Relegation beckons for former county kingpins

Clashmore\'s Brian O\'Halloran and Rathgormack\'s Michael Crotty pictured in action during their Waterford Senior football championship third round clash, at Leamybrien. Photo: Michael Kiely

Clashmore's Brian O'Halloran and Rathgormack's Michael Crotty pictured in action during their Waterford Senior football championship third round clash, at Leamybrien. Photo: Michael Kiely

Clashmore 1-9; Rathgormack 0-10

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Clashmore claimed group honours thanks to this win in Lemybrien and in the process consigned former champions Rathgormack to a possible return to Intermediate ranks next season.

This was a hard fought encounter – the ferocity of which was very much in evidence during an opening half, when a number of players were lucky to avoid the ultimate sanction.

Thus it was no surprise when Rathgormack left-half forward John Kirwan saw red when his team trailed by two points just eight minutes from time. Despite this, the red and green could well have earned a share of the spoils but alas it was not to be.

Yet this game was all about one player: 17-year-old Brian O’Halloran who crowned a magnificent performance by annexing seven points of his team’s winning total, fittingly clinching the game deep into added on time, with the game’s final score of the afternoon.

The first half belonged to Clashmore, who went in five points up at the break. Cillian O’Keeffe rifled home a fine goal after 29 minutes, paving the way to a late charge from the westerners, yielding points from Brian O’Halloran and Deise regular Karl O’Keeffe.

While O’Halloran succeeded in stretching Clashmore’s lead inside two minutes of the restart, Rathgormack struck a real purple patch over the next eight minutes.

Three unanswered points from Richie Power (free) and Edmund Hogan (two), one from a placed position, left only the first half goal separating the sides by the 40th minute.

Again the youthful O’Halloran steadied the ship for the winners with a further pointed free in the 42nd minute, before Rathgormack racked up three more points on the trot from Edmund Hogan between the 44th and 48th minutes. The deficit was now down to the minimum as play moved into its final quarter

After O’Halloran had eased Clashmore concerns with his penultimate point in the 51st minute, Rathgormack found themselves down a man following the red-carding of John Kirwan.

While they continued to battle well, they failed to get the better of a rock solid Clashmore defence, and it was deep into additional on time, when fittingly Brian O’Halloran knocked over the insurance point.

Clashmore: Brian O’Neill, Eddie Beresford, Jason Seward, Ciaran Burke, Mike Fenton, Kieran Connery, Philip Dee, Mark Power, Stephen Barron, Declan Allen, Seamus Landers, Karl O’Keeffe, Sean Fleming, Cillian O’Keeffe, Brian O’Halloran.  Subs: Fintan Breathnach for M Power and Padraig Connery for M Fenton.

Scorers: Brian O’Halloran (0-7), Cillian O’Keeffe (1-0), Karl O’Keeffe and Stephen Barron (0-1 each).

Rathgormack: Donal Larkin, John Crotty, Tony Power, Michael Crotty, Paul Power, Paul Shankey, Jamie Kirwan, Victor O’Shea, Richard Power, Mervyn Cummins, Paddy Crotty, John Kirwan, Paudie Whelan, Edmund Hogan, Robbie Power. Subs: Frannie Halpin for P Whelan.

Scorers: Edmund Hogan (0-7), Richie Power (0-2) and John Kirwan (0-1).

Referee: Tim O’Byrne (Erin’s Own)



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