IFC Rd 5: Clonmore 2-9 Asca 0-12

November 8, 2018

Clonmore survive tense finish to qualify for quarter-final.


Clonmore  2-9   Asca   0-12


Clonmore had to endure a tense finish to this game as Asca threw everything at them in an attempt to keep their season alive in this “winner takes all” Intermediate Football Championship game at McGrath Park on Sunday. In the end, the men from the Wicklow border just held on to deservedly qualify for a quarter-final clash with Naomh Eoin, Myshall, provisionally fixed for 19 September.


For the second Sunday in a row, Clonmore came flying out of the blocks and were 1-4 to 0-0 ahead after 15 minutes, the points coming from Niall Humphries, Enda McGrath (2), and a Gavin Byrne free, and the goal a cracking effort with the left boot of Con Murphy. Just minutes earlier Murphy had a penalty well saved by Asca keeper, Joe O’Reilly, after a foul on Humphries in the square. 


Winning a lot of possession around midfield through big men Ronan Donnelly, Gavin Deering and Paul Murphy, Asca started to ease themselves into the game but found it hard to score. This was mainly due to efforts of the Clonmore’s full-back line, in which Colin Doyle and John Connolly were outstanding, and Paudge McGrath, who pulled two point-bound efforts from Johnny Kavanagh down from over the crossbar.


Ronan Donnelly finally got the sky blues off the mark after 16 minutes with a blistering shot on the run which grazed the crossbar. John McGrath replied with a cracker off the outside of his boot from near the side line but the last ten minutes of the half belonged to Asca with Johnny Kavanagh expertly converting four frees to leave just a goal between the sides at half-time: 1-5 to 0-5.


After what seemed like an eternity, Asca emerged from the dressing room and set about reducing the Clonmore lead with the aid of a reasonable breeze. Another Kavanagh free on 35 mins reduced the gap to two points but again John McGrath replied for Clonmore. Asca brought up goalkeeper Joe Reilly to kick a 45 which was initially waved wide, but referee Pat Keogh overruled the umpire and awarded the point – 1-6 to 0-7 on 40 mins.


With play moving from end-to-end in a highly entertaining contest, Gavin Byrne was set up by Niall Humphries for a good point to restore Clonmore’s one goal lead. Then a great forward movement involving Jamie Doyle and Enda McGrath ended with Humphries finishing to the net and Pauric Lawlor completed a purple patch for Clonmore with a tidy point to put the men in red & green seven points ahead – 2-8 to 0-7 on 45 mins.


This looked like an unassailable lead but the Asca men dug deep and two pointed frees from Johnny Kavanagh and excellent scores from Donnelly, Edward Nolan and lively substitute Kieran Dollard narrowed the lead to a goal on 58 minutes – 2-9 to 0-12 – and though they fought tooth & nail to the finish Asca could not get through for the goal they needed to keep their Championship hopes alive.

Asca: Joe O’Reilly (0-1, 45), Bernard O’Brien, Jason Slater, Nigel Brady, Caillin Canning, Pat Kavanagh, Ken Whitney, Gavin Deering, Ronan Donnelly (0-2), Kevin Haughney, John Kavanagh (0-7, 7f), Brendan Short, Edward Nolan (0-1), Mick Long, Paul Murphy. Subs: Peter Griffith, Kieran Dollard (0-1), Ivor Bowe, Jason O’Reilly.

Clonmore: Paudge McGrath, Con Cashin, Colin Doyle, John Connolly, Paddy Gahan, Pauric Lawlor (0-1), Bobby Rooney, Ronan Doyle, David Mulvany, Enda McGrath (0-2), John McGrath (0-2), Con Murphy (1-0), Gavin Byrne (0-2, 1f), Jamie Doyle, Niall Humphries (1-2).

Referee: Pat Keogh (Rathvilly)