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Clanns claim a provincial first

A powerful second-half display helped Clan na Gael Fontenoy overcome Knockbridge by 2-9 to 2-6 in the Leinster Special Junior Hurling Championship Final in Louth's Centre of Excellence at Darver last Sunday afternoon.

After conceding a goal on the stroke of half-time to trail by three points, Clanns assumed complete dominance upon the restart with only a series of poor wides ensuring the game remained in the melting pot by the final whistle.

It was an exceptional performance from the Ringsend men, given what was in essence an away fixture to the Louth champions and also the advantage their opponents had in terms of experience.

Clan na Gael, who defeated Sallins a fortnight ago in the semi-final, raced out of the blocks and were rewarded for their endeavours with three early scores through Tom Russell, Barry McElligott and Jason Redmond.

However, Knockbridge bounced back well to reel off three points in succession and a penalty for the Louth men turned the game on its head with another point leaving Clanns trailing by four points by the 20th minute.

McElligott stopped the rot with a well-taken goal soon after and a point from Russell restored parity before Knockbridge ended the half by securing their second goal to lead by 2-4 to 1-4 at the break.

Clan na Gael required a positive start to the second half and got it through Russell, with the template of their ascendancy set at midfield through Niall O'Regan and Anto Quinlan.

Points followed through Cormac Connolly, O'Regan and captain Collie Reynolds.

A late Russell point acted as insurance for Clanns, who claimed their first provincial trophy in their first foray outside Dublin since the club's inception back in 1887.