Clune in tune to seal victory
Richard nails winning point
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.