Senior football c'ship report (11-05-13)

Clonakilty senior footballers scored a surprise but well deserved win over Aghada in the first round of the 2013 county championship in a game played in Ballygarvan on Saturday evening, May 11th. There was strong wind favouring the team playing away from the dressingroom goal but otherwise conditions were fine as it was bright sunny evening, with the pitch in good order. The large band of Clonakilty followers were generally pessimistic about their team's chances in the build up to the game as a result of very indifferent league form. Unusually, Clon lined out in white jerseys, having lost the toss for choice of colours, the board having deemed that there was a clash between the clubs' first choice jersys. This problem had never arisen in the many previous clashes between the clubs and left many supporters bemused! Clon played against the wind in the opening half and almost had a dream start when the Aghada goalie, in a moment of panic, advanced away out from his goal. One of his defenders lost possession and when the ball fell to Johnny Leahy he did well to create space to give himself a a shot at the empty net from about thirty yards out. Unfortunately, his shot went just over for the opening point. In the third and fifth minutes Aghada scored points from play. Their forwards were looking very lively and were creating numerous scoring chances. The pressure told when, in the eight minute, an Aghada forward was pulled down in the square and the resultant penalty was expertly converted, low to the left corner. Two mintes later, Johnny Leahy, who looked very dangerous in possession scored a free from just inside the twenty metre line, slightly to the right. The East Cork side responed immediately with a pointed free of their own and after a six minute gap during which they missed many chances to punish Clon the Aghada men added another point, this time from play. After further missed chances from their wasteful opponents, Clon added a much needed point from Leahy, this time from a free straight in front of goal and around twenty five metres out. In the 23rd minute the lively Barry O Mahony scored a really good point from play. However, the Aghada men added two further points, from a free and play before the short whistle. It was 1-06 to 0-04 as the teams retired at half-time and the general view was that the advantage rested with the East Cork men, who seemd stronger and livelier than Clon. However, as often happens, the momentum of the game changed completely on the resumption. Clon made some astute switches. Timmy Anglin went to full-forward where he used his height and strength to great effect. Fine play from Sean Nagle and Thomas Clancy saw Clon take over around the middle and suddenly Aghada looked a less convincing outfit. Within a minute, Denis Murphy found himself at the end of a dangerous attack and knocked the ball over from close range. Though Clon were very much in control of play now they missed a number of scoring chances and the next score did not arrive until the 14th minute of the half. It was worth the wait. Attacking wing back, David O Regan kicked a mighty point from play from around fifty metres out and to the left. The score lifted the team. The margin was down to a goal now and within a minute Leahy had scored a great free from around thirty metres out and to the right. Clon supporters were in full voice now and sensed that the game was within their team's grasp. After almost incessant pressure it was O'Regan again who scored a great point from play in the 18th minute from around twenty metres out. A few minutes later Barry O Mahony, who was to emerge as man of the match scored a fine point from a free. With their large support firmly behind them, the Clon players upped their game again and the scores followed. O'Mahony added a magnificent point from distance though under tremendous pressure. Clon were ahead now by the minimum but Aghada finally lifted the siege to score a point from play in the 23rd minute, their only score of the second half. After some end to end play during which scores were missed and possession was regularly turned over by both teams as they fought frantically for the lead it was Clon who clinched the game. Three points from the rampant O' Mahony, one a delightful effort with his left foot from play, sealed the win for Clon. The victory was well deserved as the team had raised its game to tremendous heights during the second half. While Barry O Mahony, and to a lesser extent, Johnny Leahy and David O 'Regan, took the plaudits for their scoring exploits, the win was built around the mid-field dominance in the second half. Here, Thomas Clancy, and even more so, Sean Nagle, were the heroes, totally blotting out the formidable Aghada pairing. The half back line of David O Regan, Finbarr Coughlan and Denis Murphy were also hugely influential as they picked up most of the breaking ball around the middle. Overall, it was great result for Clon. The pressure of possible relegation is gone and the win will do morale and confidence the world of good. The management team will have a few months to develop the team. Improvememnt is needed but the potential is there. Team; James O Brien, Liam Lyons, Tony Anglin, Gearoid Barry, Denis Murphy, Finbarr Coughlan, David O Regan, Sean Nagle, Thomas Clancy, Donal Lyons, Timmy Anglin (c), Eugene Mc Carthy,

Johnny Leahy, Colin O Donovan and Barry O Mahony. Sub used was Jack O Mahony, who did well on his championsghip debut at the tended age of 17.

Other subs were, Conor O Callaghan, Sean White, Mark Sheehy, Patrick O Sullivan, Liam Cahill, Stephen Sheehy, Graham Murray, Conor Mc Manus, Ian Falvey and Alan Murphy