UNDER-PRESSURE CREMARTIN HIT BACK TO KILL OFF CLONES DREAM

1 September 2011 No Comments by The Northern Standard

A physically stronger Cremartin held out for victory in a close and at times fractious finish to this low scoring final of the junior football championship that was played in blustery conditions in Pearse Park, Ballybay on Sunday evening last.
The victory helped wipe away the bitter disappointment Cremartin experienced last year when they were beaten in the championship final after a replay and the victory also gives them their sixth junior football championship title in all.
Clones for their part were playing in their tenth junior championship final and were defeated on Sunday last for the fifth time in those ten outings but they will look back on this game as one where they had sufficient chances to win it, they just lacked the finish and missed a number of scoreable opportunities, a few from frees, that could have changed the outcome.
This game as a contest was never a classic but it was always interesting due to the fact that there was never more than a couple of points between the sides at any time. That said though, it was a game that was littered with mistakes, poor handling, over elaboration, passes going astray and the final ball in to the respective sets of forwards not what was needed in either quantity or quality. It was a contest too that was marred somewhat with a double red card dismissal in stoppage time when an off the ball incident saw both sides reduced to 14 players.
Cremartin were headed just once in the entire contest when Clones took the lead for the only time in the 12th minute, having registered three points in quick succession after Cremartin had opened with two early scores. Entering the final 10 minutes of the first half an opportunist goal by Ronan Burke restored Cremartin to the lead and they were always able to keep their noses in front although scores were at a premium in the second-half.
For the winners Damien Lavelle in goals was an effective last line behind a hard-working defence that was excellently marshalled by Patrick McGuigan at full-back and Conor Mulligan at centre, McGuigan putting in some great last-ditch blocks and tackles in the final nervous minutes as Clones threw everything into attack. Niall Flanagan and Christopher Farrell got a good share of possession in midfield but it was up front where Cremartin held the edge particularly in the second half when Darren Bishop stepped up his game and Kevin Brennan and Gary Boyd became more effectively involved.
Bishop went on to pick up the man of the match award although there were one or two others on both team that had to run it close. The Clones defence too was an effective unit at times with Paul Shiels at full-back and Michael Treanor at centre involved to good effect all through and the overlapping Darragh Holland always willing to give Clones an option and it was no surprise that he finished with two points.
Danny Rooney and John Jenkins did all they could to get a pull in midfield but it was up front where Clones were struggling despite the best efforts of Colin McCaughey at full forward and Adrian Alford, David Freeman, Declan McQuaid and Darren Freeman after he was introduced. Overall though it just did not work for them on the day and at the end they were left to rue a number of chances which, had they been capitalised on, could have put them in a position to push on for victory.
Full report and analysis in The Northern Standard

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