CLONMEL COMMERCIALS 2-12
JK BRACKENS 1-5
CLONMEL COMMERCIALS are county minor football champions for the third year in-a-row following their victory over a gallant JK Brackens at a bitterly cold Leahy Park, Cashel, on Saturday afternoon last. The hottest of favourites before throw-in, the Clonmel outfit had to call on all of their abundant skill and experience to prevail by a slightly flattering 10 points in the end.
This 18th title win not alone gives the minors the hallmark of special sporting greatness in Tipperary with the three-in-a-row seal of champions, but last Saturday’s success completed a magnificent week for the Clonmel club following on from the senior success the previous Sunday.
As things turned out Commercials would have to dig much deeper on the day than many expected, but in the true form of champions they stood up to be counted when needed and rallied from a two points half-time deficit to win comfortably in the end.
The triumph gave captain Colman Kennedy the proud honour of being the first man to lift the brand new Michael Hogan Perpetual Cup recently presented to the County Board by the Tipperary Association Dublin.
The Templemore side led 1-2 to 0-3 at half-time; the goal coming from a penalty on the stroke of half-time. The in-rushing Michael Greed was fouled by the Commercial goalkeeper and Dean McEnroe scored the resultant spot kick.
Commercials returned for the second half a different team though and now with the advantage of the wind went about their business with an urgency. Within 45 seconds of the restart Jason Lonergan and Colman Kennedy linked up with Kennedy pointing. The message was crystal clear.
Seventeen minutes in to the second period Commercials put together a lightning fast four-man move involving Comerford, Kennedy, Looram and substitute Flynn with the latter blasting to the net.
The second goal came from Evan Comerford in the 57th minute after Shane Flynn linked up. The full-forward ended the day with a personal tally of 1-5. Not a bad return for a player who six days earlier won a county senior medal playing in goal.
Commercials had many fine performances on a day when they had to fight a lot harder for the spoils than they have had to do all year. Darren Cass, Michael Connolly, Kevin Fahey and the ever hard-working Keith Browne were solid at the back. Colman Kennedy was their main man in the middle of the park aided by Ian Fahey. Upfront Jason Lonergan, Pauric Looram and particularly Shane Flynn and Evan Comerford were excellent.
Brackens won many friends on the day with their brave effort against a high-standard opposition. Colin O’Riordan, arguably one of the best minors in the country, was outstanding at midfield and looks the complete footballer, Dean McEnroe and Sean Patrick Guerins never stopped all day, while Eamon Kennedy, Conor Burke, James Bergin and Jordan Moloney also had their moments to take from this final.
Clonmel Commercials: Michael Boland, Cathal McGeever, Darren Cass, Ross Dennehy, Keith Browne, Kevin Fahey, Michael Connolly, Brian Walsh, Colman Kennedy (capt) (0-3), Jason Lonergan (0-2), Ian Fahey, Padraig White (0-1F), Pauric Looram, Evan Comerford (1-5, 0-4F), Liam Murchan (0-1).
Subs: Shane Flynn (1-0) for Liam Murchan; Jake McDonald for Brian Walsh; Liam Ryan for Michael Connolly; Joey Doyle for Kevin Fahey; Shane Moloney for Padraig White.
JK Brackens: Thomas Morrissey, Lee Fennell, Liam Murphy (capt), Conor Burke, Thomas Brett, Brian Kennedy, James Bergin, Colin O’Riordan (0-1), Sean Patrick Guerins, Jordan Moloney, Dean McEnroe (1-4, 0-2F), Karl Stakelum, Eamon Kennedy, Michael Greed, Jack Fogarty.
Subs: Joe Doyle for Lee Fennell; Michael O’Meara for Karl Stakelum.
Referee: Sean Lonergan (Moyle Rovers).