Next weekend, Clonmel Commercials will seek to qualify for the All-Ireland Club SFC final when they take on Ballyboden St Enda’s. Here, CBS HS Clonmel booked their place in the final of premier Munster PPS football competition as they benefited from building a sizeable first-half lead.
Manager Tony Gleeson highlighted the ‘rising tide lifting all boats’ effect, in both Clonmel and Tipperary.
“We came out of the B section in 2011,” he said, “there is great work being done in Clonmel by the schools and the clubs. I’d have to acknowledge my own club, Clonmel Commercials, they’re charting new territory next weekend and I think that that has helped the lads, along with the improved structures in Tipperary football.”
A cross-field breeze aided Clonmel more than St Francis College, Rochestown in the first half and a goal from corner-forward Michael O’Reilly in the 19th minute helped a 1-8 to 0-4 half-time lead be established.
Ahead of a final against the storied St Brendan’s College of Killarney, Gleeson will have something to work on.
“The second-half performance was a concern for me, we have to look at that,” he said.
“We have to address those issues and hopefully over the next two weeks we will do so. We won the toss and we elected to go with the breeze, hoping that we’d get enough points on the board. I think we just about did that.”
Clonmel’s Mark Kehoe shone at midfield with Michael Barlow getting a couple of early points as ‘Roco’ laboured.
However, thanks to the efforts of the Cork school’s Kevin O’Donovan, the score was just 0-4 to 0-2 after 18 minutes. Then came the Clonmel goal, with O’Reilly producing a deft side-footed volley from Eoin Hoctor’s handpass. By half-time, they were seven clear, with defenders Stephen Ryan and Gavin Whelan (two) adding booming points.
O’Donovan did open the second-half scoring for Rochestown but it didn’t usher in a fightback as Calvin Boland answered for Clonmel. Rochestown had brief hope with points from James Holland and Shane Kingston but they needed a goal.
The briefest flicker of one came in the 54th minute as Liam Grainger’s shot was blocked and Seán Hilliard’s follow-up was saved by Aidan Tobin.
For Rochestown boss Liam Ó Murchú, it was a case of lamenting the slow start as well as the fact that a talented group of players – many of whom played in last year’s Dr Harty Cup and Corn Uí Mhuirí final losses – will leave the school without Munster senior medals. “We had a slow start again, it seems to be a bit of a problem, it was similar when we played them in the group game,” he said.
“We had great hopes for this team in that they won the Frewen two years ago, but they’ve given their hearts and souls to Rochestown since they came in. They’re the crew that have put the school on the map, four or five years ago we were playing C football in Munster.”
M O’Reilly 1-1 (0-1f), Michael Barlow 0-3 (0-1f), G Whelan 0-2, S O’Meara (0-1 free), S Ryan, M Hogan, C Boland 0-1 each.
K O’Donovan 0-4 (0-1f), J Holland 0-2 (0-1f), S Kingston 0-1.
A Tobin (Clonmel Commercials); Matt Barlow (Clonmel Commercials), S Ryan (The Nire, Waterford), J Mulcahy (The Nire); G Whelan (Ardfinnan), L Cooney (The Nire), D Ryan (Moyle Rovers); M Kehoe (Kilsheelan-Kilcash), E Hoctor (Clonmel Commercials); M Hogan (Ardinnan), C Boland (Clonmel Commercials), K Peters (Clonmel Commercials); Michael Barlow (Ardfinnan), S O’Meara (The Nire), M O’Reilly (Clonmel Commercials).
S Martin (Kilsheelan-Kilcash) for Hoctor (51, black card), R Kennedy (Moyle Rovers) for Cooney (55), M Gibbs (Kilsheelan-Kilcash) for O’Meara (59), S Egan (Kilsheelan-Kilcash) for O’Reilly (60, black card).
C Denn (St Michael’s); D Murphy (Douglas), N Walsh (Douglas), E Riordan (Carrigaline); D Stack (Carrigaline), R Ó Colmáin (St Michael’s), N Quirke (Carrigaline); E Ryle (Carrigaline), E O’Brien (Douglas); C Russell (Douglas), S Kingston (Douglas), S Collins (Douglas); J Holland (Douglas), C Cormack (St Michael’s), K O’Donovan (Nemo Rangers).
J Lyons (Nemo Rangers) for Murphy (13, black card), L Grainger (St Michael’s) for O’Brien (half-time), M McAuliffe (Douglas) for Riordan (half-time), S Hilliard (Cobh) for Holland (53, injured).
M Meade (Limerick).