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Cratloe players celebrate on the final whistle following their U-13 Division 2 football final win over Clooney-Quin at Shannon. Photograph by John Kelly

GALLERY: Clinical Cratloe edge U13B football decider

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U13 B football final Cratloe 2-9 Clooney Quin 2-7

Cratloe had to be at their economical best to finally hold off a relentless Clooney-Quin side that threw everything at their opponents in an excellent Under 13 Division 2 decider in Shannon Camogie Pitch last Tuesday evening.

In an evenly-matched seesaw wrestle for control, amazingly the winners were able to keep their noses in front for the majority and even when Clooney-Quin finally regained parity by the two-thirds mark, they never managed to get ahead of Cratloe at any stage.

I say amazingly as while the possession stats and wide count were almost identical, the ultimate difference was in terms of scoring efficiency as Cratloe created and scored a brace of goals whereas Clooney-Quin only converted two of their ten, yes ten, goal chances.

In truth, there was a resigned feeling of ‘if they didn’t have bad luck in front of the posts, they’d have none at all’ as the crossbar, post, full-back Jack Lee and goalkeeper Jack Flynn came to Cratloe’s rescue to thoroughly frustrate Clooney-Quin.

Along with Flynn, Oliver Sherlock, Aaron Kelly, Rian O’Donoghue, Harry Mullen and Ian O’Brien stood out for Cratloe in a gritty display while for Clooney-Quin, Patrick Murphy, Sean Considine, James Canny, Isaac Hassett, Cian Maxted, Daithi Ryan and chief targetman James Moloney excelled.

In contrast to Clooney-Quin’s scoring woes, it only took 15 seconds for Cratloe to hit the net after Aaron Kelly’s delivery from the throw-in was finished to the net by James McDonagh for the perfect start.

An Oliver Sherlock follow up point was required as Clooney-Quin finally settled with successive singles through midfielders Hassett and Maxted along with Maxime De Sousa at 1-1 to 0-3 by the ten minute mark.

However, by the time of their next score ten minutes later, Clooney-Quin would find themselves trailing by seven after points from Sean O’Gorman, Aaron Kelly and Harry Mullen were bolstered by a Cathal Gunter rebound goal in the 17th minute to blaze 2-4 to 0-3 clear.

Clooney-Quin’s luckless efforts at the other end only compounded matters, with three Moloney goal chances remarkably thwarted. Flicking a Cian Maxted delivery past goalkeeper Jack Flynn, full-back Jack Lee cleared the ball off the line while Flynn saved a subsequent attempt before the crossbar came to Cratloe’s rescue to only yield a point to the incessant Moloney in the 20th minute.

Maxime De Sousa would also see a glorious opportunity just miss the target but he would make amends just before the break when Isaac Hassett’s brace of points were quickly followed by Clooney-Quin’s opening goal to slash the half-time arrears to just three at 2-6 to 1-6.

So when Marcas Fitzpatrick scored a dramatic equalising goal in the 39th minute, it appeared as if Clooney-Quin finally had the wind in their sails to push on.

Within a minute though, Clooney-Quin were down to only 14 players following a black card. It didn’t affect the end-to-end pattern but crucially Cratloe picked off three points through Sherlock, Rian O’Donoghue and Aaron Kelly to put some daylight between the sides whereas Clooney-Quin had a De Sousa chance saved by Flynn before James Moloney agonisingly saw his ground shot canon back off the post at 2-9 to 1-9 entering the final ten minutes.

Cian Maxted did shave the crossbar with a stinging effort in the final minute of normal time to lower the arrears to just two. However, despite six minutes of additional time, the scoreline ultimately didn’t alter as Cratloe dug deep to relievedly prevail.

Cratloe: Jack Flynn; Conor Brady, Jack Lee, Morgan Leahy; Mark O’Neill, Ian O’Brien, Harry Mullen; Aaron Kelly, Rian O’Donoghue; Cathal Gunter, Oliver Sherlock, James Ormston; Sean O’Gorman, Daniel Quinn, James McDonagh Subs: Sam McGlynn for Quinn (38), Ben Daly for Gunter (56), James O’Halloran for O’Donoghue (60), Fionn Collins for McDonagh (60). Scorers: Oliver Sherlock (1f), Aaron Kelly (1f) (0-3 each); James McDonagh, Cathal Gunter (1-0 each); Sean O’Gorman, Harry Mullen, Rian O’Donoghue (0-1 each)

Clooney-Quin: Bobby Clune; Daniel McMahon Collins, Patrick Murphy, Eoin O’Connor; Eli Deegan, Sean Considine, James Canny; Isaac Hassett, Cian Maxted; Darragh O’Gorman, Marcas Fitzpatrick, Sean McGee; Daithi Ryan, James Moloney, Maxime De Sousa. Sub: Conor Brennan for McGee (54), Karl Rittweger for De Sousa (57). Scorers: Maxime De Sousa (1-1); Isaac Hassett (0-3, 1f); Marcas Fitzpatrick (1-0); Cian Maxted (0-2, 1f); James Moloney (0-1)

Referee: Declan Coyle (Corofin).

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