Cloughbawn claim shield title after see-saw clash with Pat's
Cloughbawn claimed the New Ross Standard Under-14 football Division 5A 13-a-side shield, beating St. Patrick's in a see-saw encounter in St. Patrick's Park on Thursday.
Cloughbawn 5-4 St. Patrick's 2-10
The champions had lost to their final opponents in the group stages but used their greater fortune in front of goal to build a lead that proved just enough to keep them ahead after a tight and tense second-half.
Paddy Whitty was the hero for the Castleboro boys, registering 3-4, but he got fantastic support all over the field with the quality of the inter-change and attacking play matched at the other end by the no-quit defending.
The result was tough on St. Pat's as very little separated these sides and, on another day, with a bit more luck, the result could have went their way. The have several impressive players in their squad which bodes well for the future of the Camolin-based club.
St. Patrick's even made the brighter start, netting inside two minutes. Adam Kavanagh played the role of provider but there was still plenty to do when Alan Murphy got the ball. He was initially denied close to goal but managed to force it past Cathal Doyle at the second attempt.
Shortly after Whitty opened his account with a free, Neil Foley crept in behind the St. Pat's defence and fired low past Andrew O'Brien. Despite a couple of dead-balls from the excellent Oisín Woolmington, Whitty soon started his major tally with a classy finish after a jinking run.
Leading by 2-1 to 1-2, Cloughbawn kicked on to end the opening quarter five points clear. Their third goal came from a sensational Shane Kehoe rocket to the roof of the net, after crisp build-up play from Foley and Nathan McDonald.
Woolmington pulled a point back before Nathan Byrne cracked the woodwork, one of three occasions his side were denied majors by the frame of the goal. It hurt even more after a quick Whitty brace of raised green flags gave Cloughbawn a 5-1 to 1-5 interval lead.
The second-half proved to be a lot tighter, with defenders deeper and chances harder to come by. Nathan Byrne was on a mission to get his side back into the game and when his deflected shot flew to the Cloughbawn net his side had a chance with five minutes left (5-3 to 2-7).
St. Patrick's battered the goal in the last few minutes with Darragh Byrne, Micheál Rowsome and Woolmington registering points. However, the Cloughbawn rearguard was fantastic and refused to give away the goal their opponents needed, hanging on for a memorable victory.
The season is now over for the gallant runners-up but Cloughbawn have a chance to double-up. They play Davidstown-Courtnacuddy in the Division 5A hurling final, with a date and time for that game yet to be announced.
Cloughbawn: Cathal Doyle; Ben Keeley, Ryan Murphy (joint capt.); Aaron McManus, Gary Kennedy, Darragh Kehoe; Shane Kehoe (joint capt., 1-0), Ciarán Murphy; Darragh Redmond, Paddy Whitty (3-4, 0-3 frees), Mikey Fleming; Nathan McDonald, Neil Foley (1-0). Subs. - Paul Byrne for McManus (50), also Oran Clare, Cormac Cooper, Eoin Murphy, John Connors, Eamon Byrne, Daniel Murphy.
St. Patrick's: Andrew O'Brien; Eoin Curran (capt.), Jack Kenny-O'Leary; Bryan Murphy, Nathan Byrne (1-3), Cian Byrne; Darragh Byrne (0-1), Oisín Woolmington (0-5, 3 frees, 2 '30s); Páuric Doyle, Adam Kavanagh, Marcus Myles Sheridan; Adam Goff, Alan Murphy (1-0). Subs. - Max Farrell for Doyle (26), Micheál Rowsome (0-1) for Goff (32), Eoin Kelly for Kenny-O'Leary (45), also Craig Blackburn, Colin Kavanagh, Ben Kavanagh, Ewan Byrne, Dylan O'Brien, Diarmuid O'Sullivan.
Referee: Mick Lanigan (Shelmaliers).