Leinster final – Ard Scoil Chiarain Naofa Vs Ard Gillian

23 Feb, 2023 | Uncategorized

Both teams travelled to Kinnegad Gaa field to play the Leinster (D) final. Right from the throw in Clara hit the ground running. Mid fielder Ciaran McKeon wins the throw in and kicks the ball into Marcas Dalton who hand passes it across the square to Conor Doyle who palms it into the net. Then, minutes later Marcas Dalton claims a mark in the middle of the field and pumps a ball into Barry Egan who kicks it across the goal into the top corner. With not even 4 minutes gone Clara are up by 2 goals. In the 9th minute an Ard Gillian goal chance was denied by Clara’s wing back Ronan Touhey. Clara’s Captain Marcas Dalton then went down injured which saw Greg Byrne brought onto the field of play. Clara’s first point of the game came in the 14th minute which came off the boot of Liam Flynn. Impressing goalkeeping by Tommy Bracken denied Ard Gillian yet another goal chance. In the 18th minute Conor Doyle kicked his second score of the game, a point to leave Clara 2:2 to no score up. Ard Gillian’s first score of the game came from placed ball in the 21st minute. Liam Flynn kicked another point in the 23rd minute which was then followed by another point by Clara’s full back Christian McKeon. Late into the first half Ard Gillian midfielder Sean Hackett was booked with a yellow card, the score at half time was 2:4 to 0:1. 

There was no change to the Clara team at half time, Clara opened the scoring in the 2nd half when Liam Flynn scored a point from a failed goal chance. Ard Gillian then found the goals for their second score of the match kicked into the net by Julian Kearney. A few moments later they created another point to leave the score 2:5 to 1:2. In the 37th minute Barry Egan won the Ard Gillian kick out in the middle of the field which was then worked through the hands until it was brought into scoring range and kicked over by Ben Kennedy.  Greg Byrne then kicked Clara’s 7th point of the match in the 40th minute. Then, with a mix of hand passing and cross field ball, Clara’s 8th point was sailed over by Conor Doyle. Seconds later Conor Doyle handed the ball off to Ben Kennedy to score Clara’s 3rd goal. Then, because of a free which was brought up ten yards to about 30 yards out from the goals, Ard Gillian kicked their 3rd point. Liam Flynn then went down with a collarbone injury in the middle of the field which saw the introduction of Scott Griffith to the game. In the 50th minute Ard Gillian kicked their 4th point from a free 40 yards out. Myles Handy then rattled Ard Gillian’s wing forward with a shoulder which held up the game for a couple minutes. Gillian then played a dangerous ball into the Clara box, which was quickly fisted out over the end line, a 45 was given which was followed by a free out. A triple substitution on the Clara team which saw James Cullen replaced by Brian Hogan, Myles handy replaced by Aaron Kelly and Conor Taylor replaced by Hugh Hillard. With normal time played Barry Egan was sent to the line on a black card. In the 4th minute of stoppage time Ryan Carroll received a yellow card. Ard Gillian were awarded a free which they drove wide, and with that the final whistle blew. Clara won on a score line of 3:08 to 1:04. The score line reflects the great work rate of all the Clara players, all over the field, especially between the two 45’s where they won most possession and turned over a huge amount of ball. 

This great win brings the Clara boys to the All-Ireland semi-final against Pobalscoil Ghaoth Dobhair from Derrybeg, Donegal. 

Report by E.P, TY Student

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