KIERAN McCARTHY REPORTS
THERE’S something brewing in Clonakilty, alright.
The town’s footballers are back in a county senior football final for the first time since 2009 after they beat Douglas in a Premier SFC semi-final showdown at Páirc Uí Chaoimh on Sunday afternoon.
Full value for this win, and their place in the county decider, Clon led 0-15 to 0-10 down the home stretch before an injury-time Douglas penalty and free dragged the city side to within one, but the West Cork men hung on.
They had heroes everywhere. Sean White was immense. David Lowney was heroic. Thomas Clancy was a rock in defence. Liam O’Donovan was everywhere. Sean McEvoy kicked four points. Again, heroes everywhere. A team effort.
— Kieran McCarthy (@KieranMcC_SS) November 14, 2021
This was a dominant Clon performance. Douglas kicked the first three points, but once Haulie O’Neill’s men settled, they were the better team and played the better football. Douglas had three points on the board within six minutes, all from David Hanrahan, but Clon didn’t panic. This team is growing, learning, like they did when they came back from six down in the quarter-final against Duhallow.
Scores from Ross Mannix and Sean McEvoy got Clon up and running, and it was their running game that caused Douglas huge problems as the half wore on. Points from Alan O’Hare and Conor Russell (free) sandwiched another McEvoy effort, after a superb move, as the city men led 0-5 to 0-3. But Dara Ó Sé (free) and a monstrous effort from captain Eoghan Deasy had the teams tied at the first water break, 0-5 apiece.
Clon kicked on in the second quarter, moving the ball at pace, knitting attacks together, and Ben Ridgeway and two Ó Sé frees pushed the West Cork men 0-8 to 0-5 in front. A point from Alan O’Hare stopped Clon’s scoring run. Ó Sé, again from a free, had the last say of the first half as Clon led 0-9 to 0-6 at the break,
Early in the second half, after Mannix and McEvoy added two more points, Clon led 0-11 to 0-7, but Douglas were not going away. Efforts from Niall Hartnett and Alan O’Hare brought them within two, before a flowing move saw Thomas Clancy and Mannix involved before Ó Sé finished. Clon led 0-12 to 0-9 at the second water break.
A brilliant Sean White solo run had the finish it deserved, and when Ó Sé and McEvoy added two more points, Clon led 0-15 to 0-10 as this semi-final raced towards injury. There was late drama when Douglas were handed a lifeline with the penalty, scored by O’Hare, but Clon were not to be denied. They are back in a county senior final.
Scorers - Clonakilty: Dara Ó Sé 0-6 (5f); Sean McEvoy 0-4; Ross Mannix 0-2; Ben Ridgeway, Eoghan Deasy, Sean White 0-1 each. Douglas: Alan O’Hare 1-5 (1-0 pen, 1f); David Hanrahan 0-3; Conor Russell (f), Niall Hartnett, Aaron Sheehy 0-1 each.
Clonakilty: Mark White; Maurice Shanley, Thomas Clancy, Dan Peet; David Lowney, Eoghan Deasy, Sean White; Ben Ridgeway, Joe Grimes; Gearoid Barry, Dara Ó Sé, Sean McEvoy; Ross Mannix, Jack O’Mahony, Liam O’Donovan. Subs: Conor Daly for J O’Mahony (38), Cian O’Donovan for D Peet (55), Sean O’Donoghue for C Daly (60), Odhran Bancroft for Liam O’Donovan (60).
Douglas: Brian Boyle; Daniel Harte, Nathan Walsh, Luke McGrath; Sean Powter, Dylan Ward, Sean Wilson; Brian Hartnett, Kevin Flahive; Brian Lynch, Niall Hartnett, Shane Aherne; Conor Russell, David Hanrahan, Alan O’Hare. Subs: Liam Dineen for N Walsh (19), Jamie Davis for D Harte (38), Aaron Sheehy for S Aherne (39), Diarmuid McCarthy for C Russell (49).
Referee: D Murnane (Macroom).