When is the last time a Clonmore team scored 3-18 and lost ? The answer is on Sunday 18 July 2021 when one opposition player scored an amazing 5-1. Yes, this incredible and unfortunate set of circumstances unfolded in Fenagh last night.
The game followed a pattern of Clonmore scoring points to build up a lead and then Myshall responding with goals to wipe out that lead. The first half was evenly contested with Clonmore getting some well worked scores by Shane McGrath (1-1) and impressive youngsters Rob Bulmer (2), Dylan Doyle and Billy Lawlor. Myshall responded with goals by wing back (No 5) and the man who was to prove Clonmore's nemesis, John Michael Nolan, to give them a narrow lead at half-time: 2-3 to 1-5.
Within seconds of the restart, Luke Connolly struck for a brilliant goal for Clonmore and Dylan Doyle added a superb point to put Clonmore 2-6 to 2-4 ahead on 38 mins.. Then catastrophe struck as our Young Player of the Year and County Senior Panellist, Luke Connolly, was shown a straight red card by Referee, Pat Murphy. This set-back only seemed to inspire the Clonmore lads and they upped their game considerably to score four unanswered points by the 'on-fire' Shock, a monster from Rob, another beauty from Dylan and a tidy point off his left foot by substitute Rory Maguire. 2-10 to 2-5 on 45mins and looking good.
Just after the water break, Anthony McDonald prevented a Myshall goal when he diverted a netbound effort over the crossbar. Tom Pollard extended Clonmore's lead to 2-11 to 2-6 on 48mins before the first of JM Nolan's hammer blows brought Myshall back into the game: 2-11 to 3-6. Shock McGrath maintained Clonmore's lead at 2-13 to 3-8 on 59mins but a 2 point lead is a dangerous one and SM Nolan struck again on 60mins to put Myshall ahead 4-8 to 2-13.
The Clonmore lads battled like demons to get the equaliser and even had chances of goals before eventually Dylan Doyle converted a free in the 65th minute to send the game into Extra Time.
Clonmore raced into a 1-3 to 0-1 lead at half-time in ET with the goal scored by Rory Maguire. With just a minute left in ET we were clinging on to a one point lead 1-4 to 0-5. Then JM Nolan rampaged through the middle and struck for two late goals to leave the Clonmore camp totally shell-shocked and give the Myshall men a very flattering 4 point win.
Inter-county hurler Nolan, a giant of a man, finished with a personal tally of 5-1, and that point would have been a sixth goal but for a brilliant save by Jordan Kane. A remarkable scoring feat by any standards.
This was a disappointing end to a League campaign when so many of Clonmore's young players matured into senior players. Anthony McDonald, Jake Hickey, Cormac Connolly, Luke Connolly, Billy Lawlor, Rob Bulmer, Dylan Doyle & Rory Maguire are all still under 20 and aquitted themselves very well at this level. Tom Pollard, Matt Cullen and Sean Deay are not much older. In addition, experienced players David Mulvany and Shane McGrath are in the form of their lives, Hopefully, we can build on this mixture of youth & experience and take confidence from a number of good performances in the League. With the talented & committed squad of players now available to the club, we can look forward with optimism to the Championship which begins on 24 September.
Team: Jordan Kane, Anthony McDonald, Matt Cullen, Shane Murphy, Paddy Gahan, Cormac Connolly, Enda McGrath, Luke Connolly (1-0), David Mulvany, Billy Lawlor (0-1), Con Murphy, Tom Pollard (0-1), Dylan Doyle (0-6,2f), Robert Bulmer (0-4), Shane McGrath (1-4,1f) Subs in normal time: Rory Maguire (1-1) for Con (40m), Sean Deay for Tom P (48m), Conor McCarney (0-1) for Shane McGrath (58m). Sub used in extra-time: Owen Coleman started ET bringing us up to 15, Jake Hickey for Anthony (70m), Daniel Quigley for Dylan (79m).
Referee: Patrick Murphy (Fenagh).