SUB SARTO SAVES THE DAY

26 October 2012 No Comments by The Northern Standard

AGHABOG 1-09
CLONES 1-09
BY JOHN GRAHAM

IT WAS billed as one that had the potential to be a close encounter and that is exactly how it worked out as there was nothing to separate the sides at the end of this absorbing Junior Football League Final that was played in a good spirit in Scotstown on Sunday afternoon last.
Overall a draw was probably a fair enough result as both sides enjoyed periods of dominance and both had also squandered chances, but overall Aghabog will have slightly more reason to be disappointed as they looked to be in control at the vital time, leading by three points entering the final 10 minutes but ultimately being hauled back by a Clones side that simply refused to give up.
Aghabog opened the scoring with a point by Ciaran Logue after three minutes but within a minute Clones were level when Darren Freeman was on hand to capitalise after a shot by Ciaran Kelly had come back off the upright.
Clones then squandered three chances in quick succession to take the lead and they eventually did in the ninth minute when a quick free in by Darragh Holland found Darren Freeman in space and he capitalised.
A minute later Clones opened a five points lead when a speculative centre by Ciaran Kelly was mishandled to his own net by Aghabog keeper Sean McBride although had the ball not crossed the line then Darren Freeman was lurking dangerously.
In the concession of that goal Sean McBride picked up an injury and was replaced by Shane Dolan but Clones were now calling the shots and they went on to add points apiece by Darragh Holland, an excellent effort from out on the wing, and Adrian Alford following good work by Fintan Kelly, Michael Treanor and Ethan Audley.
That little flurry put Clones six points in front with Aghabog then reducing the deficit to five in the 17th minute with a good point by Sean O’Brien. Seven minutes later Dermot Smyth reduced the margin to four but only after Clones had again been off target from three reasonable chances and another effort had dropped short.
If Clones had enjoyed a modicum of good luck for their goal earlier Aghabog were similarly fortunate in the 24th minute when a dipping shot by Ciaran Logue deceived Clones keeper Colin McCaughey to leave just a point between the sides with six minutes of normal time remaining in the first-half. With four minutes remaining Sean O’Brien converted a free for a foul on Paddy O’Brien to bring the sides level for the second time in the match although Clones then had to be grateful to Colin McCaughey who took off a diving save to deny Sean O’Brien in the 27th minute.
A promising Clones attack was broken up but an Aghabog offender was then adjudged to have thrown the ball and David Freeman converted an easy free to restore …

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