Dermot Ryan (Four Mile Water), Alec Owens (Moyle Rovers), Christy Walsh (St. Mary’s), Ross Mulcahy (Moyle Rovers 0-1), Tomas Cooney (Four Mile Water), Conor Arrigan (Clonmel Og), Conor Gleeson (Four Mile Water 0-7, 5 from frees) and Ross Peters (St. Mary’s).

Subs Used - Paul Maher (Kilsheelan/Kilcash) and Shane Lonergan (Moyle Rovers).

Panel Members - Michael Boland (St. Mary’s), Eric Walsh (St. Mary’s), Patrick Morrissey (Moyle Rovers), David Roberts (Moyle Rovers), Kyle Peters (St. Mary’s), Sean Ryan (Kilsheelan/Kilcash), Mike Hogan (Ballybacon/Grange), Stephen Ryan (Four Mile Water), Paudie White (St. Mary’s) and Robbie Lyons (St. Mary’s).