An Fháirche book their place in All-Ireland final at Croke Park

The Clonbur footballers will realise many a footballer’s childhood dream in three weeks’ time when they tog out in their club colours in Croke Park in an All-Ireland final.

“An Fháirche ag imirt in Páirce Crocaigh” – it sure has a nice ring to it.

It should be a fantastic occasion and one that the entire community of the beautiful village and local area will enjoy when they are due to take on Derrytresk (Tyrone ) at 2pm on Sunday, February 12.

That fixture has been made, but the GAA’s central competitions control committee is due to meet to investigate the disgraceful scenes that marred the semi-final between Dromid Pearses (Kerry ) and the Tyrone side, and it will be interesting to see what sanctions, if any, will be brought to bear on the northerners.

That process is completely outside Clonbur’s control and they must now focus on closing out the deal and winning the final, regardless of the opposition they face.

Stephen Joyce’s charges are in the final courtesy of a hugely impressive victory last weekend in Leitrim when they comprehensively beat Ballivor (Meath ) by 3-4 to 0-3.

On any occasion a team scores three goals, they will be difficult to defeat, and once Brian Keane scored their first goal after only seven minutes following good work by Pat Lambe, the Connemara men were on their way.

Impressive centre-back Trevor Lydon sallied up the field and hit a fine shot that was well saved, but the alert Walter Halloran whipped home the rebound to put some real daylight between the sides.

Joyce’s men led by seven

It was 2-2 to 0-1 at half time and when former London inter-county player Eamonn Ó Cúiv added a third with a terrific shot following an astute pass by team captain Eoin Joyce, the Galway champions were never going to be reined in.

Their cause was helped by some poor shooting by the Meath champions, but Stephen Joyce’s charges were very fit, determined, skilful, and they displayed a superb work-rate all through the tie.

Naomh Pádraig had tremendous performances all over the field, but Alan Kyne, Eoin Joyce, Gerry Kyne, Pat Lambe, Brian Keane and Eamonn Ó Cúiv deserve special mention.

As midfielder and man-of-the-match Ó Cúiv said it was a matter of not doing anything daft in the second half and putting up a wall of defenders in front of their own goal.

“It was a case of not doing anything stupid in the second half. It is surreal to think that we will be playing in Croke Park in a few weeks. Our preparation was unreal and our management team has us in great shape.

“Getting to an All-Ireland final does not happen by accident and there has been a huge effort by the whole community. Huge sacrifices have been made all year and that is why we are in the final and we hope to do the club justice.



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