Danny Owens who captained Moyle Rovers to victory in today's Clonmel Oil South Tipperary U 21 'A' Football Championship Final at Kilsheelan.
Clonmel Oil South Tipperary U-21 ‘A’ Football Championship Final
MOYLE ROVERS 1-8 :: 0-5 CLONMEL COMMERCIALS
Reigning county under 21 ‘A’ football champions Moyle Rovers retained their divisional title with a six points victory over Clonmel Commercials in the final of the Clonmel Oil sponsored South Championship played at Kilsheelan on Sunday morning last.
A performance full of commitment and an unyielding determination from the Monroe club proved too much for their town opponents and there was no doubt that the better team deserved their victory at the end of the hour.
The foundations for the win lay in a superb opening 10 minutes, when taking full advantage of the strong breeze at their backs, Moyle Rovers scored 1-4 without reply and from there on kept Commercials on the ropes. The game’s only goal came in the eighth minute when a long punt out of defence by the outstanding Jack Harney was won in the air by Rovers’ captain Danny Owens and his lay-off to Luke Delahunty was superbly finished to the back of the net.
The goal was no big surprise as Rovers had been threatening from the outset as a fired up team went for the jugular against their fierce rivals, fully determined to make the breeze count.
Inside 30 seconds an inspirational Danny Owens kicked a fine point to set out his side’s stall and the lead was doubled after four minutes when Rian Quigley pointed a free from 35 metres won by Luke Fogarty who was to put in a massive game in the centre of the park.
Moyle Rovers' midfielder Luke Fogarty soars majestically over Ross Peters (Commercials) to win this kick-out during Sunday's Clonmel Oil South Under 21 'A' Football Championship final played at Kilsheelan. (Pic: Michael Boland).
Darragh Bolger, who was to be the star of the opening half, kicked the first of his three points in the sixth minute as Commercials were being overrun by wave after wave of ‘Sky Blue’ shirts.
And then came the goal which provided the champions with the reward their workrate and early dominance deserved.
Almost from the kick-out for the goal Darragh Bolger once again got on the end of a move with another point and Rovers were seven up and coasting after just nine minutes of play.
Without the services of county senior player Jack Kennedy, deemed unfit to start, Commercials were all at sea and but for the likes of Adam and Kyle Peters and Gavin Ryan in defence the damage might have been even greater at this stage. They did manage to steady the ship somewhat at the back and Rovers wouldn’t score again for another 15 minutes after Bolger’s second point.
When Commercials did manage to mount sorties into attack the phenomenal intensity of the Rovers rearguard gave them no change whatsoever. Their first half efforts went unrewarded, with just three wides to show for a half hour of effort, testimony in no small way to the doggedness of the likes of Ciarán Luttrell, Cillian Crowe, Jack Harney and Conor Bates in a Rovers backline.
Rovers finished the half as they started with a couple of extra scores. The always-dangerous Rian Quigley scored a lovely point in the 22nd minute after the ball had been won by a thundering shoulder in the middle of the field by Luke Fogarty to turn over a potential Commercials attack.
The final point of the opening half was arguably the best. Cillian Crowe began a Rovers move which Darragh Bolger continued and ran 40 metres to kick a rousing and sweet left footed point. It sent the Rovers to the break leading 1-6 to 0-0, but disappointingly Bolger was unable to continue for the second half due to an injury.
Desperate situations require desperate measures and Commercials were in serious trouble at the break. For the re-commencement they introduced Jack Kennedy to the fray, and there was no doubt, even in carrying an injury, Kennedy was immense - his contribution in the second period accentuated his first half absence. Try as he did though, there was going to be no denying Rovers back-to-back divisional crowns.
Jack Kennedy got the duck off the scoreboard for Commercials two minutes in, but the momentum they needed to generate wasn’t happening as the Rovers defence were more than a match.
Ten minutes in Rovers replied with a well-worked point starting out from defence once more with Cillian Crowe and worked through Rian Quigley before Luke Delahunty pointed.
Commercials got their only goal chance of the day in the 43rd minute when Niall Hoctor played Michael O’Reilly through but Colm McKeown was equal to the task when saving superbly from the Commercials full-forward. The writing was definitely on the wall then for the challengers.
Rovers were in control at 1-7 to 0-1 as the game entered the final 10 minutes, but admirably even as a beaten docket, Commercials refused to let go. Ross Peters and Gavin Ryan combined to set up Jack Kennedy for a point, and a minute later Jack Kennedy kicked his third point from play.
Rovers replied with their final point of the day six minutes from time when another flowing move out of defence, at pace, saw Cillian Crowe kick a great point, a reward fully deserved for his workrate all through.
Thereafter there was nothing left to decide, but credit where credit is due, Commercials kept at it and two late points from Jamie Ahearn from 45 metres and a point in time added-on from captain Ross Peters brought the game to a conclusion.
The physically stronger Rovers, even without the services of the injured Stephen Quirke and Morgan Irwin and the unavailable David Roberts, had too much in reserve for Commercials. Their victory was founded on an impressive commitment and workrate, with heroes all over the field. Besides those already mentioned, Dara Ryan at centre-back, Tadgh Fitzgerald in the middle of the field, Cathal McKeown (who shipped a world of hardship all day) and Diarmuid Mulcahy all played their part.
It was a disappointing day at the office for Commercials who it must be said didn’t help themselves by kicking 10 wides over the hour. They had leaders in the likes of Ross Peters, Gavin Ryan, Kyle Peters and Jack Kennedy after the break, but they had to settle for second best on this occasion.
At the presentation of the cup to winning captain Danny Owens (Moyle Rovers) following Sunday's South Under 21 'A' Football Championship final at Kilsheelan were from left: Sean Connolly (sponors, Clonmel Oil), Hugo Browne (chairman, South Board), Danny Owens (captain) and Noel Byrne (South Board). (Pic: Michael Boland).
Moyle Rovers: Colm McKeown, Keith Cronin, Ciaran Luttrell, Cillian Crowe (0-1), Jack Harney, Dara Ryan, Conor Bates, Tadgh Fitzgerald, Luke Fogarty, Cathal McKeown, Luke Delahunty (1-1), Darragh Bolger (0-3), Diarmuid Mulcahy, Danny Owens (Capt., 0-1), Rian Quigley (0-2, 0-1F).
Subs: Sean Cotter for Bolger (inj., HT); Brian Lacey for Luttrell (49); Michael O’Doherty for Cronin (52).
Commercials: Liam Powell, Michael Murphy, Kyle Peters, Adam Peters, Eoin Hoctor, Gavin Ryan, Dan Van Der Wall, Conal Kennedy, Ross Peters (Capt, 0-1), Jamie Ahearn (0-1), Calvin Boland, Michael O’Reilly, Sean Kennedy, Ryan Lambe, Conor McGeever.
Subs: Jack Kennedy for Boland (HT), Niall Hoctor for S. Kennedy (HT); Sean O’Connor for Lambe (45); Calvin Boland for O’Reilly (59).
Referee: Paul Guinan (Killenaule).