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posted 18 Dec 2011, 06:49 by Unknown user

Friday 25th of November 2011 was a special day for Clerihan N.S. It was the day of the County Under 11 B Football Final. Clerihan N.S faced off against Gaelscoil Durlas in the County Final showdown, in Moyle Rovers GAA pitch. The referee was Willie Barrett from Ardfinnan. The young Clerihan lads were relaxed going into the game and were eagerly anticipating the challenge that lay ahead. They had trained extremely hard and were very focussed on what they had to do. Willie Barrett threw the ball in at 2pm. The game was on. Clerihan settled early and got into the rhythm of the game from the off. They were playing against the strong breeze in the first half. Gaelscoil Durlas played some good football in the first ten minutes and Clerihan had a lot of defending to do. The Clerihan backs were defending exceptionally well and constantly broke up the Gaelscoil attacks. The Clerihan midfield began to get on top. Cian Mullane and Tim Norris scored goals for Clerihan close to half time to put them in command. Riain Quigley and Callum Meagher scored a point each during the first period. The score at the interval was Clerihan 2-2 Gaelscoil Durlas 0-2. Clerihan knew that they had the wind in the second half but they were determined not to get complacent. There was still 15 minutes of hard work to be done before the County Title could be claimed. Gaelscoil Durlas came roaring back in the second half with great spirit and desire. They also demonstrated huge levels of skill to get level within 8 minutes. It was now 2-2 to 1-5. Clerihan were beginning to tire after putting so much effort into the first half playing against the wind. Gaelscoil were now in control and it looked like they were ready to claim the title. Clerihan were falling apart, until the outstanding Callum Meagher got himself into the position to rifle an unstoppable shot to the net to put Clerihan back in front. Both teams scored 2 points each after this as the game approached its nail-biting climax. Jack Fitzpatrick netted an outstanding goal for Clerihan two minutes from time to put them 6 points up. Clerihan looked home and hosed after this, but there was to be another twist in the tail. Gaelscoil Durlas went straight down the pitch and scored a wonderful goal to put 3 points between them again. As we approached the final whistle Gaelscoil worked the ball skilfully into another goal-scoring position. As they approached the Clerihan goal one of their forwards took a shot that was expertly blocked down by Riain Quigley. The ball broke to another Gaelscoil forward and he unleashed a rocket of a shot towards the goal. The Clerihan management and fans had their hearts in the mouths as the ball flew towards its target. If it went in the game would go to extra time. However Clerihan goalkeeper Eoin O'Loughlin pulled off the save of the century to keep out a shot that had looked unstoppable. It was a heroic piece of goalkeeping from the young 4th class net-minder. The save will be remembered for a very long time by all who witnessed it, and was a piece of goalkeeping that would grace any football occasion. Less than a minute later Willie Barrett blew the full time whistle. Clerihan were the 2011 Under 11 B Football County Champions! The final score was Clerihan N.S 4-4 Gaelscoil Durlas 2-7. It was a masterpiece of a game. It was so exciting with the play going from end to end. It was one of the best games of football you are likely to see, at that age group. It was a great win for Clerihan N.S. The team had been dealt two major blows in the week leading up to the Final. Two of the team's best players, from 5th class, became ill during the week and both had to miss the big match. However the lads who did get to play were determined to win it for the two boys who were missing. It is the fourth year in a row that Clerihan has won a County Football title. Four in a row for Clerihan! An interesting statistic about those 4 County Final successes is that Clerihan scored four goals in each final! 4-4 in the 2008 Under 11 C Final. 4-2 in the 2009 Under 11 Final. 4-7 in the 2010 Under 13 D Final. 4-4 in the 2011 Under 11 B Final. That is very consistent and is a credit to the confidence of the players in question. They have taken their chances when they were presented to them. Captain Fantastic Riain Quigley accepted the County Championship Trophy on behalf of his team mates. It was a proud moment for his family as his brother Cathal, a member of this year’s All Ireland Minor football winning Tipperary panel, had been captain of the Clerihan team in 2004 when they won the County Under 13 E football Championship. Well done to Riain, to all the players and all the members of the panel. Everyone played their part. Each and every one of them has done their parents, family, school and community proud. It was a proud moment for School Principal John Walsh to see the school capture another County Title. The work John puts in is incredible and it's great to see his hard work rewarded. Congratulations to all involved.

Hard luck to Gaelscoil Durlas. You put in a great performance and you will all be back next year challenging for Under 13 honours.Thanks to Moyle Rovers for allowing us use their pitch, and to Willie Barrett for refereeing the game in his usual exemplary manner. Finally thanks to the parents and supporters who followed us throughout the year. The parents in Clerihan are brilliant. The management team of John Walsh, Padraig Fahey and I really appreciate the help and support they give us.The Clerihan heroes of 2011 lined out as follows: Eoin O'Loughlin, Oisin Casey, Aiden Maher, Callum Meagher, Riain Quigley, Cian Mullane, Time Norris, Josh King, Ben Caffrey. Jack Fitzpatrick, Evan Mullins, Tom Houze. Panel members who missed the game due to sickness: Jack O'Rourke, Damien Cahill.