SFL Div 2 semi-final Clonmore 0-10 Eire Og 1-13

November 8, 2018

By Paul Donaghy, Carlow People

Eire Og              1-13

Clonmore           0-10


Although they only scored twice to Clonmore’s eight points in the last 28 minutes, Eire Og had little difficulty in qualifying to meet either Ballon or Naomh Eoin in the SFL Division 2 final (July 13) in Dr. Cullen Park on Friday.


If the east border team could have finished, especially in the opening half, with the same assurance with which they carried ball, it might have been considerably tighter in the end.


That said the YIs were under no strain to control the game even if they were struggling in the middle but with a ‘third’ midfielder in pivot Paul McElligott who had a fine match and forced Clonmore to more or less abandon the central route.


There seems to be a crisis of confidence in the loser’s forward line and it was not until veteran John McGrath abandoned his 14 role for a more central responsibility in the second half that they got motoring.


The game was over at the break even if Clonmore opened the scoring through Gavin Byrne in the third minute. Ronan Murphy equalised at the pavilion end two later and they steamed away to a 1-8 to 0-2 interval lead; the goal in the 11th minute from top-scoring Stephen Brennan who finished a sortie involving McElligott , Eoin Ruth and Gary Powell who had a shot deflected before the No. 13 found the net.


Clonmore only scored once between the third and 42nd minute; that a free from Byrne in the 18th minute, and noticeable was that while Eire Og did not register a wide in the first half, Clonmore followed suit in the second.


Eire Og had both feet in the final when they went 1-1 to 0-2 with points from Powell (free), Mark Corcoran and Alan Callinan (free) by the 41st minute. There was a diminution of effort from there on.


Clonmore’s three points from play from their opening sextet was a poor return for some decent football and some neat distribution, but few wanted he responsibility of putting the ball over the bar, although a volley from substitute Niall Humphries in he 45th minute might have found the net and minutes he saw a shot blocked by former Donegal goalkeeper Gerry McGill whose other sporting responsibility is coach of the Dublin ladies team.


Unfortunately the horse had bolted by the time Clonmore got their act together but they raised some hope for a stab at the intermediate championship, even if their mentors are more concerned on the building process through new and youthful members of the panel.


They had admirable performers in John Kelly, Paddy Gahan and the very authorative Bobby Rooney in defence, John Connolly in the middle but only Ronan Doyle, Paul Byrne and John McGrath made any impact up front.


Eire Og have grooved the winning habit, and it shows. They play with a panache others fail to fashion, and on Friday they were comfortable with Richard Mahon, Callinan, Colm Byrne and McElligott reliable at the back and Mark Corcoran, Powell and Brennan delivering the goods at the scoring end.


The teams shared 34 frees with Eire Og kicking eight second half wides.


Eire Og: Gerry McGill Richard Mahon Alan Callinan 0-1 free Shane Mahon Colm Byrne Paul McElligott Colin Griffin Darragh Coffey Ronan Murphy 0-1 Mark Corcoran 0-1 Gary Powell 0-4 frees Cian Clancy Stephen Brennan 1-5, two frees Jody Morrissey Eoin Ruth 0-1. Subs: John Dowling for Morrissey inj 19; Mark O’Sullivan for Coffey 45.

Clonmore: Paudge McGrath James Doyle John Kelly Ger Doyle, Paddy Gahan 0-1 Bobby Rooney Shane Murphy John Connolly Padraig Lawlor Ronan Doyle 0-1 Con Murphy Paul Byrne 0-1 Jamie Doyle, John McGrath 0-1, Gavin Byrne 0-4, three frees. Subs: David Mulvanny 0-1 for James Doyle 17; Colin Doyle for Ger Doyle 21; Niall Humphries 0-1 for Jamie Doyle; Con Cashin for Shane Murphy 48.

Ref: Seamus Doyle.