Co U-21 B Football Final
Keeper Stapleton the Borrisokane Hero

Borrisokane 1-11

Borrisokane 1-11

Clonmel Og 0-08

Goalkeeper Shane Stapleton was one of the Borrisokane heroes as his penalty save at a crucial stage of this showpiece was decisive in North Divisional champions securing a historic first County Under 21 B Football Championship title overcoming South Divisional champions Clonmel Og by six points in Holycross on Saturday evening.

Clonmel Og, winners in 2006 went into this final as hotly tipped favourites, but a penalty miss plus kicking five possible chances wides in each half was to prove very costly. Borrisokane had just six attempts off target – three in each half - were more clinical in front of goal leading by 1-5 to 0-5 at half-time and having survived the penalty scare ran out deserving winners.

Borrisokane registered the opening score with Enda Dooley finishing off a Gary Power cross-field pass and the North champions doubled their lead in the 8th minute when Shane Dooley slotted over a free-kick after Peter McSherry was fouled. Clonmel Og who struggled in front of goal, eventually got off the mark when danger man Dean Kelleher scored from a Jason Hahessey pass to reduce the deficit to a single point in the 10th minute.

Borrisokane responded in style raising the green flag in the 12th minute when Andy Austin found Enda Dooley and his cross-field pass found the unmarked Shane Dooley who fired low past goalie Cianan O’Sullivan low into the corner of the net to go 1-2 to 0-1 clear.

A poor clearance from the Borrisokane keeper Shane Stapleton when straight to Eric Smith who reduced the deficit in the 15th minute.

But with Clonmel Og continuing to miscue in front of goal from both play and set-pieces, it saw Borrisokane add another two points with 30 metre free-kick from Shane Dooley followed by a point from open play by skipper Andy Austin to go five points clear with ten minutes of the half left.

Clonmel Og eventually brought it back to three with two unanswered scores from a close range Dean Kelleher free-kick and it was followed by Borrisokane goalie Shane Stapleton did well to tip a shot from Eric Smith that looked to be heading into the top right hand corner of the goal over his crossbar. In the dying minutes of the half Shane Dooley and Dean Kelleher exchanged free-kicks to give Borrisokane a three point advantage at half-time.

Clonmel Og dominated the opening fifteen minutes after the changeover but all they had to show for their hard work was a brilliantly struck free-kick out on the sideline from captain Matthew Norris in the 38th minute.

The critical moment of this showpiece came in the 46th minute when Clonmel Og were awarded a penalty after Cian Hogan was illegally stopped that would have put them ahead. From the resultant set-piece it saw Borrisokane goalie Shane Stapleton equal to Jason Hahessy attempt. Not only was the ball cleared it saw Brian Davis being fouled at the other end of the park and Shane Dooley from the resultant free-kick extended Borrisokane lead to three again.

That penalty miss proved to be the turning point as it saw Borrisokane open up a five point lead with Gary Power scoring from a Peter McSherry rebound and Shane Dooley hit a long range point to go 1-8 to 0-6 clear with ten minutes left.

But Clonmel Og although continuing to spurn opportunities brought it back to three thanks to a brace of free-kicks from Dean Kelleher; a bit late in the day; had eventually found his range.

Over the dying minutes Borrisokane profited from a string of swift counter attacks as Willie Brooks was on hand to add the final three points of the evening. Scoring his first from a Brian Donnelly pass; his second came from swift inter-passing movement involving Sean Hartnett and Brian Davis; before Ger Redden provided the final one for Brooks’ third giving Borrisokane a richly deserved victory and that very first County Tipperary U21B Football Championship.

Borrisokane: Shane Stapleton, Paddy Gavin, Seamus Moriarty, Shane Nevin, Enda Brennan, Peter McSherry, Sean Hartnett, Andrew Austin (Capt) (0-1) Gary Power (0-1), Brian Davis, Shane Dooley (1-5; 4 frees), Ger Reddan, Willie Brooks (0-3), Enda Dooley (0-1) Brian Donnelly. Substitutes: Andrew Nevin for E. Brennan (40), Sean Brennan for Brooks (63)

Clonmel Og: Cianian O’Sullivan, Eddie Power, Aaron Arrigan, Shane Fehilly, Dean Horton, Darragh Kearney, Marc Aherne, Matthew Morris (0-1), Graham Quinn, Eric Smith (0-2), Cian Hogan, Colm O’Connell, Conor Arrigan, Dean Kelleher (0-5; 4 frees), Jason Hahessy

Referee: Tom McGrath (Loughmore/Castleliney)