Cloughbawn 4 Shelburne United 1
A dominant performance in Ballywilliam on Tuesday saw Cloughbawn clinch the Wexford and District Schoolboys Soccer Under-15 Division 2A title in style.
The champions did withstand a couple of nervy moments in the first-half but were full value for their win, creating plenty of chances and defending superbly as a team to nip ahead of Enniscorthy Town at the last hurdle.
The critical result came back on April 11 when their title rivals were just 70 minutes from clinching the title in Cloughbawn's own back yard.
However, the eventual champs turned on the style, winning that game 3-1 before closing out the season with three more victories to take the silverware.
There was a nervousness about Cloughbawn at the start of this contest that made it hard for them to find their rhythm. In fact, it was Shelburne who created the first half-chance when Conor Redmond headed a right wing corner narrowly wide.
The 'out ball' for Cloughbawn in the early stages was generally a booming Eddie Kelly kick that sent Daniel Feeney, Paddy Whitty and later Oisín Murphy scampering away in pursuit. One of those early balls got Whitty clear but James Rossiter made a solid save from the striker's shot at goal.
Seán Moran's sliced strike caused some panic in the defence in the tenth minute but they did manage to clear. At the other end Aaron McManus and Eoin Rodgers combined well to clear the danger when Shane Kehoe burst through.
The opening goal did come in the 20th minute and it was Cloughbawn who found it. Ryan Murphy played an excellent ball from the right channel over the top that picked out Oisín Murphy in stride, and he got there before James Rossiter and headed over the onrushing 'keeper to the net.
Two sensational Eddie Kelly saves from Seán Nolan and Conor Lyng, and a follow-up defensive block on Oisín Cushin's goal-bound shot, somehow kept Cloughbawn ahead four minutes later.
Then, just before the break they got a second goal when Shane Kehoe fought his way though on the left flank and fired low across goal to the corner.
Two became three shortly after the interval when Aaron Smith was hacked down when through on goal and Kehoe stepped up to coolly convert the spot-kick. Cloughbawn could have got a fourth before Shelburne grabbed a consolation goal courtesy of the shoulder of Seán Moran after Shane Cullen's initial effort was saved.
Still, Cloughbawn had one final moment to end the season on a special high. Kehoe whipped a superb right-wing cross to the back post with four minutes remaining and the man in the right place at the right time to wrap up the title with a controlled left foot volley was the excellent Smith.
Cloughbawn: Eddie Kelly; Ryan Murphy, Mick McGrath, Dean Kenny-Butler, Cian Jordan; Aidan Denton, Michael Fleming, Shane Kehoe (capt.), Aaron Smith; Daniel Feeney, Paddy Whitty. Subs. (rolling) - Oisín Murphy, Nathan McDonald, Oisín Hayes, Fionn Doyle, Darragh Furlong, David Tracey.
Shelburne United: James Rossiter; Aaron McManus, Eoin McAuliffe, Conor Redmond, Eoin Rodgers; Daniel Heaphy, Seán Moran, Conor Lyng, Oisín Cushin; Gary Porter (capt.), Jamie O'Rourke. Subs. (rolling) - Diarmuid Somers, Eoin Doyle, Dylan Moran, Shane Cullen, Oisín McAuliffe.
Referee: Brendan Holohan.