Commercials break West hearts with late salvo
Commercials 0-12 Newcastle West 1-7
With five minutes of normal time remaining in yesterday's AIB Munster Senior Club Football Championship quarter-final, former Limerick star Stephen Kelly stepped up and rifled over a long-range free for Newcastle West.
He'd done similar three minutes earlier and this latest effort put his side 1-7 to 0-6 clear and seemingly on course for a semi-final place.
But hosts Clonmel Commercials had other ideas and as the game finally sparked to life, they reeled off six points in a blistering seven-minute spell, doubling their previous tally in what seemed like the blink of an eye.
After drawing level through the superb Seamus Kennedy with a minute left, Commercials lost possession and Newcastle West defender Paul Hannan broke clear.
He seemed certain to score and while the point would have been the simpler option, Hannan went for broke and smashed a shot off the upright.
Buoyed by that let-off, Commercials went for it at the other end and the rub of the Sportsfield green was with them again.
Ian Barnes let fly with a long-range effort that was tailing wide before ducking goalkeeper Jonjo Sheehy, attempting to get out of the way, deflected it out for a 45 off his back.
Michael Quinlivan stepped forward for Commercials and carried no baggage from previous missed efforts from distance.
His aim was true on this occasion, with a little breeze behind him, and Commercials were ahead for the first time in the game in the second minute of stoppage time.
Fittingly, Kennedy had the final say with a monstrous long-range score and Commercials survived a late goalmouth melee to set up a Munster semi-final with Clare's St Joseph's Milltown Malbay on Sunday week. It was the first time a Tipperary team had managed to win a game in the Munster Senior Club Football Championship since 2006 and they'll have home advantage again next time out.
At the break, Newcastle West were 1-1 to 0-3 in front, after scoring 1-1 inside the first three minutes.
Jamie Lee was on target with a soft goal but Commercials' goalkeeper Jake McDonald made amends for his error with a crucial second-half save to deny Lee.
Commercials boss Charlie McGeever said: "Today we played as poorly as we have all year."
Scorers - Commercials: I Barnes 0-4 (2f), S Kennedy 0-3, M Quinlivan 0-2 (1 45), A Matassa, J Lonergan & P Looram 0-1 each. Newcastle West: J Lee 1-2 (0-2f), S Kelly 0-3 (2f), I Corbett & S Brosnan 0-1 each.
COMMERCIALS: J McDonald; F Condon, D Lynch, J Peters; D Madigan, K Fahey, L Moore; S Kennedy, A Matassa; P White, I Fahey, J Lonergan; K Harney, M Quinlivan, I Barnes. Subs: J Kennedy for White (35), P Looram for I Fahey (52), I Fahey for Matassa (60+2).
NEWCASTLE WEST: J Sheehy; M O'Keeffe, B O'Sullivan, S Browne; M O'Leary, S Nix, P Hannan; C Sheehan, I Corbett; S Brosnan, S Kelly, T Quilligan; J Kelly, M McMahon, J Lee. Subs: S McAuliffe for Brosnan (27), B O'Doherty for Sheehan (34), G Reidy for Lee (58).
Referee: K Murphy (Cork).