Clonmel Commercials 1-11
A fisted goal 5 minutes from the end by substitute Naill Kelly proved to be the decisive score of a highly entertaining county senior football clash in Cahir on Monday evening. Aherlow who led by three points early in the second half will rue missed opportunities which cost them their chance to advance to round two.
Commercials got off to a perfect start winning the throw in and pointing in the opening seconds through Kevin Harney. Frantic early exchange saw Commercials enjoy a good opening but facing a resolute Aherlow defence Commercials failed to add to Harney’s opener and a brilliant run up the left by full forward Bernard O’Brien led to a Thomas Fahey goal for Aherlow in the 9th minute.
O’Brien pointed a minute later to rock Commercials however their response was top class. Five unanswered points followed for Commercials to send them into a two point lead after 20 minutes. Commercials lined out for this county championship with a very young side and infact their six forwards were all under 21.
These youngsters acquitted themselves very well with Michael Quinlivan, Seamus Kennedy and county minor Colman Kennedy all delivering excellent performances.
Seamus Grogan narrowed the gap in the 22nd minute and this one point margin was maintained until the break.
A storming opening 10 minutes by Aherlow produced 4 points and had a goal chance for Bernard O’Brien found the net in the 8th minute it could have seen victory for the men from the west. Aherlow were totally dominant at this stage of the game and Commercials were struggling to come to grips with the situation . With points from Laurence Coskeran, Cathal O’Shea, Mark Hanley, and Bernard O’Brien sending Aherlow into a three point lead it looked good for them. A wonderful move down the right hand side saw O’Brien through on goal but his blazing shot flew wide of Paul Nolan’s left hand post.
Colman Kennedy rallied Commercials with two points in the following 4 minutes to reduce the deficit to a single point. Seamus Grogan pointed in the 16th minute for Aherlow to restore some daylight between the sides. Commercials had moved Michael Quinlivan to centre field and he rose brilliantly to the challenge. He was excellent in the air and carrying the ball forward he led the Commercials comeback.
Seamus Kennedy was having an excellent hour and he too was instrumental in Commercials revival. Wing back Danny Madigan pointed for Commercials 13 minutes from the end as the game developed into a really excellent tussle by two totally committed sides. The sides were level with just 7 minutes remaining when Cathal O’Shea raced through the centre for Aherlow.
As he bared down on goal he pointed with a goal at his mercy. Aherlow were yet again in front as the game entered the final stages. A pointed free from Quinlivan levelled matters 6 minutes from the end.
Substitute Luke Moore’s speculative shot a minute later hung in the air and Niall Kelly rose with Aherlow keeper Gordan Peters. Kelly got the vital touch and the ball ended up in Peters’ net . Now Commercials were very much in the driving seat and their defence remained tight and proved too strong for Aherlow to break down in the closing minutes.
Commercials will be well pleased with this hard fought win. Their team spirit was excellent and the performances of some of their younger players in the heat of championship battle will be hugely encouraging to the team management. Aherlow’s contribution to this game was immense and they will rue missed goal opportunities.
They must now win the west title to earn a county quarter final spot and with this performance they must have a real chance of doing that.
Commercials: Paul Nolan, Fergal Condon, Ciaran Ó Connell, Stephen Buckley, Donal Lynch, Danny Madigan, Eamon Hanrahan, Kevin Harney, Jason Lonergan, Seamus Kennedy, Aldo Matassa, Jamie Peters, Michael Quinlivan, Colman Kennedy. Subs: Fergal O’ Callaghan, Niall Kelly, Luke Moore, Alan Lonergan , John Harney
Aherlow: Gordan Peters, Mark Hanley, Chris McDonald, Ed O’Mear, Sean Mullins, Ciaran McDonald, John Hennessey, Mark O’Brien, Cathal O Shea, Thomas Hanley, Lawerence Coskeran, Seamus Grogan, Paddy Hennessey, Bernard O’Brien, Thomas Fahey.
Referee: Paddy Russell.