Under 21 B Championship Semi-final, March 18th 2006
Clontarf 1-8 (0-4) Naomh Barrog 1-3 (0-3)
Clontarf Under 21 footballers advanced to the U21 B championship final with a solid performance to overcome Naomh Barrog by 5 points. They now await the winners of the Ballinteer St. John and Whitehall CC semi-final. The 21’s are now just 60mins away from achieving a famous club championship success, as they try to emulate several rare previous championship successes - Ladies Footballers (2004), Junior Hurlers (1999), U15 Footballers (2003) and Adult Camogie (1993).
Clontarf started the far stronger and led by (0-4,0-0) after 20mins, despite the cross wind advantage favouring Naomh Barrog. Mark Leahy opened the Clontarf account on 10mins and this was followed by a fine left foot effort from distance by John Traenor. Damien Mullins followed soon after with another fine effort off his left peg after a good setup from Mark Leahy. Kevin Leahy closed out the half with the point of the day that sailed wind assisted over from 40 yards on the far right. In the same 20 mins period Clontarf kicked 9 wides and really should have closed the door on Barrog. For the final tens 10mins of the 1st half Barrog dominated, hitting 1 from play and 2 frees to leave the half time margin just 1 pt in Clontarf’s favour.
One player in particular stood out for Clontarf in that 1st half performace and that was Damien Mullins. From half forward he won a number of the Barrog kickouts, managed a fine point and remained on the field after a bruising collision with Barrog’s best player, who was unable to continue. Yes Clontarf's youngest player on the field was ‘En Feugo’ and more was about to be served up.
Shane McIntyre kicked an excellent point from distance to open the 2nd half scoring. Midway through the 2nd half it was Mullins who blocked a Barrog clearance, gathered and then drove an unstoppable shot from 25 yards to the top left corner of the net in the style of Ciaran Mc Manus. John Traenor and Mullins again added further scores to leave Clontarf in a comfortable position. But Barrog were not finished just yet and they managed to reduce the deficit to just 4 points with a goal on 53 mins. Debate still rages over the concession of that Barrog goal. The initial shot was met by Sherro, with one of those saves you just can’t teach, but the big question is did the otherwise honest Robbie Stokes palm the ball into his own net? – well we don’t think so.
Brilliant defending in those final minutes squashed any hope of a Barrog revival and the final score came from a fine long range Kevin Leahy free. Little doubt then that over the hour Clontarf were the better team. Well done to Damien Mullins on a tremendous contribution. Damien Fennelly was rock solid at centre back and beside him Darren Ryan was another star performer over the hour.
Team: Alan Sheriden, Peter Hickey, Robbie Stokes, Neil Shanahan, Ger Ryan, Damien Fennelly, Darrren Ryan, Kevin Leahy, Robbie Farrell, Damien Mullins, Mark Leahy (Capt), Neil Synnott, Shane McIntyre, Cian Reidy, John Traenor
Subs: Neil Mullins for Neil Synnott (45mins), Donal Redmond for Peter Hickey (55mins)
Scorers: Damien Mullins (1-2), John Traenor (0-2), Kevin Leahy (0-2), Shane McIntyre (0-1), Mark Leahy (0-1)