Connacht club SFC: Clann survive scare from London champions

November 04, 2018

Roscommon forward Ciaran Lennon weighed in with 0-3 from play in Clann na nGael's victory over Tir Chonaill Gaels

Clann na nGael (Roscommon) 1-15 

Tir Chonaill Gaels (London) 1-10

Clann na nGael needed to produce a strong finish to see off Tir Chonaill Gaels in the opening round of the Connacht club SFC at Dr Hyde Park.

A major upset looked to be on the cards when the London champions led with 18 minutes to go, but a Graham Pettit goal in the 44th minute turned the tide in Clann's favour as they pulled clear down the home straight to set up a semi-final meeting with All-Ireland club kingpins Corofin, who completed a six-in-a-row of Galway SFC titles this afternoon.

With Roscommon native and former London manager Paul Coggins guiding their fortunes, the visitors recovered from a poor start to lead by 1-6 to 0-8 at the break. Two points from full forward Ciaran Lennon and three Donie Shine frees had the Johnstown outfit 0-5 to 0-1 in front after 17 minutes, but five points from Liam Gavaghan and an Eoin Murray goal from a penalty, which Gavaghan had won, had the Connacht club championship debutants ahead at the short whistle.

Shine scored a trio of points on the restart for Clann, but scores in reply from Gavaghan, Brian Mullin and Killian Butler edged the Exiles back in front. 

However, Pettit's goal was the game's defining moment as the fitter home side closed out the game with late scores from Ultan Harney, Darra Pettit and Lennon.

Clann na nGael - D Finneran; D Pettit (0-1), S Flynn, R Gavin; S Pettit, G Pettit (1-0), D Connaughton (0-1); U Harney (0-1), C Shine; C Callinan, D Shine (0-9, 7f), E Kenny; D McManus, C Lennon (0-3), J Fahy. Subs: C McManus for E Kenny, J Dunning for D McManus, M Scally for C Callinan, R Naughton for J Fahy, N Connaughton for D Connaughton, D Sumner for C Shine.

Tir Chonaill Gaels - G McEvoy; M McWilliams, P Butler, S Burke; M McCoy, A McDermott, M Moynihan; B Friel, M Gottsche; E Murray (1-0pen), A Hanlon, K Rafferty; B Mullin (0-1), L Gavaghan (0-6, 4f), K Butler (0-3). Subs: L Gallagher for K Rafferty, R Elliott for S Burke, E McConville for A McDermott, A Askin for A Hanlon, E Mageean for E Murray, A McGarvey for M McWilliams.

Referee - E O’Grady.

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