Gaultier 0-11; Clashmore 0-11
Sometimes sport can illicit the most wonderful feelings. The flip side of that is that sometimes sport can be so very cruel. With four minutes of injury time played in this Senior Football Championship at Stradbally, Clashmore led by a point. In the other game in the group, Stradbally were leading comfortably against Tramore. If the final whistle had sounded at that moment, Clashmore would have finished second in the group, Tramore third and Gaultier would have faced the relegation play-off. However, Clashmore conceded a free in front of their own goal, Gaultier converted and Clashmore fell from second to fourth.
It could have been so different if Clashmore had converted even one of the many scoring chances that they spurned, especially in the first half. But, to their credit, Gaultier hung in there, took the majority of their chances and were rewarded with a play-off place against St Saviours.
Gaultier raced out of the blocks at the beginning of the game and took a three point lead within six minutes. The first of these scores was a speculative ball into the square by Gearoid O’Connor which bounced over the bar, almost catching Clashmore goalkeeper, Brian O’Neill by surprise. The second of the three points was a neat finish from the outstanding JJ Hutchinson who proved to be the best forward on view and that’s saying something considering the illustrious company he was in. O’Connor’s second point after six minutes gave Gaultier the start that they needed.