County Minor A
Clonmel Commercials 2-12
JK Bracken’s 1-5
What a week for Clonmel Commercials! Crowned county senior champions the previous Sunday, the club’s minor squad made it a county double with a powerful second half showing against J K Brackens at Cashel on Saturday to emerge clearcut winners by ten points.
In the process Commercials completed a hat-trick of county minor A titles and when one factors in that four of this minor team figured in the senior final, and two others were in the senior panel, it gives a fair indication of the strength of Commercials and the magnitude of the task that faced J K Brackens.
To their credit, the Templemore lads had a right good “go” at causing an upset, and they deserved better than the score line suggests, but the reality was that they were out-gunned by a side that was physically superior, and had class to match that physicality.
J K Brackens had their share of quality players too, but they did not have enough of them. They competed with admirable conviction but lacked the fire-power up front to exploit the reasonable possession that came their way, and as the game progressed, and their fate became more apparent, they were punished for some basic mistakes that conceded hard-won possession all too easily to their opponents.
For forty minutes Brackens were seriously in the hunt. As Commercials struggled to find their range in the first half, Brackens, with Colin O Riordan a towering figure at midfield, and Dean McEnroe also to the fore, carried the game to their rivals. Points by McEnroe in the 3rd and 20th minute had them ahead as Commercials shot seven wides in the opening eighteen minutes.
Gradually Clonmel settled into their game. Evan Comerford had their first point in the 22nd minute, Jason Lonergan and Liam Murchan quickly followed suit for the lead by the 26 minute, but Brackens hit back in style when in injury time, after Michael Greed was grounded, Dean McEnroe tucked the resultant penalty away with great aplomb for an interval lead of 1-2 to 0-3.
It was an important score for the Mid men, particularly as they had had the favour of the fresh breeze in the first half, and psychologically, it gave them a huge boost. Commercials moved Colman Kennedy to midfield for the second half and he quickly made his mark with a point. Colin O Riordan replied in the second minute and two minutes later a good chance of a further point was wasted by Brackens.
But now Commercials took over. Points by Evan Comerford and Padraig White levelled the game in the 38th minute. Colman Kennedy landed two great points , Jason Lonergan another, and a Comerford free had Commercials ahead 0-10 to 1-3 entering the last quarter.
Brackens needed a score, the last six having gone to Commercials, but instead it was Commercials who clinched their title when Shane Flynn, a late withdrawal through injury, who had come on, finished a sweet Commercials move with a goal in the 47th minute. Comerford added another point from a free to widen the gap to eight points.
The Templemore lads were not finished however. Dean McEnroe popped over two points from frees to keep their hopes alive, albeit dimly, but Shane Flynn missed a gilt-edged goal chance for Commercials before he was the creator in the 57th minute, of the chance for Comerford to bang home their second goal.
Game over, though Comerford had the final say with a 59th minute point from a free. Brackens could have no complaint. The better team won, even if the victory margin flattered the holders to a great degree.
With three county minor titles on the trot and the senior crown also in the bag, the future is looking very bright for Commercials. Four of this minor team are already figuring in senior selections and it wont be long before others follow. Colman Kennedy and Evan Comerford, the former minor goalkeeper, operating at full forward, were big men in this win but such as Keith Brown, Jason Lonergan, Liam Murchan and Kevin Fahey were others to leave their mark.
Colin O Riordan was J K Bracken’s top performer and looks an outstanding talent. Sean Patrick Guerins, and Dean McEnroe also put in a mighty effort. Liam Murphy, Brian Kennedy, Michael Greed and Jack Fogarty were others who battled hard but in vain.
Clonmel Commercials - Michael Boland; Cathal McGeaeer, Darren Cass, Ross Kennedy; Keith Browne, Kevin Fahey, Michael Connolly; Brian Walsh, Pauric Looram; Jason Lonergan(0-2), Colman Kennedy(0-3), Padraig White(0-1); Ian Fahey, Evan Comerford(1-5), Liam Murchan(0-1) Subs- S Flynn(1-0) for Murchan; Liam Ryan for Connolly; Jake McDonald for Walsh; Liam Ryan for White; Joey Doyle for K Fahey;
J K Brackens – Thomas Morrissey; Lee Fennell, Liam Murphy, Conor Burke; Thomas Brett, Brian Kennedy, James Bergin; Colin O Riordan(0-1), Sean Patrick Guerins; Jordan Moloney, Dean McEnroe(1-4), Karl Stakelum; Eamon Kennedy, Michael Greed, Jack Fogarty; Subs- Michael O Meara for Stakelum; Joe Doyle for Fennell;
Ref - Sean Lonergan