TWO basic defensive errors which both resulted in goals for Clara proved St Rynagh's undoing in the sides' meeting in Doon last Sunday in the Tullamore Court Hotel Senior Football Championship
St Rynagh's 0-7
Scorers: Clara: John Reynolds 1-6 (0-3f, 0-1 '45'), John O Hara 1-2, Tony Dalton 1-1, Stephen Kidney 0-1.
St Rynagh's: Gary O Connor 0-5f, Donie Flaherty 0-2.
Damian Moran reports
St Rynagh's made a promising start and they were ahead by three points with 16 minutes gone. But all that good early work was undone when their corner back Noel Buckley missed a ball he should have had to allow John O Hara in on goal and the impressive Clara corner forward finished well to the back of the net.
With just over five minutes of the second half gone St Rynagh's were still in contention but when a long ball forward from Tony Dalton was misjudged in flight by Thomas Flaherty, John Reynolds kept his composure to fire home Clara's second and decisive goal.
By the time Tony Dalton scored Clara's third goal 14 minutes into the second half, the game was finished as a contest and it fizzled out from there to it's inevitable conclusion. Things went from bad to even worse for Rynagh's late in the game as Paudie Mulhare was shown a straight red card by referee Mick Mahon seven minutes from the end. The result, coupled with Tubber's comeback win over Ferbane, earned Clara top spot in the group and a place in the semi final draw but for Rynagh's the result condemned them to a place in the relegation playoffs.
The game started well for Rynagh's with Gary O Connor kicking them ahead with a close range free after just 50 seconds. Clara, still without the injured Thomas Deehan, almost responded immediately with a goal but John O Hara's powerful shot was well saved by Stephen Finneran in the Rynagh's goal.
Seconds later Clara did open their account with a point from Tony Dalton and by the 7th minute they were ahead for the first time after John Reynolds kicked his first score of the game. Soon after Rynagh's were dealt their first injury blow when Diarmuid Horan was forced to leave the field injured but that didn't have an immediate effect as Rynagh's gained the upper hand and kicked four points in six minutes to move into a deserved three point lead. After 11 scoreless minutes, Clara finally added to their total with a point from John O Hara. Three minutes later, O Hara was let through after a bad mistake from Noel Buckley and he provided an excellent finish to the back of the net to put Clara a point in front.
Neither side managed to score for the next ten minutes but just before half time, John Reynolds pointed a fine free to leave Clara 1-4 to 0-5 ahead at the break. After the restart, Clara did up their game with captain Scott Brady getting the upper hand in midfield. Three minutes into the second half he won a kickout and set up John Reynolds who pointed to put Clara three ahead. Reynolds, who was in fine form throughout, added another point from a free soon after to extend the lead to four. Any hopes Rynagh's had of making a comeback disappeared in a flash when another defensive error allowed Clara in for their second goal. Again it was Scott Brady who won the ball in the middle of the field and he laid possession off to Tony Dalton. Daltion fired the ball into the full forward line where it was completely misjudged in flight by Thomas Flaherty. John Reynold's made no such mistake and he calmly stepped around Stephen Finneran before slotting the ball into the net.
Another point followed for Clara from John O Hara before, after 26 scoreless minutes, Rynagh's finally added to their total with a point from a free from Gary O Connor. Rynagh's had looked dangerous in attack in the opening quarter but Clara's defence, led by Joe Quinn, tightened up considerably as the game progressed and allowed their opponents precious few chances. With 12 minutes of the second half gone, Rynagh's were dealt another injury blow when Aidan Hanrahan was forced to leave the field and any lingering doubt surrounding the result was cleared up soon after when Tony Dalton found it all too easy to gather possession in the Rynagh's full back line before firing the ball to the back of the net. The final quarter of the game was a non event as just three further points were added, two for Clara and one for Rynagh's. There was no scoring at all in the last eight minutes although Rynagh's were reduced to 14 men following a straight red card for Paudie Mulhare.
Clara: Kevin Meehan; Darren Kelly, Joe Quinn, Deasun Baggot; Alan Cronin, Gary Collin, Paul Mitchell; Scott Brady, Kieran O Meara; Stephen Kidney, Paul Deehan, Peter Flanagan; John Reynolds, Tony Dalton, John O Hara. Subs: Pa Smith for Peter Flanagan (42mins), Marius Stones for Gary Collin (55mins).
St Rynagh's: Stephen Finneran; Noel Buckley, Thomas Flaherty, Diarmuid Horan; James Rafferty, Paudie Mulhare, Nigel Flynn; Aidan Hanrahan, Pat McIntyre; Joe Carroll, Shane Horan, Gary O Connor; Eunan Martin, Ger Rafferty, Donie Flaherty. Subs: Neil Buckley for Diarmuid Horan (7mins), Liam Coughlan for Aidan Hanrahan (42mins), Pat Wynne for Stephen Finneran (51mins)
Referee: Michael Mahon
Match Report Published Date: 07 August 2007 by http://www.offalyexpress.ie