Fossa clinch the JFC in grisly grudge match

Image Credit: Sportsfile

Jack Keegan recaps the All Ireland junior club championship

David Clifford put on a stunning display in the All Ireland Junior club championship final, against Stewartstown Harps of Tyrone. With eleven points to his name, Clifford once again delivered the goods on the All-Ireland stage. A repeat of his dominant display in last year's inter-county final against Galway. Yet, this time it was for his hometown parish of Fossa, in Killarney, Co. Kerry.

Stewartstown truly put it up to Fossa, but in the dying embers of the match, their discipline began to wane, and they were reduced to 11 men by the full-time whistle. Substitute Anton Coyle was given his marching orders for a horrendous elbow on Paudie Clifford (brother of David), as was Gareth Devlin for a second yellow card soon after.

Paudie and David were both ordered off the Croke Park pitch in shocking stoppage time scenes that also saw Kyran Robinson red-carded. Darren Devlin had been sent off earlier in the second half.

Fossa started the second half much stronger than their northern counterparts when Harps lost Devlin for an off the ball incident with Emmett O'Shea after the Fossa inside forward had put a mark over the bark for his parish.

It was a lead that Fossa did not give up easily, but there were more than a few instances where Stewartstown came within touching distance. It was only in the final minutes of the match, when David Clifford sent over two points, that the Killarney side saw the trophy in sight.

When the final whistle blew, there was still drama left in the tank. Gaelic football fans across the country were divided on Paudie Clifford's speech before collecting the trophy. Clifford stated he was wrongly sent off. The speech was reminiscent of Fr. Ted Crilly's speech at the Golden Cleric awards. Watchers across this nation were anticipating the Fossa man to say, "and now for liars."

Ultimately it was the Killarney club that came out on top when the dust had settled with a precious piece of silverware to put into the trophy cabinet.