Durlas Og .......................................................... 3-9
Clonmel Commercials....................................... 2-3
Durlas Og bridged a 21 years gap when they defeated Clonmel Commercials in a high quality County Under 12 Group 1 football final at sunny Templetuohy on Saturday. The Thurles boys who were excellently coached gave a fabulous display of attacking football to run out convincing winners in the end.
Clonmel Commercials played with the advantage of the strong wind in the first half. They were quickly into their stride and opened the scoring with a point in the 2nd minute. They had a number of further opportunities for scores after this but they failed to take their chances and this was due in no small way to the top class defending by the Durlas Og backs. Durlas Og began to settle into the game and two Paddy Creedon points has Durlas Og in the lead by the 8th minute and this lead was extended when Oisin O'Brien kicked over a delightful point in the 12th minute to leave it 0-3 to 0-1 in Durlas Og's favour despite playing against the wind. Durlas Og were on the defensive for the remainder of the half and the Clonmel boys broke through for a goal in the 17th minute and this was quickly followed by a point to leave the score at the interval Clonmel Commercials 1-2 Durlas Og 0-3.
Whatever was said to the Durlas Og boys at half time certainly worked because inside the first minute Paddy Creedon had the ball in the Clonmel net and Durlas Og never looked back after this dream start to the second half. Creedon pointed in the 3rd minute and James Armstrong showing tremendous vision kicked a 40 meters pass to Oisin O'Brien who rifled the ball to the back of the net to give Durlas Og a 2-4 to 1-2 lead midway through the half. Paddy Creedon added another point to extend the lead to six points. When it looked as if Durlas Og were heading to victory back came Commercials to score a goal and a point to reduce the lead to two points with five minutes remaining. The next play of the game decided the contest and fittingly it was from Durlas Og's captain fantastic, Paddy Creedon who scored as good a goal as you would see at any level. It was all Durlas Og in the final minutes and points from Oisin O'Brien (2), Urban Nolan and Conor Ruddy sealed a famous victory and when referee, Andy Murray's final whistle sounded Durlas Og's players, mentors and supporters were jubilant as they had bridged a 21 years wait for another county under 12 football title.
All thirteen players were heroes and contributed to this victory. Steven Donovan was very solid in goals and brought off at least two vital saves. Conor Fogarty, Luke Fogarty, Conor Stapleton and Daniel Ruddy were tenacious in the tackle and used the ball very intelligently, James Armstrong was much involved and set up a number of scores while captain, Paddy Creedon lead by example and finished the match as top scorer with 2-4. Oisin O'Brien had a keen eye for a score and finished with an impressive tally of 1-3. Jack Kelly, Darragh Stakelum, Conor Whitehead, Urban Nolan and Conor Ruddy worked tirelessly throughout.
After the match Neil Ryan, County Bord na nOg PRO complimented both teams on an excellent match and presented the cup to Durlas Og captain, Paddy Creedon.
Durlas Og mentors Richard Stapleton, Fergus O'Brien, Danny Ruddy, David Fogarty and Sean O'Connell can be very proud of their young players and it showed on the pitch that this was a very well coached outfit.
Team and scorers:
Durlas Og: Steven Donovan, Conor Fogarty, Luke Fogarty, Conor Stapleton, Daniel Ruddy, James Armstrong, Paddy Creedon (2-4), Jack Kelly, Darragh Stakelum, Oisin O'Brien (1-3), Conor Ruddy (0-1), Urban Nolan (0-1), Conor Whitehead.