Clane GAA

Founded 1884

Co. Kildare

Under 23 Football Championship Final- Match Report

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Under 23 Football Championship Final- Match Report

For the second time in three years, our Under 23 Footballers celebrated a county championship victory when defeating Celbridge in a tough and tight tussle at Manguard Park (Hawkfield) last Sunday evening.

With Harry O'Neill and Sam Reilly sidelined as well as injury doubts persiting over Sam McCormack, Jake Burke and Adam Fanning, it was always going to be a tough game against a Celbridge side that boasted a number of players that were in action in the senior county final a few weeks ago.

Like in the semi-final with Raheens, we made a slow start and an early Celbridge goal saw them take a deserved lead but as has been shown throughout the championship campaign, the Clane lads don't do panic and they were soon back in the game with a brilliantly converted goal from joint-captain Sam McCormack.

As well as Sam, Cormac Vizzard, Cian Shanahan and Jake Burke all chipped in with opening half scores as Celbridge went into the break with a 1-6 to 1-5 advantage.

It remained nip and tuck throughout the second period with Aaron Browne producing a magnicficent attacking performance for the boys in blue but gradually we began to take control and with Sam McCormack moved to full forward he netted our second goal in the 44th minute.

Led by All-Ireland winning Under 20 selector Tommy Konstantin, Celbridge came back for more and there was nothing seperating the sides with five minutes left on the clock.

This is where Clane's strength in depth really came to the fore with impact subs Adam Fanning and Rhys Vaughan both knocking over late points on the back of another McCormack effort.

Celbridge tried to force a goal in the three minutes of stoppage time but it was our day as we claimed a three point success, winning out on a 2-13 to 1- 13 scoreline.

A great achievement to rack up another underage title and with the vast majority of the squad involved with the senior team, it's a great end to a long year.

Massive credit to the players but also to the management team of Richard Dunne, Fergie Burke, Ger Fanning, John Finn and Tadhg Montgomery who deserve massive praise for the way they led the team over the last few weeks.

The future is certainly bright, Claonadh Abu .

Clane Team: Cian Burke; Hugh Prendergast, Conor Walsh, Eoin Walsh; Danny Vaughan, Cian Shanahan (0-1), Stephen Brereton; Eoin Twohig, Sam McCormack (2-6, 0-4f); Jake Burke (0-1), Shane O'Sullivan, Cormac Vizzard (0-3, 0-2f); James Behan, Oisin Tighe, Oisin O'Sullivan.

Subs used- Keelan O'Connell, Adam Fanning (0-1), Rhys Vaughan (0-1), Shane O'Connor.

Pictures by Brendan Holmes

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