REPORT ON COUNTY SFC GAME, CLONAKILTY V ST. NICKS
Clonakilty senior footballers took on old rivals, St. Nicks, in the third round championship game in Bandon on Saturday, June 20th. There was much anxiety and concern among Clon followers in the build-up to the game following dismal performances in the two earlier rounds, both of which had been lost, at the hands of Newcestown and Skibbereen. Indeed, there was an air of real pessimism among many supporters as they knew that another defeat would not alone rule Clon out of this year's championship but would place them in the relegation final where the losers of the Clyda Rovers V. Aghada clash would await. A loss in that game would consign the club to Intermediate ranks for the first time since 1931, something that was causing deep concern to all members and supporters of the Clonakilty club.
With many supporters having been disillusioned following the earlier defeats there was only a modest sized crowd present for the throw-in. Conditions were perfect, with the light breeze that blew into the town goal favouring the St. Nicks side in the first half. To the disappointemnt and surprise of their supporters, Clon set up in a very defensive formation, withdrawing one, and sometimes two, of the selected forwards to operate as extra defenders. Considering the relative weakness of the opposition this seemed totally unecessary and robbed Clon of any real scoring threat. The city side took full advantage of Clon's tactics, easily cutting out most of Clon's early attacks and running at the Clon defence. The extra defenders proved totally helpless in stopping the strong-running Nicks forwards. Clon lost the mid-field battle and struggled alarmingly to win even their own kick-outs. There appeared to be no plan whatever to gain possession from those kick-outs. Despite the limitations of the Nicks side, which can be gauged from the fact that they have struggled to avoid relegation in each of the last three years and had failed to win a first round game for eight, they created numerous scoring chances in the opening stages and Clon were lucky that Pa O Regan was vigilant in keeping out two clear goal-scoring chances. Following one of those saves, after five minutes, Nicks opened the scoring when their goalkeper came up to kick over from the resulting “45”. In many ways it was fitting that the scoring would have been opened by a goalkeeper, such was the poor standard of attacking play by both teams. This score seemed to put some urgency into Clon's play and Denis Murphy burst forward and scored a fine point from play a minute later. Nicks quickly responed with two points, one from play and another from a close-in free. The Clon defence was being opened up easily at this stage, with the extra defenders proving to be of no advantage, as strong running Nicks forwards easily brushed aside two or three defenders at a time. Donal Lyond did score a good point from play and Jack O Mahony added a similar score in the thirteenth minute. Nicks pointed from play and O'Mahony scored from a close-in free to leave the sides level at four points each after nineteen minutes. Play continued for a further six minutes with both sides missing chances but the game was won and lost in a blistering four minutes spell before the break. A Nicks point from play after twenty five minutes was followed by a goal when one of their forwards waltzed past three Clon defenders to shoot home from close range a minute later. With Clon still reeling, they were dealt a huge psychological blow when they missed a close-in free that was, to the consternation of the supporters, taken off the hand and driven wide. Instead of the margin being down to a manageable five points it became a daunting seven point deficit almost immediately when the relieved Nicks side won the kick-out and added a point from a free when one of their forwards was fouled in the resulting attack. Clon supporters were certainly not happy at the break and their mood got worse on the resumption as chance after chance was wasted, with frees and shots from open play missed in rapid succession. It was clear that it was not going to be their night, despite the fact that the team enjoyed much more possession. The forwards did not seem to have the confidence to go for scores and when they did their efforts were invariably poor. Barry O'Mahony, introduced for the second half, finally got the scoreboard working after ten minutes with a point from play, having earlier missed a number of chances. Nicks were unable to add to their half-time tally but Clon were denied by a teak tough Nicks defence and the margin remained at six points until the 53rd minute when Jack O'Mahony was hauled down as he headed for goal. Clon selectors decided to re-introduce Gearoid Barry, surprisingly withdrawn a few minutes earlier, to take the vital kick. It was hardly the ideal preparation and, to the dismay of Clon supporters, his weak effort was saved by the 'keeper. As the game fizzled out, Nicks added a point and Jack O Mahony scored two late pointed frees but it was all too late. Clon were out of the championship and into the relegation final with barely a whimper. The mood among supporters was a mixture of deep disappointment, disillusionment and anger. Like all supporters, they are well used to experiencing championship defeats but there is a real difficulty in coming to grips with the level of performance produced by the team this year. Considering the talent available and the enormous success enoyed at under age level over the previous decade it is had to come to understand what is currently happening at senior level. Clon now have one final chance to avoid relegation, something that seemed unthinkable a few short years ago as the club basked in the glory of winning a county title. All involved with the team, players and management alike, carry a heavy responsibiltiy to do everything necessary to retain senior status. Final score was 1-08 to 0-07.
Team; Pa O'Regan, Mark Sheehy, Finbarr Coughlan, Cian O'Donovan, Denis Murphy, Thomas Clancy, Patrick O'Sullivan, Sean Nagle, Graham Murray, Donal Lyons(c), David O'Regan, Gearoid Barry, Jack O'Mahony, Timmy Anglin and Liam Lyons. Subs used; Colm Sheehy for O'Sullivan (21), Barry O'Mahony for Liam Lyons (ht), Ian Falvey for Barry(39), David Lowney for David O'Regan(49) and Barry for Murray(53).
Clonakilty were defeated by St. Nicks on a score of 1-08 to 0-07 in the 3rd game in Bandon. Clon are now out of the championship and must win the relegation final against the losers of Clyda Rovers and Aghada to avoid relegation.
Clonakilty were defeated by D.O Mathunas on a score of 1-15 to 0-13 in Rossmore in the 2nd round of the West Cork championship. They now face a battle to avoid relegation
Clonakilty lost to Ballinascarthy in the league game in Ahamilla on Thursday, June 11th. Final score was 1-14 to 2-10
Clonakilty senior footballers were defeated by Ilen Rovers on a score of 0-17 to 2-09 in Ahamilla
Clonakilty Junior A footballers defeated Carbery Rangers on a score of 1-15 to 0-12 in Ahamilla.
Clonakilty senior footballers slumped to a bitterly disappointing defeat at the hands of Skibbereen in Rosscarbery. Final score was 2-15 to 0-10
Clonakilty under 21 footballers were defeated by Nemo Rangers in Kilmurray on Sunday, May 17th on a score of 1-11 to 0-10 in the County Q/Final.
Clonakilty Junior A footballers were defeated by Caheragh in the first round of the championship in Dunmanway on Saturday, May 9th. Final score was 0-12 to 0-09
Clonakilty seniior footballers were well beaten by Newcestown in Dunmanway in the first round of the county championship on a score of 0-16 to 0-08
Clonakilty senior footballers lost to Douglas on a score of 2-07 to 0-11 in Douglas on 26th April.
Clonakilty senior footballers defeated Skibbereen on Sunday, April 19th in the K.S. Final score was 0-13 to 1-09
Clonakilty Junior A footballers defeated Oliver Plunketts by 1-15 to 0-07 and Clonakilty Junior B footballers defeated Ardfield by 5-12 to 0-03
Clonakilty Junior A footballers defeated Oliver Plunketts on Thursday, April 9th in Ahamilla in the league. Final score as 1-15 to 0-07
Clonakilty captured their third West Cork under 21 football title in a row on Sunday, March 29th 2015 in Rosscarbery as a result of a highly impressive win over old rivals, Castlehaven. In fact, the final was a repeat of the two previous finals where Castlehaven had been Clon's victims on each occasion. No report on this match would be complete without reference to the extraordinary build-up and background to the final. Both semi-finals were played on the previous Sunday. While Clon were scoring a narrow and slightly lucky win over Newcestwon in Enniskeane, word filtered through that there had been some very nasty scenes at the other semi-final in Skibbereen between Castlehaven and Ilen Rovers. A flare-up involving players and mentors resulted in the matter being dealt with at the following night's West Cork Board meeting in Dunmanway. Among the questionable decisions taken was one to oblige both teams in the final to use opposite sides of the pitch in the final at Rosscarbery. Clon lost a hastily organised toss and were thus ordered to use the side with no dugout. With a dreadful weather forecast for the weekend Clon were understandably aggrieved that they, who had no hand , act or part in the previous Sunday's events in Skibbereen, were now to suffer the misery of having no dugout on a day when there was a forecast of very poor weather. This deeply annoyed the players, mentors and all involved in the club. It was the main topic of conversation in GAA circles in West Cork in the week leading up to the final and the matter was further highlighted in the edition of the “Southern Star” published on the Thursday. It contained a well written and balanced article by that paper's sports editor deploring the actions of the West Cork Board. Whatever chance underdogs Castlehaven had was effectively gone before a ball was kicked. Clon's sense of grieveance and annoyance meant that they were so fired-up and determined that it is doubtful if any team could have lived with them on the day. Following the article in the “Star” and with details emerging of the manner in which the West Cork Board had dealt with the issue, interest in the final was now at fever pitch and a huge crowd gathered at the excellent Rosscarbry pitch for the final. Match programmes were gone almost half an hour before throw-in The many neutrals present were to be among the disappointed ones. With no seating of any description available on the far side of the pitch, and in the absence of any clarification regarding what rule, if any, the board had relied on in their unprecedented ruling, Clon mentors and substitutes took up occupation of one of the dugouts. Neither the referee nor the board members present raised any objection. There was a great buzz and a tremendous feeling of excitment as throw-in time approached. Clon played against the strong wind, into the far goalmouth. With a real and palpable tension in the air, play got under way. Straight from the throw-in Clon made their intentions clear and Sean White gained possession from a clevar flick-on from Cian Crowley. He raced throught the heart of the Castlehaven defence and kicked the ball over the bar from twenty metres out. Clon gained possession from the resultant kick-out and David Lowney rounded his marker and kicked a lovely point from just outside the twenty metre line. Despite playing into the strong wind, Clon were two points to the good with less than a minute gone. They continued to dominate possession and two further points followed from the impressive Jack Cowhig, from a free and play. With the score standing at 0-04 to nil Castlehaven finally opened their account with a point from play. Any hopes that their subdued supporters harboured on a revivial were quickly dashed when Clon tore their defence apart with a flowing passing move that saw Cowhig and Sean Mc Evoy combine to set up Sean White for an absolutely cracking goal after ten minutes. This knocked the stuffing out of the Castlehaven challenge. The men in blue were lucky not to concede another goal shortly after as a rampant Clon attack threatened to run riot. Only a brilliant save denied Martin Scally from getting another goal as Clon dominated in all sectors. Castlehaven did score another point from a free but Jack Cowhig pointed from play after good work by the man-of-the-match, Sean White. Sean Mc Evoy pointed then, a shot that could easily have gone under the bar and Ian Falvey cannoned a brilliant shot off the crossbar before the ball was cleared by a grateful Castlehaven defender. Relieved at the let-off, the men in blue enjoyed some good possession and kicked two fine points but David Lowney pointed from play just before the short whistle to leave Clon ahead on a score of 1-07 to 0-04 as the teams retired for the break. With the advantage of the strong wind to come, Clon were now in the driving seat as the second half commenced. The ever-dangerous Lowney added a point before Castlehaven enjoyed their only period of dominance. During a five minute spell they added two good points and struck the crossbar before Clon quickly re-asserted. In a dazzling fourteen minute spell they scored eight unanswered points to stamp their authority on proceedings. Three of these were from the powerful Ian Falvey and two came from the boot of impressive sub, Ross Mannix. Jack Cowhig and Jack O Mahony each pointed frees and Lowney added one from play as the game turned into target practice for the rampant Clon attackers. While Sean White faded slightly after his first half heroics, Cian Crowley stepped in to dominate possession around the middle of the field. A late rally saw Clon custodian, Mark White called into action and he did well to deny Castlehaven in the closing minutes. A single point just before the end was all the men in blue could muster and there were great scenes of joy and celebration when impartial referee, Eamonn Sheehy, blew the final whistle. Clon were champions for the third year in a row and Martin Scally was a proud young man as he stepped forward to receive the cup from the chairman of the West Cork Board. The very large Clon following cheered their approval as the captain thanked everyone associated with the victory, with special praise for team manager and trainer, Neil Deasy. The other selectors were, Pa O Connor, Timmy Anglin and Eugene Scally. Team sponsors were Clonakilty Blackpudding Company. Afterwards, there was a great welcome for the team when they returned to Ahamilla.
Team; Mark White, Cian O Donovan, Colm Sheehy, Zack Harrington, Josh Henry, Tiarnan O Connell, Eoin Deasy, Sean White, Cian Crowley, Martin Scally (Captain), Jack O Mahony, Sean Mc Evoy, David Lowney, Jack Cowhig and Ian Falvey. Subs used were; Liam O Connor, Sean O Donoghue, Ross Mannix and Ciaran Crowley. Other members of the panel were; Niall Mc Carthy, Colm Crowley and Darragh Mc Cullagh.
Clonakilty Junior A fotballers drew with Skibbereen at the latter's venue on Thursday, April 2nd . Final score was; Skibbereen 1-10, Clon 0-13
Clonakilty defeated Ilen Rovers (away) on Sunday, April 5th in the latest KS game on a score of 0-19 to 2-09
Clonakilty under 21 footballers scored a comprehensive win over Castlehaven On a score of 1-16 to 0-07 in Rosscarbery to capture their third title in a row
Clonakiltyn under 21 footballers defeated Newcestown in Enniskeane in a thrilling West Cork Semi-Final. Final score was 1-12 to 1-07 after Clon had trailed by a point with five minutes left
Clonakilty were defeated by St. Finbars on a score of 1-14 to 1-09 in Ahamilla on 15th March
Clonakilty were defeated by Ilen Rovers on a score of 0-14 to 2-05 in the league on Wednesday night in Ahamilla
Clonakilty were defeated by Carbery Rangers on a score of 0-08 to 1-04 in Rosscarbery on Sunday, February 22nd in the Kelleher Shield
Clonakilty easily defeated Aghada on a score of 3-15 to 0-07 in the semi-final of the "Cuisine Cup" Invitation Tournament sponsored by Scally's Super-Valu in Ahamilla on Friday, February 20th
Clonakilty begin the defence of their West Cork under 21 football title with a game against Carbery Rangers on Saturday, March 7th in Castlehaven, under lights, at 7-30pm