Clann find that bit extra to see off neighbours

Roscommon JFC ‘A’ 2020 Final

Clann na nGael 1-14  St. Brigid’s 1-13 (After four periods of extra-time)

After waiting nine months to play this final, these two great rivals served up a nail-biting encounter at Dr. Hyde Park last Friday night that could have gone either way. In the end it was Clann who prevailed after no less than four periods of extra-time.

The small crowd of 200 who were allowed to attend were treated to a roller-coaster game that took almost three hours to reach a conclusion. Referee Pat Casey threw the ball in at 7 pm and it was almost 9.45 pm before there was an outcome.

In another very interesting twist, the Clann manager Niall Shine was married the following day to bride Hayley, who is a big St. Brigid’s supporter!

Played on a dry but cold night, there was never much between the teams. Clann were marginally the better side in the opening half and with veteran Johnny Dunning and Sea Henry playing well, they led by 1-4 to 0-5 at the break, their goal coming in the sixth minute from Killian Bannon following good work from Callum O’Brien and Henry.

But Ciaran O’Reilly, John Cunningham and Eoghan Derwin did well for Brigid’s and it was nip and tuck all the way through the second half.

  The football was not of the highest standard but there were some great scores kicked on both sides and the outcome was in doubt to the very end. Sea Henry edged Clann a point ahead in the 55th minute but two minutes later Gavin Byrne levelled the scores and the sides were deadlocked: St. Brigid’s 0-12 Clann 1-9.

In the first period of extra-time, Brigid’s looked to have finally done enough to take the trophy. Oisin O’Reilly pointed a free and then Gavin Byrne scored a fortuitous goal despite the efforts of Darragh Egan on the Clann goal line. At that stage there were four points in it at 1-13 to 1-9. But a point from Killian Bannon reduced the gap to three and in the second period Clann took over.

Callum O’Brien pointed two frees and captain Oliver Harney sallied forward to score a super point and the sides were level again at 1-13 apiece.

It was decided that two further periods of five minutes would be played before the requirement to go to penalty kicks and we saw just one further score, a well-taken point from Killian Bannon, a minute into the fourth period of extra-time that turned out to be the match winner.

As the teams got tired tempers frayed, and in the final few minutes and referee Casey booked a number of players. He sent off Brigid’s goalkeeper Cormac Sheehy on a straight red and sub Ciaran Quinn who got a black to add to an earlier yellow. It was a pity for the players involved as both sides had put so much into trying to win the title and it was never that type of game.

So it was Clann who edged through in the end and they were certainly the more economical side in front of goal but Brigid’s will point to the fact that during the course of the game they missed at least four clear goal chances and those misses proved costly in the end.

If the rest of the club fare in 2021 offers half as much excitement and drama as we saw in Hyde Park last weekend then everyone will be very happy indeed.

Clann na nGael: David Finneran; Darragh Egan, Oliver Harney (0-1), Adam Henry; Kieran Connaughton, Sean Fallon, Darragh Kildea; Ronan Gavin (0-1), Sea Henry (0-3); Paddy Gavin, Ross Naughton, Killian Bannon (1-2); Matt Scally, Callum O’Brien (0-5, 4 frees), Jonathan Dunning (0-1). Subs: David Connaughton for Scally (h/t), Josh Lennon (0-1) for Naughton (34), Cian Fallon-McGowan for KIldea (54), Niall Connaughton for Fallon (64), Dylan Earle for Egan (72).

St. Brigid’s: Cormac Sheehy; Darren Carroll, David Nestor (0-1), Conor McNiece; Luke Grisleain, Eoin Minagh (0-1), Shane Furey; Gavin Murphy, Brian O’Hara-Duggan; Gavin Byrne (1-1), Ian O’Rourke, John Cunningham (0-2); Conor Quinn (0-1), Ciaran Reilly (0-1, mark), Eoghan Derwin (0-3, 2 frees). Subs: Oisin O’Reilly (0-2, 1 free) for Carroll (24), Kealan Byrne (0-1) for Quinn (39), Cian McDonnell for O’Rourke (54), Ciaran Quinn for Furey (60), Mark Haran for Nestor (70), Conor Quinn for Byrne (74).


Referee: Pat Casey (Ballinameen)

Man of the Match: Sea Henry (Clann na nGael)