Huge day for Tipp football as Clonmel claim maiden Munster title with stoppage-time victory over Nemo
Clonmel Commercials 1-07 Nemo Rangers 0-09
Football history was created in Mallow in the most dramatic of circumstances today when a goal in the second minute of injury time from Tipperary star Michael Quinlivan earned his club Clonmel Commericals a dramatic win in the Munster club final.
Competition specialist Nemo Rangers looked to have secured when sixteenth provincial title when a point from Jack Horgan put the Cork champions two clear in the 61st minute.
But Quinlivan has a habit of scoring crucial goals in big matches – his penalty goal in the 2011 All-Ireland minor final for Tipp against Dublin proved a key score as well. But the impact of his latest effort was much more profound.
Time was virtually up and it looked like another case of close and yet so far away from silverware for the Tipperary champions had previously lost Munster finals in 1966, 1971, 1990 and 1994.
However, in one final assault on the Nemo Rangers’ goal via route one Quinlivan gained possession and found the net to give his side a priceless one point lead (1-7 to 0-9). Nemo had scarcely time to take the kick out before referee Rory Hickey sounded the final whistle.
For the first time in the half century history of the competition a Tipperary club had secured the title. Apart from Clonmel’s four previous losses, Moyle Rovers, Fethard and Loughmore Castleiney had all suffered final defeats in the competition.
But all those setbacks were forgotten in the gloom as Tipperary football celebrated another significant breakthrough. They laid the groundwork for this win in the first half when they restricted Nemo – who were playing with the aid of gale force breeze – to five points and scored five themselves.
Their key player Quinlivan added two early points in the second half but Nemo finally found their rhythm in the final 20 minutes. Cork star Paul Kerrigan drove them forward. He hit the post with a goal chance.
For most of the period it looked as if the miss wouldn’t be significant. After Clonmel missed a 45 metre free to retake the lead Nemo cleverly worked the ball upfield from the subsequent kick out and Kerrigan gave them the lead for the first time in the half.
When Horgan hit their four consecutive point in injury time to give them a two point advantage Clonmel looked to have blown their chance but then came Quinlivan’s dramatic intervention which decided the issue.