Shane Flynn wins the ball for Commercials ahead of Clonmel Og's Noel Walsh.
Clonmel Og edged out a narrow three point victory, 1-9 to 0-9, over rivals across town Commercials to reach the South Tipperary IFC Final in a fortnight's time.
It was a game that saw very little between the sides, but ultimately a third minute goal from Graham Quinn proved the difference as Clonmel Og just had that little bit extra when it was needed.
An opening point from Chris O’Gorman for Clonmel Og arrived just after the throw in. They had the aid of quite a stiff breeze and were very much using it to their advantage early on.
A long ball out of defence was gathered by Aaron Arrigan, who found Cian O’Sullivan, whose popped pass to the onrushing Quinn saw the net burst for the game's decisive score. Full forward Fallon tagged on a free in the eighth minute to stretch Clonmel Og’s lead.
It took Commercials 17mins to register their first point of the game, courtesy of Shane Flynn who sped in from the left wing to fire over. It seemed to spark Commercials into life, as they followed it up with two quick points from Conor McGeever and Paudie White. Indeed Commercials could have taken the lead soon after when Shane Flynn should have goaled but for the exploits of Og keeper Martin Boland.
A goal chance was also spurned at the other end, Gino Lonergan going close on this occasion. The first half petered out with a lot of scrappy play, although a wonderful Cian O'Sullivan score raised great cheers from the Monroe crowd. Eoin Fallon and Paudie White exchanged frees in injury time, and an even later Ritchie Carroll point for Commercials kept four between them at the break. (1-5 to 0-4)
One would have expected Commercials to capitalise on the breeze after the turnaround but it was Clonmel Og who took charge of proceedings. Points from Eoin Fallon and Gino Lonergan improved their tally as the scoreboard started to reflect their dominance.
Conor O'Sullivan responded for Commercials to supplement a pointed free from Paudie White and the game was back in the melting pot. Then with Aaron Arrigan bearing down on goal, he offloaded to Cian O’Sullivan, who blazed over when a goal looked on.
Johnny Cagney, playing very deep and orchestrating the link ups between defence and attack, added a great free to enhance his side's lead as Clonmel Og kicked for home. Commercials’ task was made all the more difficult with six minutes to play as Stephen Kelly was dismissed for a second yellow card.
To their credit the fourteen men threw the kitchen sink at Clonmel Og’s defence in the remaining minutes. They managed two more points from Paudie White, but the Clonmel Og rearguard stood firm and deservedly held on.
So, it is back to Moyle Park in a fortnight's time for the final. They'll fancy it, and with good reason too.
Clonmel Og: M.Boland, K.McGrath, D. Kearney, S.O’Connor, K.Kearney, N.Walsh, A.Brannigan, G.Quinn, J.Cagney, G.Lonergan, A.Arrigan, M.Norris, C.O’Gorman, E.Fallon, C.O’Sullivan
Subs: C.Barrett, J.Bates, K.Hawkins
Commercials: J.McDonald, M.Murphy, C.McGeever, R.Lyons, R.Carroll, G.Ryan, S.Kelly, N.Kelly, C.O’Sullivan, S.Flynn, A.Lonergan, R.Duffy, J.Ahearn, C.McGeever, P.White. Subs: E.Walsh