Clonmel Commercials are first Tipp team in a Munster final in 21 years
Sharpshooter Michael Quinlivan inspired his team to a 13 point win over St Joseph’s
Michael Quinlivan led his team to a Munster final showdown with Nemo Rangers. Photograph: Ken Sutton/Inpho
Clonmel Commercials 1-13 St Joseph’s Miltown-Malbay 0-3
Clonmel Commercials are through to a first AIB Munster senior club football final since 1994 - as county star Michael Quinlivan led the way in their semi-final against St Joseph’s Miltown Malbay on Sunday afternoon.
Quinlivan scored 1-3, including a killer second half goal, before he was black-carded at the Clonmel Sportsfield.
Commercials still had more than enough in the tank to set up a final meeting with Nemo Rangers in a fortnight.
As it was with Castlehaven 21 years ago, Cork opposition will present itself again to Commercials in the provincial showpiece.
On the evidence they showed against St Joseph’s, Commercials have every chance of claiming silverware.
County stars Quinlivan, Seamus Kennedy, and Jason Lonergan were very much to the fore but there were standout performances too from Jamie Peters, who screened the supply of ball to St Joseph’s dangerman Eoin Cleary, and roving forward Kevin Harney.
Commercials found themselves playing into the teeth of a strong first half breeze but were 0-8 to 0-1 clear at the break, and with much of the hard work done.
Commercials were far more composed and were extremely good at keeping possession in tight areas with clever handpassing.
And when the opportunities arose, Commercials took them to set up a shot at Munster specialists Nemo.
St Joseph’s were poor, however, and never got going on the day.
A large travelling contingent descended on the Sportsfield but they had to wait until the 27th minute for their team’s opening score, supplied by Cleary.
By then, Commercials had eight points on the board, with Ian Barnes, Quinlivan, Lonergan, Seamus Kennedy and Jack Kennedy all contributing.
And when Quinlivan fisted home Lonergan’s delivery in the 41st minute, a goal that handed Commercials a 1-9 to 0-2 advantage, it was game over.
Commercials had Quinlivan black carded with 14 minutes of normal time remaining but they held out comfortably to the finish.
Commercials: J McDonald; J Peters, D Lynch, F Condon; L Moore, K Fahey, K Harney; S Kennedy (0-2), M Quinlivan (1-3, 0-1f); A Matassa, J Lonergan (0-3), I Fahey (0-1, 45); I Barnes (0-1f), J Kennedy (0-1), P White (0-2, 1f).
Subs: P Looram for J Kennedy (36), D Madigan for Quinlivan (47, black card), J Harney for Barnes (48), E Fitzgerald for Matassa (54) S Taylor for Peters (56), C McGeever for Condon (58).
St Joseph’s: S O’Brien; E O’Brien, Seanie Malone (0-1), G Kelly; E O’Gorman, G Curtin, D Lafferty; J Meade, D McDonagh; K Keavey, K Malone (0-1), J Curtin; E Cleary (0-1), E Curtin, B Curtin.
Subs: C Hehir for Lafferty (inj, 10), C Murray for Keavey (30), G Kelly for Meade (h.t.), Sean Malone for J Curtin (46) S Curtin for G Curtin (51), D Talty for Cleary (55)
Referee: Conor Lane (Cork).