A much more efficient Cloone outfit claimed a fully merited win over Glencar/Manor in Sunday’s highly entertaining and hard fought Leitrim Division 5 league final in sunny Páirc Seán Mac Diarmada.
Cloone 2-8 Glencar/Manorhamilton 0-11
Glencar/Manor have no one but themselves to blame for this defeat as registered a reckless number of wides over the hour; 12 in total (nine in the first half) as against Cloone’s six (three in each half).
Initially it seemed like Glencar/Manor was going to overwhelm Cloone but once the south Leitrim men got going, the north Leitrim’s side’s gloss began to fade rapidly as they became more vulnerable in most sectors of the field despite having about 65% of the possession over the 60 minutes.
It is a truism of football that goals win games and so it proved on Sunday for Cloone who struck for a Mel Clancy first half three pointer that gave his side a decisive grip on the proceedings.
Frank Reynolds rifled home a second half penalty that eventually put the game out of Glencar/Manor’s reach after the north Leitrim side had reduced the deficit with Cloone to a single point.
Glencar/Manorhamilton completely dominated the opening seven minutes of the action but failed to get on target from several chances with Killian Kerrigan shooting two wides while Killian McGriskin and Brendan Rooney also registered a wide each and McGriskin also hit a shot short into Cloone ‘keeper Mark O’Donnell’s hands.
Despite the strong Manor early offensive it was Cloone that opened the scoring in the game when Frank Reynolds tapped over a point from an eighth minute 35 metre free.
Glencar/Manor continued to chalk up more wides but they eventually got their account opened when Kenneth McMorrow shot over in the 12th minute after receiving a pass from Killian McGriskin.
Cloone went back in front four minutes later when Patrick Beirne assuredly fired over from play. Wides were exchanged by Cloone’s Adrian Kelly and Glencar/Manor’s Brendan Rooney but it was even pegging again after Killian McGriskin finished off a good six player move in the 18th minute which was started by Seamus Leddy in his own half.
Cloone regained the lead in the space of another minute when Frank Reynolds converted his second free. Ronan Mulvey shot a 20th minute Cloone wide while 60 seconds later Killian Kerrigan fired over a point.
Mel Clancy struck for Cloone’s first goal almost immediately when he burst past two defenders and shot to the lower left hand corner of the net with the ball taking a deflection off a defender en route.
Killian McGriskin narrowed the gap with Cloone when tapped over a 27th minute free but Cloone restored their three point’s advantage when Niall Quinn shot over in the following minute.
Pat McEneaney dropped a shot short into the Cloone ‘keeper Mark O’Donnell’s hands but McGriskin whipped over a point after being put through by Cian McManus that still left Cloone leading by 1-4 to 0-5 at the interval.
Within 48 seconds of the restart Cloone stretched their lead when Frank Reynolds punished a foul on Ronan Mulvey by slotting the resultant free.
Kerrigan replied four minutes later with a Glencar/Manor point after receiving a pass from McGriskin and cut the gap to a point after pouncing on a poor clearance.
Shortly afterwards Ronan Mulvey answered with a point from play that gave Cloone some more breathing space.
A Seamus Leddy point narrowed the game in the 39th minute but the score that changed the course of the game came in the 44th minute when Cloone was awarded a penalty after Brian Mulvey was tumbled in the ‘square.’
Frank Reynolds made no mistake with the spot kick which he tucked into the left bottom corner of the net to put Cloone on the road to victory.
Glencar/Manor fought back over the next four minutes and cut Cloone’s advantage to two points after Kerrigan shot over and McGriskin hit the target splendidly from a 46 metre free.
Cloone upped their game in the final nine minutes of the action when Niall Quinn shot over and Frank Reynolds added a free with McGriskin hitting a late consolation point in reply.