By Brian McDonnell at Templemore
Borrisokane battled their way into the county under-21B football final on Friday night thanks to a superb second half display which saw the north Tipperary champions overcome a two-point half-time deficit in impressive fashion at Templemore.
While Clonakenny-Moneygall will rue an indiscipline which saw both Liam Mullally and Pa Ryan sent off Borrisokane were good value for their six-point win. Indeed, Borrisokane took the lead for the first time in the 40th minute and then charged toward the final whistle with goals from Éanna Dooley and Gary Power punctuating a determined display. For Borrisokane Andy Austin, Brian Davis, Gary Power and Shane Dooley all impressed.
The excellent Bobby Bergin helped Clonakenny-Moneygall into a 0-2 to no-score lead inside the opening five minutes as Borrisokane struggled to find their feet.
In the eighth minute Borrisokane’s Willie Brooks enjoyed a sight of goal, but he rushed the opportunity and the north champions had to wait until the ninth before Shane Dooley opened their account thanks to a placed opportunity.
A smashing Bobby Bergin point re-established Clonakenny-Moneygall’s two-point lead, but Andy Austin then emerged as a real a force in the game for Borrisokane. His powerful running led to two points in quick succession which tied the game at 0-3 apiece by the 14th minute - the first of these was scored by Austin himself while Brian Donnelly cracked over a terrific second with the outside of his right boot.
Clonakenny-Moneygall responded with points from John Joe Ryan and John Sutton to lead 0-5 to 0-3 before Borrisokane ‘keeper Shane Stapleton made a fine save to deny John Joe Ryan a three-pointer in the 25th minute.
Three minutes later it was the turn of Clonakenny-Moneygall custodian Stephen Russell to make a fingertip save which denied Brian Donnelly a spectacular goal.
On the half hour mark a Shane Dooley free left a single point between them, but Clonakenny-Moneygall closed out the half with a classy Bobby Bergin point to leave the half-time score reading 0-6 to 0-4 in favour of the mid champions.
Borrisokane needed to address the influence of Bobby Bergin on this contest and did so in the second half by moving Brian Davis back to mark the Clonakenny-Moneygall danger man. And, that tactic appeared to work a treat as Clonakenny-Moneygall were held scoreless for 27 minutes of the second half. Meanwhile Borrisokane took full advantage. Points from Gary Power and a Shane Dooley free had the sides level as early as the 33rd minute before Clonakenny-Moneygall full-back Liam Mullally was shown a straight red card in the 39th minute for an awkward-looking foot trip on the raiding Shane Dooley. The wing-forward then converted the resultant free and Borrisokane led for the first time - 0-7 to 0-6.
Clonakenny-Moneygall made a determined effort to get on terms, but they shipped a heart-breaking score in the 48th minute when Éanna Dooley rounded his man and belted home a terrific right-foot shot to help Borrisokane into a 1-7 to 0-6 lead.
Three minutes later Clonakenny-Moneygall centre-back Pa Ryan was sent off for a second bookable offence, but to their credit Clonakenny-Moneygall battled on. Almost immediately Clonakenny-Moneygall conceded a point to Gary Power, but two late Bobby Bergin frees dragged Clonakenny-Moneygall within a goal of Borrisokane in the 59th minute - 0-8 to 1-8.
Then, and right on the hour mark, Bobby Bergin eluded his marker and created the room for Michael John Carroll to race through on goal.
Carroll fired in a rasping shot, but ‘keeper Shane Stapleton conjured a great save and a minute later Borrisokane scooted down the field and Ger Reddan picked out Gary Power with a great pass. The hard-working wing-forward then buried a terrific goal.
Borrisokane: Shane Stapleton, Paddy Gavin, Séamus Moriarty, David Coen, Shane Nevin, Enda Brennan, Seán Hartnett, Brian Davis, Andy Austin (0-1), Gary Power (1-2), Brian Donnelly (0-1), Shane Dooley (0-4, 0-4 frees), Ger Reddan, William Brooks, Éanna Dooley (1-0). Subs: (37th) Andrew Nevin for David Coen, (48th) Brian Dooley for Shane Nevin.
Clonakenny-Moneygall: Stephen Russell, Paul Bergin, Liam Mullally, Cian Murray, Brendan Toohey, Pa Ryan, Enda Quinlan, William Costigan, John Sutton (0-1), Michael John Carroll, Bobby Bergin (0-6, 0-4 frees), John Joe Ryan (0-1), Pádraig Egan, Kieran Quinlan, Brendan Quinlan. Subs:
(HT) Brian Teehan for Brendan Quinlan, (35th) Anthony Devereaux for John Sutton, (53rd) Seán Fogarty for Kieran Quinlan, (58th) PJ Madden for Pádraig Egan.
Referee: Michael Hassett (Moycarkey-Borris).