Clonmore 5 – Holycross ‘A’ 1
A stunning first half performance saw Clonmore net four goals before the break to leave no way back for Holycross in the Nora Kennedy Cup Final played at Thurles Greyhound Stadium on Wednesday evening. Clonmore held the upper hand in the physicality stakes which paid dividends this time round for the League champions, although the early exchanges were evenly shared as Kyle Denny’s free kick dipped over the Clonmore crossbar with just three minutes gone while at the other end Tommy Deegan’s back header two minutes later was tipped on to the crossbar by the Holycross custodian who gathered on the second attempt. Dan Corbett got on the end of Kyle Denny’s corner kick on the ten minute mark as the headed effort was wide of the Clonmore goal. Holycross keeper Robert Quinlan advanced to launch a long range free kick which fell to JoJo O’Meara who fired on target, however Michael Doyle reflexed to make a fine save on the fifteen minute mark. A Clonmore counter attack saw Michael Delahunty whip in the cross to Ray Doyle who directed the header inches outside the post. The opener in the 26th minute was a real gem when Alan O’Riordan did exceptionally well on the left before swinging in an inch perfect cross which was met my Eamon Corcoran who unleashed a first time volley which gave Robert Quinlan no chance. Clonmore blitzed Holycross for the remainder of the half and made it two nil on the half hour when Lorcan Egan’s free kick in to the danger area say Ray Doyle pull the ball back to Tommy Deegan who knocked between the posts from close range. It was three nil in as many minutes when Ray Doyle was again the provider to Tommy Deegan who finished with aplomb. The Glenbane side were rattled at this stage as Clonmore took a four nil lead to break after Eamon Corcoran’s long throw from the left was met my Michael Delahunty who guided a well-directed header on target which clipped the upright before crossing the line. Holycross were left with an uphill battle in the second half but didn’t throw in the towel and made the early incisions with David Joyce and Seanie Comerford coming close and then Michael Doyle made a clean catch from a Kevin O’Dwyer free kick delivery. The game was over as a contest with half an hour to go when John Ryan pulled the ball from the by-line before Alan O’Riordan curled a right footed shot to the top corner. Holycross kept plugging as Kyle Denny came close with a good effort and then JoJo O’Meara wasn’t far away, however it really was a bridge too far at that stage for the green & whites. Holycross did snatch a consolation goal in the 88th minute when Edward Moore got forward to head home from the edge of the six yard box and then Holycross custodian Robert Quinlan produced a fine save in the dying moments to deny Alan O’Riordan who turned in a fine display throughout for the winners. The Glenbane side will be disappointed with the result on the day, but can reflect on a very successful season for the Club including a Second Division Shield Title for the ‘A’ team while Clonmore turned in a truly superb display to clinch a splendid League and Cup double and will be a major force in the First Division next season. Noel Kennedy was in attendance to present the Nora Kennedy Cup to Clonmore captain Ray Doyle who made a magnanimous victory speech to bring the curtain down on a memorable season for both Clubs.
Man of the Match: Alan O’Riordan (Clonmore FC)
Clonmore: Michael Doyle, John Ryan, David Costigan, Paul Guider, Lorcan Egan, David Bourke, Michael Delahunty, Tommy Deegan, Ray Doyle (Capt), Alan O’Riordan
Subs: Diarmuid Gleeson for Ray Doyle (76th minute), Martin Ryan for Tommy Deegan (81st minute), Stephen Maher Coonan for Paul Guider (84th minute)
Subs Not Used: Peter Maher, Shane Cashman
Holycross ‘A’: Robert Quinlan, Gerry Ryan, Mark Fogarty, Edward Moore, Seanie Comerford, Colin O’Meara, Kyle Denny, David Joyce, Dan Corbett (Capt), JoJo O’Meara.
Subs: James Shanahan for David Joyce (66th minute), Thomas Fitzpatrick for Seanie Comerford (78th minute)
Subs Not Used: Eamon Flanagan, Justin Shelly, Philly Cullen
Referee: Jim McGrath
Assistant Referees: Alec McCormack, Paul Horgan
(L to R) Noel Kennedy presents the Nora Kennedy Cup to Clonmore captain Ray Doyle
Captains / Officials:
Paul Horgan, Dan Corbett (Holycross Capt), Jim McGrath, Ray Doyle (Clomore Capt), Alec McCormack