Junior A Championship June 11th 2006
Clontarf 1-11 Ballyboughal 2-7 (Half Time: 1-5,2-4)
The Junior A's faced a serious challenge last Sunday when they met Division 5 side Ballyboughal in the Junior A Championship in St. Annes.A determined Clontarf side took to the field hoping to find the Championship form that saw tham march to the 1/4 finals in 2005.Weather conditions were fine with a moderate cross field breeze being the main issue for consideration apart from the heat. Both sides swapped points in early exchanges with Chris Fanning converting for Clontarf and a short free leading to a well taken scoring chance being taken by Ballyboughal. Clontarf pressed strongly and Karl Spellman added a furter point from play, after a fine setup from Alan Costello. Midway through the first half Clontarf were awarded a penalty after Mickey McGlinchey was taken down and this was confidently converted by Alan Costello to leave us 1-2 to 0-1 ahead and looking good. Ballyboughal now upped their game; dominating at midfield and well supported by their halfbacks they began to exert pressure which resulted in a scoring sequence which saw them add 2-3 before the break. Clontarf despite not playing well managed to stay in touch with two Chris Fanning frees and another Karl Spellman point from play. Halftime saw Clontarf two points adrift on a scoreline of 1-5 to 2-4.
Clontarf redoubled their efforts in the second half with pressure being exerted on Ballyboughal at all times. The halftime lead was overturned with contributions from Fanning (free) and Spellman. The game was now in the balance. The Clontarf defence made up for their first half genorisity by limiting Ballyboughal to three second half points. Kieran Murray made a number of timely interceptions cutting out dangerous moves while all ensured that very few chances were available from play. Ballyboughal played with a two man full forward line using a corner forward as a third midfielder which brought corner back Neil Arthur into unfamiliar territory to which he adapted well winning and using well a good amount of ball. Meanwhile at the other end Fanning added two more frees and a point from play while Arthur, Brain Keenan and Neil Mullins all pointed from play. While all scores were vital Neil Arthur's long range wind assisted effort from the right was noteable as was Brian Keenan's 40 metre effort which had a swerve to bring it inside the right hand post that a Brazillian free taker would have been proud of. The final whistle saw Clontarf hold out for a memorable one point win and a date with Crumlin in round 2 on July 23rd.
Team: Sunderland, N Arthur, K Murray, A Lynch , C Nolan, P Moore, B Cotter, F Lynch, B Keenan, C Fanning, N Mullins, N Synnott, A Costello, K Spellman, M McGlinchey,Substitutes: E Stanley for Cotter, S McMorrow for Synnott, M Duignan for McGlinchey, W O'Connor for Mullins.Clontarf Scorers: Fanning 0-5 (4F), Spellman 0-3, Costello 1-0, Arthur 0-1, Keenan 0-1, Mullins 0-1.