Clune in tune to seal vic­tory

Richard nails win­ning point

Bray People - - SPORT -

AN­NACURRA A 3-10 AN­NACURRA B 1-15 AN­NACURRA GAA cel­e­brated Lá na Club with a day that show­cased all of the club’s foot­ball teams and cul­mi­nated in a fiercely con­tested bat­tle for the Ciaran Shan­non Cup with the teams only sep­a­rated by a last minute win­ner.

Richard Clune’s win­ning point with the last kick of the game se­cured vic­tory for an An­nacurra A team which had been be­hind for most of the match and were only given a life­line by Alan Byrne’s two goals and Dy­lan Doyle’s de­light­ful fin­ish in the sec­ond half.

The adult game fol­lowed a whole host of ju­ve­nile foot­ball matches from U 6 to U 14 level along with a cou­ple of camo­gie matches as the club came to­gether for Lá na Club. An army of helpers were on hand to pro­vide re­fresh­ments for all of the club mem­bers on a beau­ti­ful day.

Play­ers who haven’t kicked a foot­ball all year, and some haven’t kicked a foot­ball for a bit longer than that, togged out for the Ciaran Shan­non Cup, an an­nual match played within the club, to fin­ish off the day.

The An­nacurra B team be­gan the match brightly and their for­wards were that bit more po­tent than the A team, helped by Martin O’Brien get­ting for­ward to score from dis­tance. The A team how­ever was more ef­fi­cient in its shoot­ing from lim­ited pos­ses­sion and only Conor Shan­non’s goal sep­a­rated the teams at half time, 1-05 to 5 points.

An­nacurra B threat­ened to pull away in the sec­ond half with the wind as Dean Barnes linked up play be­tween de­fence and at­tack from the half for­ward line and Martin O’Brien con­tin­ued to ex­tend his side’s lead. His fi­nal tally of seven points is prob­a­bly the most he has ever kicked in a match.

At the other end as the An­nacurra A team sought to re­duce the deficit, shot se­lec­tion and ac­cu­racy failed the side. Shots were kicked wide un­der pres­sure or the play­ers tried to force their way into goal op­por­tu­ni­ties when it wasn’t pos­si­ble. It looked like An­nacurra B would go on to win un­til Alan Byrne and Dy­lan Doyle in­ter­vened.

First, Byrne wrig­gled his way through the de­fence and un­leashed a shot Robert Fitzger­ald ini­tially saved but Byrne con­verted the re­bound. Mo­ments later he once again got through on goal but this time his low shot gave Fitzger­ald no chance in goal.

Then, Doyle struck. Gather­ing the ball in the right wing for­ward po­si­tion, he played a one-two with Richard Clune be­fore shim­my­ing and swerv­ing his way around most of the tired An­nacurra B de­fence and chip­ping the ad­vanc­ing Fitzger­ald.

The ball hit the post but Doyle was there to vol­ley the ball home.

It didn’t quite send the crowd into wild scenes of joy, but it set up an ex­cit­ing fin­ish with the teams level.

With time al­most up An­nacurra B had one last at­tack, but Pierce O’Brien got in an im­por­tant tackle to win pos­ses­sion and clear the ball. Martin Fitzger­ald blew the full time whis­tle, much to ev­ery­one’s dis­ap­point­ment. Well, some of the play­ers would have been happy to fin­ish there and then, but it was de­cided that the next score would win the match.

The ball was thrown in to restart the match which An­nacurra A gained and at­tacked with it, win­ning a free just in­side the An­nacurra B 45 me­tre line. All po­si­tional shape had dis­in­te­grated by this stage, leav­ing Clune to wan­der into an un­marked po­si­tion to col­lect the quick free kick and slot it over the bar.

Scor­ers: An­nacurra A – Alan Byrne 2-01; Dy­lan Doyle 1-02; Clive Ho­ran 0-03; Glenn Austin 0-02; John Thomp­son, Richard Clune 0-01 each.

An­nacurra B – Martin O’Brien 0-07; Conor Shan­non 1-00; Sean O’Neill, Jack Keenan, Dean Barnes 0-02 each; Liam Moules, James Keenan 0-01 each.

An­nacurra A: James Fitzger­ald; Sam Walker, El­liot Robin­son; Philip Doyle, Pierce O’Brien, Ciaran Doyle; Mick O’Brien, Alan Byrne; Dy­lan Doyle, Clive Ho­ran, Glenn Austin; Richard Clune, Michael Doyle, John O’Neill. Sub: John Thomp­son for Sam Walker.

An­nacurra B: Robert Fitzger­ald; Noel Shan­non, Vin­cent O’Fla­herty, Mar­cus Gra­ham; Liam Moules, Max Mol­loy, James Keenan; Martin O’Brien, Paul McDon­ald; Dean Barnes, Sean O’Neill, Jack Keenan; Brian Shan­non, Conor Shan­non. Sub: Sam Walker for Mar­cus Gra­ham.

Ref­eree: Martin Fitzger­ald

The An­nacurra A and B teams who com­peted in the Ciaran Shan­non Cup last Sun­day af­ter­noon.

Liam Moules tries to close down Clive Ho­ran in An­nacurra.

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