On a sunny May bank holiday Sunday afternoon, Clonmel Town U13 team wrapped up their season in style by securing the Tipperary Cup against Cahir Park at Clonmel Celtic’s ground. The conditions were perfect for a Cup Final with the Celtic pitch in excellent condition and the weather playing its part too.
From the kick off the Town boys got into their passing, free flowing game creating numerous chances but unlucky not to convert any. John Furlong was having the game of his life on the left wing sending in some wonderful crosses. Cillian Crowe, Oisin Napier and Cavan McKenna were in complete control at midfield spreading the ball around the carpet like surface.
Luke Kiely as a lone striker and Ryan Lambe were linking up well and causing the Cahir back four all kinds of problems. After relentless pressure for 20 minutes Town got their reward when a mix up in the Cahir defence saw the Cahir central defender loop the ball over his own goalkeeper for an own goal to give Town the lead. Further pressure on the Cahir goal followed with the town full backs of Colm Power and Cathal McKeown pushing forward with every attack and providing great support to their wide men.
Lambe and Kiely went close again and Cahir were glad to hear the half time whistle. The second half started and saw no change in the pattern with Town putting in a Barcelona type performance passing the ball on every occasion. After going close on so many occasions Luke Kiely eventually hit the back of the net with an excellent strike to make it 2-0.
The introduction of Niall Hoctor and Aaron Doyle injected further pace into the town attach with Doyle nearly scoring with his first touch. Jack O’Donnell hit the woodwork and Cathal McKeown was very unlucky with the rebound. The Town central defence of David Burke and Jack Harney had a complete stranglehold on the Cahir team protecting their ever alert goalkeeper Aidan Tobin for over 50 minutes with the goalkeeper having to make a save. However with 7 minutes left on the clock Cahir broke through the Town defence to score a breakaway goal which meant we were in for a grandstand finish.
However the character of the Town team ensured that there was not going to be an upset, as a move started by the attacking full back Daniel Traas resulted in an inch perfect cross by Oisin Napier which Jack O’Donnell headed excellently to the Cahir net to make it 3-1.
Town closed out the game and were worthy winners. Cathal McKeown who has been fantastic all season ran John Furlong very close for the Man of the Match performance which was a great achievement for John as he was the youngest player in the starting 11.
Cillian Crowe the captain who leads this excellent group magnificently both on and off the pitch stepped forward to receive the Cup. It was fantastic to see this team win both the League and Cup double as the efforts they have put in over many years means that silverware will never be a problem if they continue their hard work.
Special mention must go to Cahir Park as they were put under constant pressure but never gave up and with 5 minutes to go were still in contention. The brand of football that the Town boys play and their technical ability throughout the squad makes them a joy to watch and hopefully provide a platform for the boys to play at a very high level.