Match Report Apr 19th 2007

Junior B league (AFL 9) – Thur 19th April 2007

Clontarf 0-9 V St. Brendans 0-8 [ Half Time: 0-3, 0-3 ]

“The Brendan Voyage runs aground after double whammy”

With both Cup and League matches fixed between Clontarf and Brendans within the space of 3 days it was decided to combine the fixtures into one 4 pt clash and also allow the B’s to support the Senior Championship outing on Sun 22nd. Since 2002 Clontarf and Brendans have enjoyed a keen rivalry in Div 9 and this fixture wasn’t to be any different.

Going into this game Clontarf’s Junior B team were still awaiting a competitive win, despite some decent challenge game victories and a strong showing in terms of numbers. Back in January manager Willie O’Connor embarked on gargantuan recruitment drive that enabled him to tog out 29 players for this match. St. Brendans travelled to St. Annes Pk with an unbeaten record this season, several new faces and the memory of a huge comeback in the corresponding clash in 2006. Clontarf for their part fielded a very strong side with a host of ex Senior and Junior A experience. Clontarf opened the match brightly with excellent scores from Steve Hyland, David Shaw and Graham Johnson. For the 1st 15mins of this game Clontarf dominated, their only failing being the inability of the forwards to cash in on  the ample supply, yet in fairness to Brendans, their defending was tenacious. As the half wore on Brendan’s began to find their range - two fine scores from distance and a converted free tied the match (0-3,0-3) at half time.

The 2nd half started at much the same inexorable pace as before, this was a clash that wouldn’t have gone a miss several divisions higher than Div 9. In the opening stages of this half Clontarf spurned 3 chances for points as Dave Duignan, Eoghan O’Grady and John O’Toole all missed the target. St. Brendan’s thundered into the game with some great scores from distance that opened up a 3 pt advantage (0-3,0-7). The home team finally got off the mark after 12 minutes when Karl Spellman finished a fine move. Soon after, the ever busy Dave Hempstall  shot from distance to keep the gap at 3. Then in one of the moves of the match corner back Colm Hickey rambled forward to the Brendan’s end line, before delivering a perfect pass into the path of Graham Johnson. The midfielder belted a fine pt to leave the gap at 2 and 9mins on the clock.

A well taken 45M free by Hempo was well fielded by sub Donal Redmond and just as he did coming off the bench V Whitehall, he converted a fine score from close range. With 2 mins left on the clock it was Hempo who bore down on goal and blasted for the net. What appeared a costly miss was made up for by the same player soon after  when he tied the match 8-8. In these closing minutes Graham Johnson won every ball in the middle and one delivery found Steve Hyland wide on the left. He launched a monster kick that carried over the posts to give the Seasiders the lead. The drama hadn’t ended just yet, as Johnson misguided a pass that led to a Brendan’s free, a mere 25M out. The resulting free missed by a few feet and Clontarf were home and dry. Two pts for a Cup win, 2 more for a league win and smiles all round. A terrific encounter, making it 3 out of the last 5 league clashes in which a mere point has separated these sides. We await further proceedings in the merry month of May.

CLG Chluain Tarbh - Clontarf GAA Club,
Seafield Road West,
Clontarf, Dublin 3.
eMail pro@clontarfgaa.com

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