Clodiagh Gaels subs blitz Ballycommon in devastating second half

Clodiagh Gaels subs blitz Ballycommon in devastating second half

Clodiagh Gaels captain Enda Gorman after receiving the JFC "C" Cup from County Board chairman Michael Duignan.

Ballycommon were left shell shocked in the second half of this final as key substitutions for Clodiagh Gaels completely turned this game on its head and saw the champions completely dominate the final twenty minutes.

2020 Tullamore Court Hotel Offaly Junior C Football Championship Final 2020

Clodiagh Gaels 3-12
Ballycommon 0-8

At half time it looked as if Ballycommon were cruising to victory as they led by 0-5 to 0-2 at the break, in difficult conditions which saw scores hard to come by.

Two further points early in the second half gave them a five point lead and with Clodiagh Gaels having hardly got out of their own half for much of the game, it looked like the title would be heading back to Ballycommon.

However, key substitutes John Paul Casey, Colm McDermott and Ben Dunne completely transformed the final 25 minutes of the game and Ballycommon had no answer as they shot an impressive 3-10 in that period.  

The game began to turn when Colm McDermott and John Paul Casey linked up well for the first goal with Casey finishing expertly to the net with virtually his first touch of the game, five minutes into the second half.

McDermott was the architect of the second goal also, as his shot caused difficulty for Steven Pyke who spilled the ball with Enda Gorman fisting it to the net with 38 minutes gone.

Suddenly, Clodiagh Gaels were in front and having managed just two points in the first half, they fired points from distance and various angles, with Ballycommon having no answer as their substitutions completely took over the game.

Their third goal also came from a substitution as Kevin Hinch made up for an earlier saved shot when he shot to the net as the game edged towards injury time.

It was hard to believe the impact that the three previously mentioned subs had, and almost as difficult to understand why some of them didn’t start the game. Perhaps, the management felt they wouldn’t have lasted the full hour but they completely transformed the game and Ballycommon just couldn’t live with the increased fire power in the second half.

Afterwards, County Board chairman Michael Dignan said in his speech prior to the presentation that the score didn’t reflect the performance of Ballycommon, and it was a devastating final 25 minutes which completely transformed the game.

Having only managed 0-2 in 35 minutes, Clodagh Gaels then shot out the lights with 3-10 in just over 20 minutes, emphasizing the amazing turn around, which Ballycommon had no response to.

It certainly was baffling to figure out how those first three subs of the second half in particular, weren’t worthy of a place, such was their influence afterwards. Having waited so long to play the 2020 final, Clodiagh Gaels will certainly feel it was worth the wait.

It also inspired other Clodiagh Gaels players who got on the scoresheet, having hardly featured for over 40 minutes. 

For Ballycommon, the heavy defeat will be a tough one to take as they dominated the opening 35 minutes or so, only to be completely swept aside in devastating fashion.


Clodiagh Gaels: John Paul Casey, Enda Gorman and Kevin Hinch 1-0 each, Mark Dillon 0-4, Fergus Flood 0-3, Colm McDermott O-2, one free,  Ben O’Brien, Mark Keeley, Emmet Curly 0-1 each.

Ballycommon: Matthew Dempsey 0-4, three frees; Paul Scally 0-2, TJ Bermingham and Mattie Brazil 0-1 each.

The teams

Clodiagh Gaels: Ryan Kinahan; Rory Dunne, Aaron Dunne, Ben O’Brien; David Brazil, Ollie Dunne, Conor Staunton; Fintan Hinch, Mark Keeley; Emmet Curley, Enda Gorman, Conor Brophil; Mark Dillon. Subs: Colm McDermott for Conor Brophill, Ben Dunne for Rory Dunne, John Paul Casey for Fintan Hinch, Fergus Flood for Enda Gorman, Kevin Hinch for Ben O’Brien.

Ballycommon: Steven Pyke; Darrgh O’Brien, Greg Walsh; Kenneth Mann, Colin Bermingham, Ciaran Glennon; Aaron Scally, Ciaran Ennis; John Hamill, Cillian O’Brien, Paul Scally; Matthew Dempsey, TJ Bermingham. Subs: Mattie Brazil for John Hamill, Declan Mann for Darragh O’Brien, Jake O’Donnell for TJ Bermingham.

Referee: Kevin Williamson (Tullamore).

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