Shelmaliers Under 16’s recorded a fantastic County Final victory over a strong Cloughbawn team last night ( 26/09/2013) in St Patricks Park Enniscorthy. Shels dominated from the start, attacking the Cloughbawn goal from the throw in. It took both teams a while to settle into the game, with Shels registering a number of wide’s before finally getting that settling point. This was quickly added to with a great goal from Jody Donoghue to the bottom corner of the Cloughbawn goal. Shels were so dominant at this stage that it took 15 mins before Cloughbawn were able to get past mid field and launch their first attack on the Shels goal. The Shels back line of Kevin (Pa) Harte, Joe Redmond and (new uncle) Dillon Potter all of whom were outstanding on the night extinguished the attack and Shels returned up the pitch to score a point. Conor Hearne and Enda Cloake dominated mid field with very little ball getting into the Shels Half Back line of Craig Parker, Cian Manley and an outstanding Aaron O’Neill, all of whom were the instigators of starting so many of Shels attacks. The Shels Half Forward line of Michael O’Rourke, Liam ( Rocky) Rocket and Nathan Ferguson Murphy took their score well and were a real handful for the Cloughbawn Half Back line. The Shels Forward Line dominance paid off with a second goal after 25 mins. The full forward line never stopped moving all night and some of the off the ball movement was a pleasure to watch. The forward play by Paul McClean, Jody Donoghue and the roving Stephen Rossiter left Cloughbawn chasing their tails. Shels were so dominant in the middle of the field that Cloughbawn brought out their full forward to try and end the dominance leaving Joe Redmond free at full back to mop up any of Cloughbawn’s attacks. By half time the Shels were 2.0 5 to no score ahead.
At the start of the second half a rejuvenated Cloughbawn emerged on the pitch. From the off they were very strong in mid field and attacked the Shels goal repeatedly registering their first score within 5 mins of the restart. This score seemed to wake Cloughbawn up as it was quickly followed by a great fisted goal to the net. Shels came under extensive pressure for the next 15 minutes with Cloughbawn registering another Goal and a number of points. Shels recomposed themselves and ended their scoring drought with a fine point from their half forward line. The game was been played at a frantic pace with Cloughbawn playing some excellent football and laying siege on the Shels goal. Sean Reidy in the Shels goal was outstanding pulling off a number of great saves from the Cloughbawn attacks. The game was finely balanced despite Shels maintaining a 5 point lead and the heroics of the Shels backs contributed to this margin with some great defensive play and counter attack play. It was through this counter attack that Shels notched up their second half points. Inspired substitutions by the Shels management team of Colm Tynan, Eamon Manley and James Murphy re-ignited the Shels. Dan Campbell replaced Michael O’Rourke and Shane Neville replaced Nathan Ferguson Murphy. The introduction of fresh legs was too much to handle for Cloughbawn with Dan Campbell playing a lovely ball into Shane Neville to score a great point with only his second touch of the game. Shels continued to add on points but Cloughbawn continued battling to the very end. A fantastic and exciting game was witnessed by the large crowd in attendance, and the Shels ran out deserved winners on a score line of 2 – 12 to 2- 04 to take the county title.