Erins Isle 1-5 V Clontarf 1-7 [ Half Time: 0-1, 1-4 ]
“Battling B's make it to the Elite Eight”
Clontarf Junior B's have made it to the last 8 of the championship will contest the 1/4 final as they did in 2003 and 2004. They produced a fine display in the replayed 2nd round match against Erins Isle and will now face Ballinteer at the end of July. The 1st 2 scores of the game and the only scores until the 20th minute came by way of placed balls for Clontarf. Regular freetaker Dave Hempenstall notched the 1st score of the game after a fine run by Damien Carew was abruptly halted. Minutes later Hempo was on hand to fire over another free after he was foulded. Meanwhile Erins Isle failed to raise a flag, missing 3 frees and 2 good chances from close range. The crucial score of the half was setup by a great run from Johnny O'Connell, who found the unmarked Chris Morrissey and the half forward crashed the ball to the roof of the net. Next up was the move of the match - A great fetch in midfield and a wonderful quick interchange of passes, set midfielder Mark Murphy through on goal and his pile driver just cleared the bar for a point. Murphy again set up Hempo for Clontarf's final score of the half. Erin Isle's only contribution was a converted free from their full forward, but special mention to Ian Sunderland for a fantastic save on the stroke of half time. HT, Erins Isle 0-1, Clontarf 1-4.
Clontarf started the 2nd half with Chris Morrissey in terrific form. He fired over a fine score from play in the 6th min after a neat pass from midfielder Conor Kelly. Morrissey had 2 more attempts in the next minute, one going wide and the 2nd fell short to the keeper. Despite a more sustained effort from Isles to get back into the match, Clontarf were in total control, with the backs shutting down every attack. In particular the wing backs of Aidan O'Halloran and Paul Murphy were playing excellent with Ultan Kennedy at full back a commanding presence. Just as he did in the 1st half, Morgan O'Halloran was delivering his finest performance of the season. The corner back was 1st to every single ball.
On 14 minutes Johnny O'Connell set Chris Morrissey through on goal and the half forward took the wise option of blasting over for a point. It was to be Clontarf's last score from play. For the remaining 15 mins Isles thundered back into the game and a well fisted goal with 5 minutes remaining left 3 between the sides. Hempo steadied the ship with a free after sub David Shaw gathered well and was fouled in front of the posts.
Isles added 2 further scores to leave the margin down to a mere 2 points as the home side foraged furiously for a winning goal. Great credit again to Morgan O'Halloran and Ian Sunderland for vital blocks in added time as Isles went very close to grabbing a winner. Next up a 1/4 final outing against Ballinteer. The weather may be terrible at the moment, but the Junior B's are brightening up the summer.