Alley foil fine Clonard comeback
Clonard came unbelievably close to pulling off one of the greatest comebacks in many a year before going down by a point to Buffers Alley in the Enniscorthy Farm Supplies Junior football championship Group A at Monageer on Sunday.
Buffers Alley 5-9 Clonard 4-11
The Wexford town club trailed by 5-2 to 0-3 after 16 minutes of pure torture for their defence following Alley goals from Paul Doyle, Paul O'Leary (two), Robert O'Leary and John Lee Meyler.
However, somehow they fought all the way back to level pegging with eleven minutes remaining thanks to majors from John Tormey, Thomas Smillie (two) and Mark O'Connor (5-7 to 4-10).
Just when Clonard needed to kick on again, Buffers Alley responded with a point from Paul Doyle in the 53rd minute and the same man won a penalty five minutes later, for which goalkeeper Dan Curran was black-carded.
Doyle took the penalty only to see makeshift 'keeper T.J. Doyle make the save onto the post and for Páuric Roche's effort from the rebound to be tipped over the crossbar.
With two points in the game heading in to added time, Clonard drove forward looking to win it and move themselves out of the relegation play-off places. The excellent John Tormey was hauled down but just too far out for a penalty.
It was left to Mark O'Connor to take the free right in front of a crowded goal-line but he only managed to smash his effort to the wrong side of the crossbar to end Clonard's spirited resurgence.
The result means that the Coolcotts club are now certain to be in the relegation final with Buffers Alley facing Shamrocks for the final spot in the quarter-finals in round five.
Buffers Alley: John Furlong; Conor Kenny, John Farrell, Alan Doyle; Colm Og Doran, Shane Grannell, Michael Sinnott; Seán Murphy, Donal McArdle; Kevin Roche (0-2), Paul O'Leary (2-1), John Lee Meyler (1-0); Pat Kenny, Paul Doyle (1-5, 0-2 frees), Robert O'Leary (1-0). Subs. - Ciarán Murphy for Doran (31), Edward Doyle for P. Kenny (31), Páuric Roche (0-1) for R. O'Leary (31), Doran for K. Roche (49).
Clonard: Dan Curran; Mick Kelly, Tomás Dwyer, Adam Baziz; John Tormey (1-0), Andy Lehane, Alan Larkin; Mark O'Connor (1-3, 0-2 frees), Colin Browne; Derek Deane, Dylan Carty (0-5 frees), Barry Redmond (0-1); Thomas Smillie (2-0), T.J. Doyle (0-2), Stephen Walsh. Sub. - Martin Conway for Curran, black card (58).
Referee: Seamus Whelan (Oylegate-Glenbrien).