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Clondegad manage to hold on

Clondegad 2-6 Kildysart-Coolmeen 1-7

NINE points ahead at halftime, 2-5 to 0-2, Clondegad almost capitulated thereafter before eventually clinching the 2009 U-21B title.They were definitely the better team but that fact didn’t appear to infuse them with a ruthless match-winning ethos. They were left hanging on when the result should have been beyond doubt.
Some credit must be given to Kildysart-Coolmeen, who could have dropped the head at the interval. Instead, aided by the breeze and the incline in Cooraclare, they made a match of it. The quality and speed of football wasn’t very high but for a few minutes towards the end, an element of excitement was palpable as the amalgamation closed in on their estuary neighbours.

Clondegad captain Gary Brennan collects the cup following their win in the U-21 county football final at Cooraclare. Photograph by John Kelly.Earlier, tied at two apiece, Clondegad were given a huge boost when Gary Brennan’s lofted point effort dropped under the crossbar and escaped the grasp of Kildysart-Coolmeen goalkeeper Pa McMahon. Brennan pointed a 45 shortly afterwards, while Podge McMahon, restricted by a hamstring complaint, pointed twice inside the last 10 minutes of the opening half. The second was the stand out score of the first period.
Sandwiched between McMahon’s brace, Liam Meaney won and then buried the resultant penalty, having been fouled by Cian Cleary.
Earlier in the half the Brennan brothers, Gary and Shane, kicked Clondegad’s opening points, with Shane McMahon and Joe Corry replying.
Clondegad only managed a single second-half score. However, Francie Neylon’s 15th minute point was the score of the game, as he attacked from centre back before finding the target from 40 yards.
Prior to that score, Damien Murtagh, who scored all of the loser’s 1-5 total from placed balls in the second half, kicked two early frees.
He pointed two more after Neylon’s point, leaving Clondegad 2-6 to 0-6 up, nine minutes from full time.
Two minutes later, however, Kieran Ayers won a penalty, his shot having been foot-blocked by Clondegad goalkeeper David O’Loughlin.
Murtagh netted the spot kick to reduce the deficit to just three points. But they could only manage another pointed free from Murtagh as Clondegad clung on to their diminishing advantage.
Clondegad's Gary Brennan is tackled by Kildysart-Colmeen's Cathal O Connor and Damien Hill during their U-21 b county football final at Cooraclare. Photograph by John Kelly.Although he gave away a penalty, David O’Loughlin played well in goal for Clondegad. Full-back Brian Murphy had an outstanding game. Indeed, the full-back line was probably the winner’s most impressive unit. Gary Brennan played some good football in midfield, while Podge McMahon scored two nice points up front.
Keith O’Connor looked more comfortable at midfield when moved there after halftime by Kildysart-Coolmeen, for whom Shane McMahon, Kevin Corry, who won several frees, and Alan Marrinan, gave everything. Damien Murtagh’s free and penalty taking helped them back into the game.

Clondegad: David O’Loughlin; Seamus Sheehan, Brian Murphy, Cormac Ryan; James Murphy, Francie Neylon, Marty Lynch; Gary Brennan (captain), Niall Keane; Liam Meaney, Francie O’Reilly, David Sheehan; Podge McMahon, Shane Brennan, Ger Brady.
Subs: John Sheehan for Ger Brady; Kevin White for Podge McMahon; Podge McMahon for Liam Meaney; Diarmuid Cahill for Cormac Ryan.
Scorers: Gary Brennan 1-2, (0-1 free, 0-1 45); Liam Meaney 1-0 pen; Podge McMahon 0-2; Shane Brennan, Francie Neylon 0-1 each.
Wides: 11; Frees: 14; 45s: 2
Yellow cards: Seamus Sheehan, Cormac Ryan.

Kildysart-Coolmeen: Pa McMahon; Paul O’Brien, Keith O’Connor, Alan Marrinan; Cian Cleary, Brian Ayers, Jason O’Leary; Cathal O’Connor (captain), Kieran Ayers; Joe Corry, Kevin Corry, Damien Murtagh; Damien Hill, Keith Murphy, Shane McMahon.
Subs: David McMahon for Keith Murphy; Alan Markham for Jason O’Leary.
Scorers: Damien Murtagh 1-5, (1-0 pen and 0-5f); Shane McMahon, Joe Corry 0-1 each.
Wides: 5; Frees: 20; 45s: 1
Yellow cards: Brian Ayers; Damien Hill.
Referee: Tom Stackpoole (Ennistymon).


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