James McGrath (Nire) is tackled by Conor Nugent (Clashmore) during the Western U21A Football Final in Fraher Field.

James McGrath (Nire) is tackled by Conor Nugent (Clashmore) during the Western U21A Football Final in Fraher Field.

Nire 1-12; Clashmore 1-9

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The Nire will contest this year’s Waterford Under 21 ‘A’ Football Championship final following a three-point win over a fancied Clashmore side in the Western decider at Fraher Field last Sunday.

In a keenly contested game in which both sides finished with 14 men, it was the Comeragh club who prevailed. They got a dream start when Darren Guiry goaled in just the second minute. Clashmore hit back with points from the impressive John Prendergast and Brian O’Halloran to leave just the minimum between the sides with six minutes gone.

Shane Lawlor and Colm Faherty exchanged points and on 10 minutes Craig Guiry pointed to put the Nire two points in front.

Aidan Trihy raised a white flag for Clashmore soon after on receiving an inch-perfect pass from O’Halloran, and just two minutes later the sides were level when John Prendergast pointed following a good move that involved O’Halloran and Danny O’Brien.

Donal O’Connor put Clashmore a point ahead at the midway mark in the opening half but it was quickly cancelled out by a Darren Guiry free. The same player added further points from frees on 20 and 21 minutes to put Nire two points in front.

With a minute of the opening half left on the clock Prendergast scored a goal for Clashmore in a move involving Donal O’Connor and O’Halloran to put Clashmore 1-6 to 1-5 in front.

The Nire’s Graham Guiry was ordered off the field by referee Tommy O’Sullivan just before the break having got involved in an off-the-ball incident.

The second half opened with John Prendergast pointing for Clashmore. Craig Guiry and Donal O’Connor exchanged points in the 37th and 39th minutes to ensure that just one point remained between the teams.

Richie Fenton and John Prendergast then exchanged points before The Nire, with the aid of the strong wind, assumed control using their physicality against a very young Clashmore team, many of whom are still eligible for Minor.

Darren Guiry pointed on 51 minutes, followed up by a Richie Fenton point on 53 to level the scoring. Craig Guiry pointed on 54 with further points coming on 57 and 58 minutes from the boots of Shane Lawlor and Darren Guiry.

As had happened at the end of the first half, Tommy O’Sullivan ordered a player from the field, this time Clashmore’s Donal O’Connor who collected a second yellow card.

In stoppage time, Clashmore were given a chance to force extra time, but it was not to be. A Brian O’Halloran free was lofted in and around the house but was knocked to safety over the endline by a Nire defender for a 45. The ball was sent in around the danger area by O’Halloran but the Nire defence held firm.

The Nire: Patrick Horkan; J Ryan, T Walsh, P Cooney; E Cooney, Paul Horkan, A McGrath; J McGrath, R Fenton; S Lawlor, C Guiry, G Guiry; D Guiry, JP Fitzgerald, K Guiry. Subs: A Condon for J Ryan, S Ryan for Fitzgerald.

Scorers: D Guiry 1-5; C Guiry 0-3, S Lawlor, R Fenton 0-2 each.

Clashmore: D Curran; S Burke, D Coughlan, S O’Connor; D O’Connor, A Seaward, A Trihy; C Burke, C Faherty; P Griffin, G Dower, C Nugent; D O’Brien, B O’Halloran, J Prendergast. Sub: P Kelleher for Coughlan.

Scorers: J Prendergast 1-4; D O’Connor 0-2, B O’Halloran, C Faherty, A Trihy 0-1 each.

Referee: T O’Sullivan (Affane).