Clonmel Commercials (Tipperary) 1-13 St Joseph’s Miltown-Malbay (Clare) 0-03
Clonmel Commercials are the first Tipperary team through to an AIB Munster Club Senior Football Championship final since 2001.
The Premier County kingpins scored a comprehensive 13-point victory over Clare’s St Joseph’s Miltown-Malbay at the Sportsfield this afternoon.
Victory for Commercials sets up their first Munster final appearance since way back in 1994 – when Cork’s also provided the opposition. 21 years ago it was Castlehaven and in 2015 it will be Nemo Rangers.
Commercials found themselves playing into the teeth of a strong first half breeze but were 0-8 to 0-1 clear at the break, and with much of the hard work done.
Commercials were far more composed and were extremely good at keeping possession in tight areas with clever hand-passing.
And when the opportunities arose, Commercials took them to set up a shot at Munster specialists Nemo.
St Joseph’s were poor, however, and never got themselves into this game.
A large travelling contingent descended on the Clonmel Sportsfield but they had to wait until the 27th minute for their team’s opening score, supplied by Eoin Cleary.
By then, Commercials had eight points on the board, with Ian Barnes, Michael Quinlivan, Jason Lonegan, Seamus Kennedy and Jack Kennedy all contributing.
And when Quinlivan fisted home Lonergan’s delivery in the 41st minute, a goal that handed Commercials a 1-9 to 0-2 advantage, it was game over.
Commercials had Quinlivan blackcarded with 14 minutes of normal time remaining but they held out comfortably to the finish.
Full-back Seanie Malone did put over an inspirational point for St Joseph’s early in the second half but they wouldn’t score again until the closing minutes.
Pádraig White and Lonergan added gloss to the scoreboard with late scores for Commercials.
The winners were brilliantly set up on the day by manager Charlie McGeever, who guided Tipperary to an All-Ireland minor football final appearance this year.
Jamie Peters screened a two-man full-back line, ensuring that St Joseph’s dangerman Eoin Cleary was stifled.
Captain Kevin Harney was another standout performer on the day for Commercials, as he foraged brilliantly inside his own half and linked play together.
Commercials: J McDonald; J Peters, D Lynch, F Condon; L Moore, K Fahey, K Harney; S Kennedy (0-02), M Quinlivan (1-03, 0-01f); A Matassa, J Lonergan (0-03), I Fahey (0-01, 45); I Barnes (0-01f), J Kennedy (0-01), P White (0-02, 1f).
Subs: P Looram for J Kennedy (36), D Madigan for Quinlivan (47, black card), J Harney for Barnes (48), E Fitzgerald for Matassa (54) S Taylor for Peters (56), C McGeever for Condon (58).
St Jospeh’s: S O’Brien; E O’Brien, Seanie Malone (0-01), G Kelly; E O’Gorman, G Curtin, D Lafferty; J Meade, D McDonagh; K Keavey, K Malone (0-01), J Curtin; E Cleary (0-01), E Curtin, B Curtin.
Subs: C Hehir for Lafferty (inj, 10), C Murray for Keavey (30), G Kelly for Meade (h.t.), Sean Malone for J Curtin (46) S Curtin for G Curtin (51), D Talty for Cleary (55)
Referee: Conor Lane (Cork).