Gaeltacht win local derby

An Rinn\'s Eoghan Breathnach and Clashmore\'s Sean Fleming pictured in action during their Waterford Senior Football Championship First round clash at Fraher Field Dungarvan.

An Rinn's Eoghan Breathnach and Clashmore's Sean Fleming pictured in action during their Waterford Senior Football Championship First round clash at Fraher Field Dungarvan.

Rinn O gCuanach . . . 0-12; Clashmore . . . 0-10

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They don’t come much closer than this local derby played at Fraher Field in Dungarvan on Saturday last, when Rinn O gCuanach pulled off their best result since returning to the senior ranks over neighbours Clashmore in a thrilling first round championship encounter.

Six times during the 60 minutes, the rivals found themselves level and coming up to the concluding stages; it also looked very much that both teams would have to settle for a share of the spoils. However, the Gaeltacht men had other ideas and on the run of play, the honours rested where they were most deserved.

This was a hugely competitive contest, adorned with some excellent passages of football, and scores to adorn any championship occasion. There was little or nothing between the sides at any stage, but it seemed that it was more often Clashmore’s turn to catch up during the hour. Considering that the winners had to make do without the services of their inter-county star Liam O Lionain (injured) for three quarters of the match, it was quite an achievement against a side that only lost out by a solitary point to eventual champions Ballinacourty at the quarter stage last year.

Nip and tuck

The pattern of this confrontation was clearly set from the beginning. An Rinn produced constructive football from the throw in and went two points up inside the opening five minutes through Cian O Conchuir and Donal O Murchadha. Clashmore had no intention of allowing their neighbours get too far ahead of them, and when the elegant Sean Fleming, opened their account with his first of five points from play, everyone present realised that this was going to be a close match.

Parity for the initial time followed two minutes later when Declan Breathnach levelling from a free but sixty seconds the Gaeltacht side was back in front after a super point from the outstanding Sean O Ceallaigh.

It was left to Sean Fleming to bring Clashmore level with a point to maintain a deadlock. However a brace of excellent pointed frees from ‘man of the match’ Micheal O Toibin restored the initiative for the Gaeltacht men. Not to be outdone, Clashmore came back well to level proceedings for the third time. Further white flags from Sean Fleming and Paudie O’Rourke came Cian O Conchur scorned a goal scoring chance for Rinn ogCuanach to leave the sides level at the break

Thrilling second half

The pace of the second half was electric from the throw in and Sean Fleming gave Clashmore the lead for the very first time within thirty seconds. Nodlaigh O Murchadha came up with a further levelling point in the 33rd minute, before Micheal O Toibin and the versatile Michael Fenton swapped further scores.

Still Clashmore went on to open up a two point advantage through Karl O’Keeffe and Sean Fleming and Declan Allen was fortunate to escape a red card for a tackle on Liam O Lionain in the 48th minute. Sean O Ceallaigh converted the resultant free, to leave only the minimum between the teams. Rinn O gCuanach continued to raise the tempo and it paid dividends when Michael O Tobin brought about parity for the last time from placed ball. It paved the way for a hectic last 10 minutes.

The situation remained unaltered until the 55th minute, when a quality point worthy of any occasion by O Ceallaigh, restored An Rinn’s lead for the last time. Micheal O Toibin popped over what looked like the insurance point from a free in the 58th minute. Some people were making their way towards the exits, only to be stopped in their tracks, when Stephen Barron rifled over a Clashmore point to again slash the differential to a single point.

Fittingly it was left to Micheal O’Toibin to extricate the Gaeltacht outfit from a tricky situation, with a second insurance point virtually on the call of time.

Good advertisement

The quality of football produced in this match was a credit to both teams and a further indication that the Conway Cup could go in any direction before season’s end. The winners, in particular, were admirably served by former Kilmacthomas player Micheal O Duanaigh in a new role of centre half-back, Sean O Ceallaigh, Donal and Nodlaigh O Murchadha, Sean O Hartaigh and Cian O Conchur.

For the vanquished, whose next matches against both Ardmore and Rathgormack, will be crucial to the outcome of qualifying places, Jason Seward, Ciaran Connery, Karl O’Keeffe and Sean Fleming were best.

Teams and scorers

Rinn O gCuanach: Tomas O Cadhla, Eoghan Breathnach, Sean O hArtaigh, Barra Breathnach, Liam de Gras, Micheal O Duanaigh, Micheal S O Murchu, Cillian O Murchadha, Sean O Ceallaigh, Micheal O Toibin, Donal O Murchadha, Nodlaig O Murchadha, Cian O Conchur, Padraig O Cathain, Padraig O Murchadha. Sub: Liam O Lionain for O Cathain.

Scorers: Micheal O Toibin 0-6, Sean O Ceallaigh 0-3. Cian O Connchur, Donal O Murchadha and Nodlaigh O Murchadha 0-1 each.

Clashmore: Brian O’Neill, Eeamon Beresford, Jason Seward, Ciaran Burke, Philip Dee, Ciaran Connery , Declan Gleeson, Karl O’Keeffe, Declan Allen, Paudie O’Rourke, Stephen Barron, Mike Fenton, Declan Breathnach, Killian O’Keeffe, Sean Fleming.

Scorers: Sean Fleming 0-5, Paudie O’Rourke, Declan Breathnach, Karl O’Keeffe, Michael Fenton and Stephen Barron 0-1 each.

Referee: Tommy O’Sullivan (Cappoquin).

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