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Fionn Kelleher of St Joseph’s Doora/Barefield in action against Darren McNamara of Ennistymon during their U-21A football semi-final at Cooraclare. Photograph by John Kelly

Rouine’s injury time winner ruins St Joseph’s final dream

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U-21A Football Championship Semi-Final

Ennistymon 2-4 St Joseph’s Doora/Barefield 1-6

Delayed shock is a medical term to describe if the victim does not process what they have experienced straight away. In Cooraclare this was witnessed under floodlights when Eanna Rouine’s 63rd minute goal did not register immediately with either side and even when it did the Ennistymon management were somehow still wondering how it came about. The end result was a county final place snatched from a stunned St Joseph’s side who had welcomed the Ennistymon side onto them in the final minutes and ultimately costing them a tussle with favourites Corofin next week.
Sleet, cold wind and rain coming from the Atlantic on the Tuesday before Christmas may not sound an appetising vision for a county Under 21A semi final and still for such a low scoring event this game did have its moments especially in an action packed final ten minutes.
In such a low scoring outing the devil in the detail reveals that both Ennistymon and St Joseph’s shared 17 wides with Ennsitymon winning this tussle 11-6. Indeed, had the North Clare side kicked their frees over there would have been no need for Rouine’s late late intervention.
Tom Curran who has experienced a long and active season on the field opened the scoring for Donagh Vaughan’s side with five minutes elapsed in Cooraclare that experienced a hailstone shower to remember half an hour prior to throw in as close on 200 spectators were present.
County man Brendy Rouine made Ennistymon wait until the 10th minute for his sides first score coming from a free. St Joseph’s had threatened an early goal that was repelled but did shake Conor Gallagher’s net when following a four man move that saw the ball bounce in front of Joe Raftery who blasted home from close range to send his side three clear with 12 minutes played.
The heavy conditions did not deter good fast flowing play as St Joseph’s were pushing up high on the Ennistymon kickout and whilst it did annoy their opponents no mistakes of any consequences occurred in their clearances. Tom Curran added a 16th minute score before Darren McNamara who went off in the second half matched Currran’s effort. Sean Rynne sent a scorable effort wide but soon after a brilliant ball from Brendy Rouine released the inrushing wing forward Ryan Barry and he made no mistake to level the game with 20 minutes played.
Despite end to end fare and indeed a period that saw St Joseph’s attack with no success it was Kealan Guyler who notched up the only score of the final ten minutes of the first half to leave Ennistymon ahead by the minimum, (1-3) to (1-2).
St Josephs introduced Ian Williams and Darragh McMahon for the second half with the first score of the new half coming in the 32nd minute from Dara Nagle and the lead point soon after from centre back Fionn Kelleher. When Nicki Hardiman sent over a great effort in the 37th minute it did appear as if St Joseph’s were about to assume superiority on the scoreboard as Ennistymon were missing scorable frees. After 41 minutes Tom Curran with his third and his sides final score of the game saw St Joseph’s lead (1-6) to (1-3).
No score was witnessed for the intervening 15 minutes as Ennistymon were for the majority of the time in control of the ball but were wasteful. St Joseph’s on occasion did break out but the efforts of the first half appeared to tire them. Brendy Rouine hit the post from a free and sent another effort wide as did Eoin Rouine. Finally, Brendy got it right and there was just the dangerous two-point lead for St Joseph’s to cling onto.
The game should have been closed out by the Mid Clare side but on a rare foray upfield when the ball should have been put out of play Ennistymon turned over and raced downfield and a ball sent into the square was palmed to the net and despite protestations about a square ball the goal stood and St Joseph’s were out.
Semi finals are all about getting into the final and Ennistymon would need a greater showing against Corofin who may be tiring especially after the hurling final this weekend.
Best for the winners included a mean defence of Conor Gallagher, Dara Rouine, Ciaran McMahon and Darragh Connelly. Up front Ryan Barry, Eoin Rouine, Brendy Rouine and Sean Rynne tried hardest and this talented set of scorers will wish to show greater form in the final.
St Joseph’s not managing one score in the final 20 plus minutes and defending a miserly three-point lead cost them a final place.

Ennistymon: Conor Gallagher, James Cullinan, Darragh Conneely, Dara Rouine, John Murphy, Ciaran McMahon, Brian McNamara, Liam Cotter, Eoin Rouine, Brendy Rouine, Joshua Vaughan, Ryan Barry, Darren McNamara, Sean Rynne, Kealan Guyler. Subs: Niall Hogan for Brian McNamara, Eanna Rouine for McNamara.

Scorers: Eanna Rouine, Ryan Barry (1-0) Brendy Rouine (0-2), Kealan Guyler, Darren McNamara (0-1)

St Joseph’s Doora/Barefield: Patrick Bugler, Darragh Whelan Jack Scahill, Conall Dorgan, Cian McDonough, Fionn Kelleher, Samuel Costello, James Curran, Tom McDonald, Eoghan Talty, Dara Nagle, Cian Moloney, Tom Curran, Joe Raftery, Nicki Hardiman.
Subs: Matthew Power for J Curran, Ian Williams for Moloney, Darragh McMahon for Scahill, Francis Meaney for Talty

Scorers: Joe Raftery (1-0),
Tom Curran (0-3), Dara Nagle, Fionn Kelleher, Nicki Hardiman (0-1) each

Referee: Barry Keating (Lissycasey)

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