IFC Relegation Playoff Clonmore 1-14 Grange 1-9

November 8, 2018

Clonmore had to battle all the way against a typically determined Grange team tonight to retain our Intermediate status for 2015. As usual, the match was a cliff-hanger as Grange pulled the deficit down to a goal on 59 minutes and the Clonmore goal led a charmed life as Grange missed two goal chances before we broke the siege and kicked two late points to seal victory.

It was obvious from the start that neither team was going down without a fight and there was no shortage of physical exchanges throughout the match.  Referee Jonathon Murphy handed out at least 8 yellow cards and one red (to a Grange player on 50 minutes) in a tense encounter.

Grange opened the scoring with a point but Clonmore put together some lovely fast and penetrating moves to race into a 1-3 to 0-1 lead on ten minutes. Our goal was a thing of beauty with Con Murphy, reborn at centre-forward, firing a great pass to Niall Humphries who rounded his man and fed a lovely ball to Shane McGrath who showed a real touch of class to dummy the goalie before planting the ball in the net.

As always, big John Murphy proved a handful for Clonmore but his influence was limited by good marking from John Kelly, Shane Murphy and Ronan Doyle over the hour. Nevertheless, he kicked three first half points to keep his team in the game at half-time 1-6 to 0-5, our points coming from Con (3,2f), Shock (2) and Niall.

After scoring the first point of the second half through Shock, we allowed Grange to take over for about ten minutes and they kicked four points in a row to bring them to within a single point of us – 1-7 to 0-9 on 42minutes. Then Gavin Byrne started to get more into the game around midfield and his influence swung the game back our way. Substitute Owen Coleman sallied forward from wing back for a vital point to settle the nerves. Con Murphy (2,1f), PJ Byrne and Adam Byrne added good points to put us into a seemingly unassailable lead of 1-12 to 0-9 on 58 minutes.

But on 59 minutes, a high ball into the goal area ended up in the net to leave just a goal between the teams (1-12 to 1-9) and our supporters needing valium for the five minutes of injury time. Grange missed two clear goal chances to equalise before we eventually managed to work the ball forward where two of our youngest players, Adam and PJ, cooly slotted over points to put us out of our misery.

It would be wrong to single out any individuals as all 16 players showed great guts, determination and pride in the jersey to keep the club up Intermediate for 2015. Well done lads – ye played your hearts out and deserved this important win. Roll on 2015.

Team: Paddy Byrne, Pauric Lawlor, John Kelly, Andrew Byrne, Paddy Gahan, Shane Murphy, Jordan Kane, Ronan Doyle, Anthony Byrne, PJ Byrne (0-2), Con Murphy (0-5,3f), Adam Byrne (0-2), Niall Humphries (0-1), Shane McGrath (1-3), Gavin Byrne. Sub: Owen Coleman (0-1) for Jordan Kane (HT).

Photo: Great to see that Shane Murphy lost none of his appetite for football during his sojourn Down Under – he was certainly back to his swashbuckling best against Grange.