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Clonard wins Irish U17 Cup in a penalty shoot-out

Clonard celebrate victory in the U17 Irish Cup
By Gerry O'Neill

CLONARD won the Irish U17 Cup in a penalty shoot-out following a magnificent battling performance against Dublin side St Vincents in front of a packed stand at the Lagan Valley Leisureplex in Lisburn last Sunday.

The first quarter ended with Clonard 2-1 ahead thanks to goals from Mark Cusick and Fionn McConvey.

Cusick and McConvey were joined on the scoresheet by Owen Murphy as Clonard eased into a 5-3 lead by half-time.

St Vincents weren't finished, though, and two goals from Alex San Emeterio left the scores level at 5-5 going into the last quarter.

Clonard were rocked when Fionn Lenihan put Vincent's ahead and in a welter of prolonged excitement neither side could score as time was running out. Then with just 23 seconds left on the clock Owen Murphy broke free from his marker to tie the game up at 6-6.

Penalties beckoned, and after a flurry of misses, Caolan Crosbie and McConvey held their nerve to score the final two penalties and secure the title for Clonard.

Mark Cusick was rewarded with the MVP award.

St Vincent's won the girls competition when they beat Galway side Tribes 5-3 in the final.

Cliona Colvin won the MVP award.

Donegall Diamonds who had done well to reach the semi-final won the third/fourth place play-off where they beat Clontarf 6-3 to claim the bronze medals.

There was a first, meanwhile, for Monaghan club Slaibh Beagh when seven Irish records were broken at their inaugural masters gala.

Marie Keane, who competes for Comans, and who has just moved up to the over-60 age group, broke the 100 and 200m breaststroke records.

Aer Lingus veteran Tony O'Brien came out of retirement to set new records in the 70-plus group in the 50 and 200m butterfly, while Kieran Kelleher from Sandycove Island in Cork went one better with three new records in the 50 and 800m Freestyle and 100m Butterfly.

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