Clonmel Town 4
Cahir Park 1
Clonmel Town have been going through a period of transition over the last few seasons, but on the evidence of their performance last Sunday, it looks like they are finding a winning formula which will take them a long way towards honours as the new season progresses. They opened very strongly against a Cahir team who were promoted to Premier status as champions, but have gone through a number of personnel changes in the preseason. In the opening period the home team took the game to Cahir and carved out a number of half chances to set the tone.
They eventually gained their reward when Michael Quinlivan, returning after some time away, got on the end of a cross from Paul Shanahan, to put Clonmel ahead. An expectant crowd may have felt that this would have been the key to opening the floodgates for Town, but instead they were shocked in the final minutes of the half when some poor defending culminated in conceding a penalty, which was fired home by Cahir’s Jason Hahessy, to square things going into the break.
Cahir, apparently satisfied by the prospect of a draw, retreated into a defensive pattern in the opening minutes of the second half. It proved a poor tactic, as inviting a rampaging Clonmel Town onto them, led to going behind for a second time as Clonmel midfielder Shane Flynn beat a number of Cahir defenders before coolly slotting home, to regain the lead.
Whatever chance Cahir had of coming back from this setback was crushed minutes later as Clonmel struck again, when a well-placed pass from John Shanahan opened the visitors defence for Conor Kinneally to finish. The final half an hour then settled into an almost dull pattern with neither team really looking like scoring again, until two minutes before the final whistle, Quinlivan put a perfect cross onto the head of David Mc Grath to put the finishing touches on a competent Town performance.