Clonmel Commercials 1-12 Moyle Rovers 3-5: Hot favourites Clonmel Commercials had to draw on all their reserves of self-belief to regain the Tipperary SFC title after a three-year gap when defeating neighbours Moyle Rovers in a thriller at Semple Stadium, Thurles.
It all seemed to be going badly wrong for the Commercials as they were hit with two goals in three minutes in the opening quarter and were again caught napping five minutes into the second half.
But they dug deep and responded to those setbacks with some quality football that yielded vital scores and in the closing period in particular, after they had drawn level, they were rampant.
Rovers had a dream start with those early goals. Twice Diarmuid Foley finished crisp three-man moves with quality strikes after nine and 11 minutes.
A Rovers’ rout looked possible but Commercials steadied the ship, and with Michael Quinlivan leading by example, they clawed their way back into the game to be only two points adrift at the break, 0-7 to 2-3.
Commercials’ lost goalkeeper Jake McDonald to injury after only 16 minutes with Paul Nolan taking over between the posts.
And five minutes after resuming Commercials were rocked again when a Liam Boland Rovers free from 60 metres ended in their net as defenders were slow to take up their positions.
Efforts by Páidí Whyte and Seamus Kennedy got Commercials moving again before a super goal from sub Padraig Loram in the 41st minute brought them to within a point.
Quinlivan levelled matters after 48 minutes, and Lonergan nudged them ahead four minutes later. Ian Barnes extended the advantage as Rovers lost Liam Boland to a second yellow card on the hour.
Still Rovers pressed in search of a goal but an injury time point from Brian Gleeson was their only reward, as Commercials held on.
Michael Quinlivan and Seamus Kennedy were their stars on this occasion, but Jason Lonergan, Kevin Fahey, Ian Fahy, Jamie Peters and Paidi White also had big games. Rovers got every chance to win their first title since 2009 and can have no complaint. After the dream start, they failed to maintain the pressure and had to give best to a better side. Liam Boland, Peter Acheson, Martin Dunne, Diarmuid Foley, and Sean Keating led the way for them.
Scorers for Commercials:
M Quinlivan(0-4, 3fs), J Lonergan(0-31f), P Loram(1-0) P White(0-2), I Barnes, S Kennedy, K Fahey(0-1 each).
Scorers for Moyle Rovers:
D Foley (2-0), L Boland(1-2, all fs); B Gleeson, S Quirke, C Kenrick(0-1 each)
J McDonald; F Condon, D Lynch, J Peters; D Madigan, S Kennedy, K Fahey; J Kennedy, A Matassa; L Moore, I Fahey, J Lonergan; K Harney, M Quinlivan, P White.
P Nolan for McDonald(16); I Barnes for J Kennedy (37), P Loram for Matassa (37), S Taylor for Madigan (43).
C Kenrick; D Lyne, A Campbell, D Owens; R Mulcahy, P Acheson, D Dwyer; M Dunne, S Keating; D McGrath, R Clancy, T Fitzgerald; Liam Boland, S Quirke, D Foley.
C Conneally for Clancy(46), B Gleeson for Keating (48 ); J Lonergan for Foley (black card, 52); Luke Boland for Mulcahy (56)
D O’Mahoney, Ardfinnan
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