SFL Div 2 semi-final: Clonmore 0-7 Ballinabranna 0-7

November 8, 2018

Report by Kieran Murphy, The Nationalist.


Both these sides played out a disappointing draw in this SFL Division 2 semi-final in Dr. Cullen Park on Sunday evening. Ballinabranna will be ruing the fact that they kicked fourteen wides and failed to take the game by the scruff of the neck when Clonmore were reduced to fourteen men in the last quarter. One can only imagine how they would have felt if their opponents had taken a great chance to win the game deep into injury time. Relief was written all over their faces as Bobby Rooney shot wide when it seemed easier to put the ball over the bar. “He was off balance and there were two lads closing him down,” explained Clonmore selector, Paddy Quigley afterwards.


Ballinabranna forward, Jimmy Cahill,  felt the problem ran slightly deeper for his side . “We couldn’t keep our heads. I think we left it behind us. So many wides,” he lamented. It was five points to two at half time and if the players were honest with themselves they would have to admit that the entertainment value was limited. Both sides made far too many mistakes and there was little fluent football. Clonmore’s Gavin Byrne was the most incisive player on view and his three points from placed balls were the highlight of the half. Quigley said the club is looking at the bigger picture. “We have a lot of young lads playing. There was only one lad over thirty who started that game for us tonight. We need to bring as many young lads on as possible for when we go senior we want to stay up there and we are building for the future,” he explained.


It was disappointing to see the second half continue in much the same vein. Jason Carter brought off a great double save to deny David Mulvany and Paul Byrne. “He has been doing that all year,’ said Cahill. A goal would have spurred Clonmore to victory. It proved to be a turning point.


Clonmore’s Shane Murphy was dismissed in the final quarter for a second bookable offence and it was only then the game livened up. Two frees by Damien Sheehan tied the game but Clonmore almost stole it at the death with that Rooney miss. Owen Paul Keating became the second player to make the long walk when he also picked up his second yellow. It mattered little at that stage.  Both sides will surely improve the next day.


Clonmore: Colm McGrath; Wesley Byrne, Colm Doyle, Martin Byrne; Shane Murphy, Pauric Lawlor, Bobby Rooney; Con Murphy, Willie Rooney (0-1); Enda McGrath (0-1), Gavin Byrne (0-4fs), James Walsh, Eoin Coleman (0-1), David Mulvany, Niall Humphries. Subs: Paul Byrne for Walsh (H/T), James Doyle for M.Byrne (41mins), John McGrath for G. Byrne (55mins).

Ballinabranna: Jason Carter; Michael Jackson, Willie Ryan, Willie Kavanagh; Gary Dunne, Ray Buggy, John Sheehan; Bobby Daly, Owen Paul Keating; Damien Sheehan (0-4,3fs), Jim Dunne (0-2,1f), Eric Robinson; Jimmy Cahill (0-1), Brian Kinsella, Michael Lowry. Subs: James Kehoe for Lowry (43mins), Adrian Brennan for Kinsella (49mins). Referee: Brian Deering (Rathvilly).
PHOTO: David Mulvany brings a great save from Jason Carter in the B’Branna goal