Cloughjordan ‘A’ 3 – Thurles Town 2 (aet)
A Simon Malone goal in the first minute of extra time secured the Ricky Fogarty Cup for Cloughjordan ‘A’ on a final scoreline of 3-2 over Thurles Town at Rearcross FC Grounds last Saturday evening. A thrilling encounter saw Thurles Town producing the first attack with Jamie O’Connor showing good footwork on the right by-line before Cloughjordan cleared their lines. Cloughjordan went on to dominate proceedings for long spells in the opening half and had their first chance on six minutes when Michael Costello got on the end of a free kick to head over. Diarmuid Kennedy’s long delivery sent Simon Malone through on goal in the 21st minute, however Pat Lawlor did well to cut out the danger despite claims for a penalty from the Cloughjordan camp. Simon Malone was a threat throughout for the black & whites and found space inside the box three minutes later, however the dinked effort was over the top. Cloughjordan goalkeeper Alan Coleman was fast off his line all evening and did well to save at the feet of Jamie O’Connor who finished off a move started by Robbie Jordan eighteen minutes before the break. The concession of free kicks was to prove costly for Thurles Town as all three goals came from set pieces, the first coming on 29 minutes when Diarmuid Kennedy advanced on the right to finish a Michael Costello free kick inside the upright from close range. Thurles Town counterattacked and a long range free kick from the boot of Mick Ryan went all the way to Alan Coleman who gathered on the second attempt and then seconds later the Cloughjordan number one advanced to make a brave save denying Stephen Carroll in the process. Thurles Town made a strong finish to the half and Diarmuid Kennedy got back to make a crucial interception. Simon Malone showed great pace on the left in the 35th minute, however Benny Connelly did well to force the wide ball as Michael Costello had ghosted through the centre unmarked. Thurles Town were back in the tie two minutes before the half time whistle when a mazy run from Mick Ryan down the left saw Paul Killackey put in the challenge which was overzealous as match referee Alec McCormack pointed to the spot, Padraig Fogarty stepped up to send a low pile driver whizzing to the back of the net. Thurles Town made a lively start to the second half and Jamie O’Connor was through on goals four minute in, the tackle was mistimed, however the Thurles striker stayed on his feet which negated the penalty claim. The Cloughjordan custodian was in the action a minute later and came off his line to save again at the feet of Jamie O’Connor. Thurles Town were turning the screw at this stage and Diarmuid Kennedy did well to block down from Stephen Carroll before Eoin Dorney followed up with a good effort from outside the box which was gathered cleanly by Alan Coleman under the crossbar. Cloughjordan found another gear and restored their advantage in the 67th minute when Kevin Kennedy sent in a low menacing delivery across the Thurles goal mouth where Michael Costello was in hand to drive between the posts from close range. Alan Coleman sped off his line again midway through the half and got down to deny Eoin Dorney. Thurles Town got back level in the 85th minute in somewhat controversial circumstances when Padraig Fogarty got the last touch on Tom Brophy’s corner kick following a goalmouth scramble, Alan Coleman got behind the effort, however the ball was adjudged to have crossed the line despite strong protestations from Cloughjordan. The Eoin Killackey managed side got the ideal start in extra time when Cian Doyle’s free kick was nodded on to Simon Malone who crashed his 22nd second goal of the season to the back of the net, Simon Malone came close again in the 98th minute after getting on the end of Michael Cleary’s free kick to head on target, however Davy Coppinger was equal to the effort and produced a fine reflex save to deflect the ball on to the woodwork. Thurles Town battled gallantly in the second period of extra time but couldn’t find a way through against a resilient Cloughjordan rear-guard where Alan Coleman and Diarmuid Kennedy were again to fore, although John Murphy’s side were unlucky not to snatch an equalizer in the 105th minute when Darren Ivor’s first time touch from a Eoin Dorney free kick glanced wide of the mark. Cloughjordan players and supporters burst in to scenes of joyous celebrations at the final whistle in what was a first top flight win for Cloughjordan FC over the past fourteen years. Thurles Town will be disappointed to have finished second best on this occasion and will re-group for next season’s campaign. Richard Fogarty presented the Ricky Fogarty Cup to Cloughjordan captain Kevin Kennedy surrounded by jubilant players and supporters. Cloughjordan are still in contention for Premier Division League and Tipperary Cup honours and will look to carry the momentum from this exciting Cup win through to the remainder of the season.
Cloughjordan ‘A’: Alan Coleman, Paul Killackey, Donal Costello, Freddie Williams, Diarmuid Kennedy, Kevin Kennedy (Capt), Michael Costello, Kevin Quinlan, Ger O’Brien, Simon Malone, Ger Corcoran,
Subs: Cian Doyle for Ger Corcoran (60th minute), Colm Williams for Paul Killackey(79th minute), Michael Cleary for Michael Costello (83rd minute)Subs Not Used: Niall Farrell, David Williams
Thurles Town: Davy Coppinger(Capt), Darren Ivors, Mick Ryan, Benny Connelly, Pat Lawlor, Padraig Fogarty, Eoin Dorney, Robbie Jordan, Tom Brophy, Jamie O’Connor, Stephen Carroll
Subs: Darren Connor for Robbie Jordan (58th minute), Liam Mackey for Jamie O’Connor
Subs Not Used: Sean O’Connell, Liam Connelly, Ben Brophy
Referee: Alec McCormack
Assistant Referees: Jim McGrath, Tommy Lynch
Richie Fogarty presents the Ricky Fogarty Cup to Cloughjordan captain Kevin Kennedy surrounded by jubilant players and supporters.
Thurles Town – Ricky Fogarty Cup Runners Up
Captains / Officials:
Jim McGrath, Kevin Kennedy (Cloughjordan Capt), Alec McCormack, Davy Coppinger (Thurles Town Capt), Tommy Lynch