13th January ‘13, Division One, Nenagh AFC ‘B’ 1 vs Clodiagh Rangers ‘A’ 2: Clodiagh Rangers ‘A’ travelled to Islandbawn on a rain strewn Sunday morning to take on Nenagh AFC ‘B’ in this Division One league fixture.
The first half was played at a very high tempo with both teams confidently passing the ball about the pitch and neither side allowing the other to dwell on the ball for long. Nenagh AFC had the better of the early exchanges but never managed to threaten the Clodiagh Rangers goal, and were restricted to opportunities from set pieces. Clodiagh Rangers grew into the game as the half wore on and went close to breaking the deadlock with shots from Paul Doyle and Matt Tommy Stevens that forced the home team’s keeper into action. The breakthrough goal arrived for the Drombone side ten minutes from half time with a perfectly executed counter-attack goal. A defensive clearance from a Nenagh AFC attack found Gareth Foxton on the right wing, who advanced beyond halfway before delivering a well weighted cross behind the Nenagh AFC defence into the path of Paul Doyle, who slotted the ball beyond the onrushing keeper in contemptible fashion. Clodiagh Rangers began to control the midfield in the second half as superior fitness levels began to tell, however they found themselves back on level terms before the hour mark when Shane O’Gorman pounced on a deflected freekick to hook the ball beyond Adrian Cooke in goals. Clodiagh Rangers responded well and regained the lead with twenty minutes to play with Gareth Foxton involved again. Barry O’Loughlin played Foxton through on the left wing and his inviting cross was met emphatically by the head of second half substitute Owen Shortt. Clodiagh Rangers might have won by clearer margin, as they created a hatful of chances in the closing quarter hour but satisfied themselves with a one-goal margin and three deserved points.
Team: Adrian Cooke; Paul English, Greg Fewer, Matt McCullagh, Barry O’Loughlin; Gareth Foxton, James Murray, Denis McCullagh, Matt Ryan; Paul Doyle, Tommy Stevens. Subs: Owen Shortt, Shane O’Dwyer.
13th January ‘13, Tipperary Cup, Cloughjordan ‘B’ 0 vs Clodiagh Rangers ‘B’ 4: Clodiagh Rangers ‘B’ made the trip to Cloughjordan on Sunday afternoon for Round One of the Tipperary Cup, with Cloughjordan ‘B’ looking for revenge for their league defeat at the hands of the Drombane side the previous weekend. Clodiagh Rangers proved too strong for Cloughjordan once more however and two first half goals from in form Paul Ryan set the visitors on their way to a comfortable victory. A solid defensive display from Clodiagh Rangers in the second half curtailed any hopes that Cloughjordan had of a recovery, and Paul Ryan put the result beyond doubt on seventy minutes when he completed his hatrick. Jack Ryan rounded off the scoring with five minutes to play and book Clodiagh Rangers place in Round Two of Tipperary Cup.
Team: Keith Ryan; Shane Dwyer, John Ryan, Michael Ryan, Colm Kennedy; Seamus Cullagh, Jack Ryan, Stephen Gleeson, LJ Ryan; Patrick Purcell, Paul Ryan.
Subs: Pat Phelan, Vincent Ryan, Paudie Ryan.
12th January ‘13, Youths Division One, Clodiagh Rangers Yts 0 vs Ardcroney Yts 1: Clodiagh Rangers Youths entertained their Ardcroney counterparts, the league leaders, in Drombane on Saturday afternoon, and were bitterly unlucky not to take any points from the encounter.
The game got off to a lively start with the home side having the better of the early exchanges, with Paul Kennedy and Damien Larkin coming close on a number of occasions. The best chance fell to Kennedy whose explosive speed saw him break free of the Ardcroney defence and chip over the advancing keeper, just to see his effort creep agonizingly wide of the upright.
Ardcroney scored the only goal of the game midway through the first half with a long-range effort against the run of play after a loose defensive clearance.
The visitors’ keeper was the busiest player on the pitch by far, and turned in a man-of-the-match display to deny Clodiagh Rangers any return from what was otherwise a very impressive performance against their vaunted opponents.
Paul Kennedy was twice denied an equalizer by acrobatic saves from the Ardcroney custodian to leave the final score at one nil to the visitors. This defeat all but signals the end of any intentions about winning the league, but Clodiagh Rangers can look forward to a concentrated effort in the League Cup following encouraging performances against Ardcroney and Nenagh in recent weeks.