Games between these Clonmel Commercials and Cahir are normally close affairs and Wednesday evening’s offering was no different. A hugely entertaining Clean Ireland Recycling clash which saw Commercials win by four, 3-10 to 2-9, had the crowd on the edge of their seats throughout.
Commercials started the game in terrific fashion and led by 1-2 to no score inside four minutes with full forward Michael Quinlivan accounting for 1-1 with the other coming from Paudie White. Liam Casey had Cahir’s opening score in the 5th minute but it was still Commercials who were the much sharper in the opening exchanges.
Cahir gradually began to win ball in the middle of the field and a well taken goal by Dean Lonergan after some excellent work by Robbie Costigan ignited his team’s challenge. The sides were level on the 15th minute before Quinlivan, who was in glorious form, pointed for Commercials a minute later. Cahir, playing with the aid of a stiff breeze, took a brief lead when Johnny McMahon pointed after Paudie White and Niall McKenna exchanged points.
The second half was equally hard fought and although the opening minutes were scrappy both teams served up some excellent football. Eight minutes elapsed before Benny Hickey opened the scoring to give Cahir the lead. A minute later Michael Quinlivan levelled matters once more. A free kick to Commercials near the sideline in the 12th minute was quickly taken and when Kevin Harney worked the ball to Paraic Looram, the wing forward blasted to the net.
The response from Cahir was immediate. Benny Hickey attacked down the left and his shot dropped into the goalmouth. Johnny McMahon was underneath and he somehow parried the ball down and got his toe to it to send it to the net. The sides were now level for the 7th time.
A third goal in as many minutes was crucial and came for Commercials. When the Clonmel side won possession through substitute Ian Fahey, his run through the Cahir rearguard opened space for Paudie White who collected the pass and brilliantly shot to the net. Although they battled bravely and reduced the margin to a single point with nine minutes remaining, a strong finish by Commercials yielded three unanswered points as Commercials ran out deserving winners.
The winners looked strong throughout with Kevin Fahey, Michael Quinlivan, Paudie White and Padraig Looram among their best players. They will be happy with their two wins in the championship but will need to continue in this manner to be major contenders later in the year.
Cahir, who contributed hugely to a fine game, were well served by Robbie Costigan, Benny Hickey, Liam Casey, Dean Lonergan and Johnny McMahon and although beaten they showed signs of the form which brought them close to county honours last year.