Third time a charm for Clann in final quarter charge

Trailing by three points with less than ten minutes to go the young footballers of Clann Braonain were staring at a third successive defeat in a minor final, only for a Jamie Gonoud goal and some superb points and finally claim the Minor title at the third time of asking.In truth it looked a long shot early on as the underdog St. Pat's side simply brushed them aside and indeed should have and could have been far more ahead before that final quarter onslaught but they simply could not keep a rampant Clann out in the dying minutes and their heroic efforts were all in vain as the heart was willing but alas the legs weren't able and the fitter Clann side simply steam rollered them at the death.Another master stroke from the Clann management was the introduction of Jake Byrne and he almost single handedly turned the game in his side's direction with an all-action display that made one wonder why he did not start the game. In the end Pat's just simply ran out of steam and the Millmore Gaels, Shandonagh and Ballynacargy combination team could not hold out against the Tyrrellspass/Milltownpass and St. Mary's combination. After two final defeats in a row Clann have tasted the bitter tang of defeat and when the chips were down late in the game they simply were not going to let it happen to them again and they finished far the stronger. In truth though this was a poor game devoid of any passages of decent football and the basic skills were lacking on a number of occasions and indeed watching Westmeath senior manager Brendan Hackett will have garnered little from the young talent on view. But that will matter little to Clann Braonain as they finally bury the ghost of finals past and bring the Paddy Walsh Memorial Cup to their area.The game started as it was to continue for the main with both teams looking nervous and disjointed and the football was poor to say the least. Clann had the better of the exchanges and they began to assert the upper hand as the half went on. A Ger O'Toole free on 6 minutes got the ball rolling and that was added to a minute later when Colin Gavin latched on to a superb Ger Egan run and his effort went over the bar when a goal seemed possible. O'Toole made it 3 nil when he picked off a lovely point from a very acute angle but in the process he picked up a knock and had to be replaced moments later.Pat's had their first point on the board when a short Gary Keena free found Ciaran Sheridan and the midfielder got his side off the mark. Owen Burke and Barry McWade then combined to set Jamie Loran in for score number two for Pat's and after a long delay for an injury stoppage Burke then levelled matters when he pointed after great work by Cathal Burke in defence. O'Toole was replaced by David Jessop shortly afterward and the talismanic forward's presence was sorely missed but Eoin Gorman did put Clann ahead with a fine individual effort. Indeed Clann should have pressed the button at this stage and Gorman almost had a goal after some poor Pat's defending but wayward shooting thereafter only lifted St. Pat's who drew level with a Jamie Loran free that was far too easily conceded. This looked to be the final score of the half but when Cian Kinsella found Dean McNicholas with a superb through ball he put Clann ahead almost on the stroke of half time and it was 0-6 to 0-5 in their favour at the break after a mediocre half of football. If the first half was poor then the start of the second was worse as neither side came out with any conviction and the play was scrappy and disjointed. Owen Burke lifted the gloom when he levelled for St. Pat's from a 35 yard free after he himself had been needlessly fouled. Pat's now held the upper hand and but for some last ditch defending by the Clann rearguard they could have been in serious trouble. Burke did punish them though with a superb point from almost on the side line and at this stage it was Pat's that looked the likely to come out on top but they wasted several good scoring opportunities especially an Alan Geraghty effort that flew right across the face of goal and somehow managed to avoid the net.Ciaran Sheridan then looked in on goal for Pat's but his delayed pass to Geraghty left the forward in the square and the score was annulled and then McWade missed a very easy chance to put his side further ahead. Clann too missed easy chances none more so than when a reintroduced O'Toole missed a 14 yard free and from the break out Gary Keena put Pat's two in front after some superb work by Loran and Burke. Alan Geraghty then set Keena away again and the Ballynacargy sharpshooter put three between the sides with just 10 minutes to go. Jake Byrne then entered the fray and almost immediately he was involved with the move that set Colin Gavin up for a fine score to reduce the deficit but moreover it lifted his team mates and they responded accordingly. They now laid siege to the St. Pat's goal but they found goalkeeper Ciaran Finnerty in inspired form and he made two outrageous saves to deny O'Toole and then Gavin while wing back Sean Sommers pulled another one off the line. The Pat's goalkeeper was having a charmed game and it looked as if it would repel any sort of Clann attack and when Keena broke out he should have scored with a great chance that drifted well wide. From the kick out Clann worked the ball all the way up the field with Byrne, Jessop and Kinsella deeply involved and the final ball fell to Jamie Gonoud who struck a low shot to the back of the net for the game's defining moment. Seconds later Eoin Gorman added a superb point from a very narrow angle to put two between the sides as the clock ticked ever closer to full time and after a bizarre call on Sommers went against the St. Pat's man, after he himself looked fouled. Gorman stepped up to convert the free and seconds later Niall Ward blew the final whistle to the ecstasy of the Clann faithful and the agony of the St. Pat's followers.Egan, O'Toole, Paul Carey and Gorman were excellent for Clann and they showed the experience of finals past while Mark Gorman, Gonoud and Dean McNicholas were others to shine but overall they were just the better side and more than made up for the bitter disappointment of the last two years. Ciaran Finnerty, Brian Finnerty, Cathal and Own Burke, Keena and John Hughes played their heart out for Pats' but they just ran out of steam at the final moment and just came up short but boy did they do their side proud. The favourites tag weighed heavy on Clann but they just rose to the occasion and were worthy winners in the end and team captain Ger Egan accepted the Paddy Walsh Memorial Cup to whoops of delight from players and spectator alike as at last the title was going to Clann Braonain.ScorersClann Braonain: Eoin Gorman 0-3 1 free, Jamie Gonoud 1-0, Dean McNicholas and Ger O'Toole(1 free) 0-2 each, Colin Gavin 0-1St. Patricks: Owen Burke 0-3 1 free, Jamie Loran (1 free) and Gary Keena 0-2 each, Ciaran Sheridan 0-1TeamsClann Braonain: Devan Whitson, Wayne Gahan, Mark Gorman, Kevin Loughrey, Paul Carey, Cian Kinsella, Jamie Gonoud, Ger Egan, Colin Gavin, Dwayne Leavy, Dean McNicholas, Eoin Nugent, Paul Rabbitte, Ger O'Toole, Eoin Gorman subs: David Jessop for O'Toole 18 mins, Dermot Judge for Nugent H/T, o'Toole for Jessop 39 mins, Jake Byrne for Leavy 48 mins, Sean Deegan for Rabbitte 50 minsSt. Patricks: Ciaran Finnerty, Cathal Burke, Bernard Kiernan, Aidan Wallace, Brian Slevin, Brian Finnerty, Sean Sommers, Owen Burke, Ciaran Sheridan, Jamie Loran, Garry Keena, James Campbell, Barry McWade, John Hughes, Alan Geraghty subs: Edward Martin for Campbell 43 mins, Jamie Maher for Martin 60 minsReferee Niall Ward Garrycastle