Clane bridge 24-year gap to reach Kildare senior football final 

Clane are back in the Kildare Senior Football Final for the first time since 1998
Clane bridge 24-year gap to reach Kildare senior football final 

RETURN: Clane bridge 24-year gap to reach Kildare senior football final. Pic: Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile

CLANE 1-12 ATHY 1-8 

CLANE are back in the Kildare Senior Football Final for the first time since 1998 after a hard-fought four-point win over Athy in Newbridge on Saturday evening.

Managed by former Offaly and Westmeath manager, Tom Cribbin, in his first year back in charge of his own club after being player/manager when they last reached a final, Clane were on the back foot during the first half when a well-organised Athy defence frustrated them.

However, Athy weren’t able to get the scores their overall play deserved and when Harry O’Neill and Adam Fanning scored in the last minute of normal time to give Clane a scarcely deserved 0-5 to 0-4 lead at the break the writing was on the ball.

Niall Kelly levelled for Athy early in the second half but Clane took charge from the moment that Sam Reilly converted from close range in the 36th minute for the only goal of the game.

Clane were six points ahead in injury time before a goal by James McGrath briefly gave Athy hope of an amazing comeback but Shane O’Sullivan converted a free in the last of the four added on minutes to assure Clane, the dominant side of Kildare football through the 90’s, of their first SFC final appearance this century.

CLANE: C Burke; H O’Neill 0-1, R Phillips, J Burke; J Lynch, C Byrne, T Montgomery; C Shanahan, S Christianseen; A Fanning 0-3, B McLoughlin 0-4 (2fs), S Reilly 1-1; C Vizzard, S O’Sullivan 0-1, Sam McCormack 0-2. 

Subs: C Walsh for Lynch, 42; Shane McCormack for J Burke, 48; C O’Brien for Vizzard, 51; S Callan for Fanning, 60; O Tighe for Sam McCormack, 60.

ATHY: J Roycroft; S Moore, C McCarron, D Lawler; B Kelly, M Hyland, J McGrath 1-0; P Connell 0-1, S Bride; C Doyle, D Hyland, K Farrell; P Behan 0-1, J Eaton 0-1 (1’45), N Kelly 0-5fs. 

Subs: C Reynolds for Farrell, 25; B Purcell for Bride, 48; K Mulhall for Doyle, 56.

REFEREE: N Colgan.

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