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Clonakilty hit top spot in Division 2 after derby win

May 4th, 2024 6:00 PM

By Tom Lyons

Clonakilty hit top spot in Division 2 after derby win Image
Dohenys' Paudie Crowley clashes with Clonakilty's Chris Kenneally during the Division 2 derby at Dunmanway. (Photos: Paddy Feen)

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Clonakilty 2-4

Dohenys 0-7



CLONAKILTY replaced Dohenys at the top of Division 2 of the McCarthy Insurance county football league by virtue of this narrow win in Sam Maguire Park, Dunmanway, on Friday night.

Looking at the final score, one would think the game was played in dreadful conditions but nothing could be further from the truth. What this local derby, top-of-the-table clash showed was the size of the task facing Jim Gavin and his committee in Croke Park if they are to make Gaelic football a watchable sport again.

Picture the scene. One point each after the first quarter. 1-2 to 0-4 at half time as both defences dominated. Then a second half that saw Dohenys putting 15 men inside their own half for most of the 30-plus minutes as Clon launched attack after attack of lateral, backwards possession football. Attacks that invariably broke down as they failed to find a way through the massed defence. When the decisive goal arrived in the 50th minute it came as a result of an intercept 40 metres from the Doheny goal, not from any elaborate Clon build-up.

Clonakilty's Sean White impressed in his side's win.


‘It certainly wasn’t what we wanted or expected,’ stated Clon selector Eoin Ryan, despite the vital win.

‘It was probably our worst display of the season; we’ve been scoring freely but this was the very opposite. How do you cope with such defensive football – defenders inside the 45-metre line at times? It was a win and put us top of the table but we didn’t play well.

‘Our defence did well but they were never under too much pressure. We’d be disappointed with the performance overall. It’s frightening to think we may come up against this again in the championship, and we’ll just have to find some way to break down massed defences.

‘Our aim is to get up to Division 1, we need to be up there so we have to keep winning games. Tonight was another successful step.’

It was under-strength Dohenys who played the possession game in the first half, even though the fast breakaways suited their lively forwards much more, while Clon tried to play direct attacking football. However, invariably, Clon’s moves were either turned over by the quick-moving Doheny defenders or final passes went astray. Credit the Clon defence with closing down the fast Doheny forwards, especially Fionn Herlihy and Keith White, repeatedly shepherding them out to the corners or forcing them to pass the ball back out the pitch. The result was that in the first quarter the only scores came from Conor Daly, Clon’s best forward in the first half, and Gavin Farr from a free.

Thankfully the game opened up somewhat in the second quarter as Fionn Herlihy and Farr shoved Dohenys into a two-point lead. Dohenys were doing most of the attacking but they were caught in the 19th minute when Clon intercepted the ball in the Doheny half-back line and Conor Daly cut through to find the net. Coakley levelled the scores with a good point. On the stroke of half time, Brian White pointed a Clon free to leave Clon in front by a point at the break, 1-2 to 0-4.

Forgettable as the first half was, it paled in comparison to the second as Clon, through the strong play of Seán White, Thomas Clancy, Ben Ridgeway and newcomer Griffin Wharton, took control of the middle third of the pitch, with their corner backs, David Lowney and Chris Kenneally, surging forward at every opportunity. However, possession football and side-to-side attacks produced only a single point from a Darragh Gough mark in the third quarter.

Dohenys should have goaled in the first minute of the half when they intercepted a pass back to the Clon goalkeeper but somehow corner back Chris Kenneally cleared off the goal line.

Clonakilty's Niall Barrett celebrates after scoring his side's second goal against Dohenys.


When the vital score came in the 50th minute, it came as a result of an opportunist intercept, following a brief schemozzle on the 45-metre line, by Clon’s Seán White, who set up Niall Barrett for a finish into the bottom corner of the net. In such a low-scoring game, that goal was going to be the decisive, Clon leading by a clear five points.

Dohenys were forced out of their defensive set-up in the closing ten minutes in an effort to salvage the game and they showed what might have been when Keith White kicked two good points and Gavin Farr pointed a free. Clon’s only reply came from a Seán White point but they comfortably held on for a three-point win, 2-4 to 0-7, in a game that certainly won’t be remembered for too long.



Clonakilty: Conor Daly 1-1; Niall Barrett 1-0; Seán White, Darragh Gough (1m), Brian White (1f) 0-1 each.

Dohenys: Gavin Farr 0-3 (2f); Keith white 0-2; Rhys Coakley, Fionn Herlihy 0-1 each.


Clonakilty: Mark White; Chris Kenneally, Dan Peet, David Lowney; Seán White, Thomas Clancy, Brian White; Ben Ridgeway, Griffin Wharton; Cian Ryan, Darragh Gough, Simon Murphy; Niall Barrett, Conor Daly, Aaron Cullinane.

Subs: Cian O’Donovan for C Ryan (23), Ross Mannix for A Cullinane (40), Fergal Murphy for S Murphy (51).

Dohenys: Stephen Daly; Jerry Farrell, Donal Rice, Ellis Farrell; Shane Barry, Cathal Daly, Josh Burke; Rhys Coakley, Johnny Kelly; Adam O’Donovan, Gavin Farr, Fionn Herlihy; Keith White, Barry O’Donovan,  Paudie Crowley.

Subs: Darragh Collins for F Herlihy (50), Jack McCarthy for J Burke (58).

Referee: Liam O’Shea (Carbery Rangers).

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