Minor C'ship Div 2 Semi-final: Clonmore 3-7 Palatine 3-5

November 8, 2018

The Minors give the club a huge lift after the disappointment of the IFC semi-final by coming back from 6 points down to win with a last minute goal from hat-trick hero Gary Byrne

The lads produced one of the best ever displays of commitment and never-say-die attitude from a Clonmore team to come back from 6 points down after 38 minutes to fight their way back into the game and run out deserving winners by 2 points.

A strong cross field wind was causing havoc early on and it took both teams a long time to get to grips with it. As a result there was no score until the 16th minute when Adam Byrne opened Clonmore’s account and this was quickly followed by a left footed point from Dale McNamara. Pal then got going with midfielder Shane O’Neill scoring a free and when a long ball deceived Paddy Byrne in the wind, O’Neill pounced for a fortuitous goal to put Pal ahead against the run of play.  Gary Byrne kicked a good long range free but Pal then added 3 pts in a row to put them 1-4 to 0-3 ahead approaching half-time.

A great run by Jordan Kane put him through one-on-one with the keeper who made a great save to prevent a goal.  All was not lost, however, as Anthony Byrne expertly converted the resulting ’45’ to leave it 1-4 to 0-4 at HT.

The second half was only 3 minutes old when Pal were awarded a softish penalty when their dangerous No 13 went down under what seemed like a fair challenge from the excellent Joe Hickey. Pal scored the peno to put them 2-4 to 0-4 ahead but the Clonmore lads were in no mood to lie down and came storming back. After fielding a long delivery, Gary Byrne buried the ball in the Pal net to bring us right back into the game and Dale McNamara added 2 quick points to put us just one point behind on 40mins – 2-4 to 1-6.

Then Gary stuck another rocket in the Pal net and followed up with a long free off the post to put us 2-7 to 2-4 ahead on 45mins. A second  Palatine penalty for a foot-block brought the sides level again at 2-7 to 3-4 on 49mins. Clonmore had a few chances to go back in front before Shane O’Neill kicked what looked like it might be the winner from another long range free to put Pal one up on 59 minutes.

In an exciting and tense finish, Clonmore launched a last wave of attacks. A long shot for a point was caught by the Pal keeper but in doing so he collided with the post. Obviously injured, the keeper lay on the ball on the end line – it could have been a penalty for a foul on the ball in the small square but, maybe out of sympathy for the unfortunate goalkeeper, Ref Seamie Doyle gave a ’45’. With normal time well up we would have been happy to see Anthony Byrne repeat his feat from the first half and kick the ’45’ over the bar. But his kick dropped short, was spilled by a defender into the hands of the grateful Gary Byrne who gleefully stuck it in the net to put Clonmore 3-7 to 3-5 up in injury time. The Ref blew the final whistle shortly after and the celebrations began.

A hard earned but well deserved win and a wonderful all round team performance so well done to all the players & mentors and best wishes in the Final (against either Slaney Rangers or Burren Rangers who play In Bagenalstown on Saturday, 21st, at 5pm).

TEAM: Paddy Byrne, Joe Hickey, Tom Cashin, Larry Doyle, David Doyle, Andrew Byrne, Sean Doyle, Anthony Byrne (0-1), Jordan Kane, Enda McGrath, Adam Byrne (0-1), Dale McNamara (0-3), Jason Byrne, Gary Byrne (3-2, 2f), Jonathon Byrne. Subs: Daniel Quigley, Michael Kealy.

PHOTO: Hat-trick hero Gary Byrne scored 3-2 for the Minors in their great win over Palatine.