Clonmel Commercials are through to the semi-finals of the AIB All Ireland Club Championship After beating Tir Chonaill Gaels 2-12 to 0-9 in difficult conditions where the wind was a factor throughout the game.
The AIB man of the Match was Seamus Kennedy who was vital in Clonmel`s victory working hard on and off the ball and even helped add to Clonmel`s score.
Clonmel got the first score of the game through Paidi White before the Gaels equalised a couple of minutes later. For a number of minutes both teams matched each other point for point Marty McCoy and Seamus Kennedy among the point scorers for Tir Chonaill Gaels and Clonmel.
Clonmel gave themselves some breathing space by going 5 points up when Ian Fahey fired home past Declan Traynor in the Tir Chonaill Gaels goal in the 23rd-minute.
Clonmel suffered a setback late in the second half when Aldo Matassa and Michael Quinlivan to received black cards late in the half. TCG then hit three unanswered points before half time to trail by 1-5 to 0-6 at half time with the game still alive with two points in it.
Clonmel raced out of the blocks in the second half and scored their second goal of the game 15 seconds into the second half when substitute Padraig Looram fired home from close range into the top corner of the goal past a helpless Traynor.
The Gaels found themselves digging a bigger hole to climb out of when Adam Askin was dismissed on 34 minutes after receiving a black card after previously receiving a yellow card. Clonmel could then begin to kill the game as they sat back and counter attacked the Gaels with their frightening pace getting forward. As their semi-final spot edged closer to becoming reality.
TCG refused to give up despite not managing a score in the first ten minutes of the second half. But midfielders Mark Gottsche and Liam Gavaghan were having fine games and Gavigan added to the TCG score with vital points.
But Clonmel were not going to let their performance slip scoring three points without a response with Fahey getting in on the act as the full time whistle edged closer.
In the dying minutes TCG`S Ronan Breen was black carded and Gavigan had his shot saved by the Clonmel Keeper that ended any hopes of TCG getting anything from the game.
Ultimately TCG will rue a number of wides and missed chances they had to get scores as these missed chances gave Clonmel breathing space. Despite Gaels giving it everything they had,no London side has made it past the quarter final stage in this competition.
But if TCG and other London clubs alike put in performances like that in future seasons surely a London side with eventually progress further than the quarter final.
Clonmel Commercials will go on to play Ballyboden St Enda`s on February 13th. With the winner of that clash making the trip to Croke Park for the final on St Patricks day.
Image courtesy: http://www.irishtimes.com/polopoly_fs/1.2464847.1449937790!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_620_330/image.jpg Andrew fosker/Inpho