Historic Occasion for Portumna Town FC;
It was a wet and windy Sunday morning on the 27th of March 2016 in Drombane, Co. Tipperary, that was the setting for an historic day for Portumna Town FC senior football team. Clodiagh Rangers were the first opposition Portumna senior team played against 2 years earlier at the same venue in their first competitive match in Division 2 of the North Tipp District League and last Sunday Clodiagh were on the receiving end of a 6 – 1 scoreline that saw the Portumna outfit gain promotion to Division 1.
Apart from the 6 goals, scored by Sean O’Meara (4), Ryan Hanrahan (1) and Dave Fogarty (1), the style of football played by the team was at times mesmerising to watch as Portumna outclassed the opposition all over the park. The defensive unit of Niall Royston, Kieran Hough and Simon Curran were outstanding in front of Goalkeeper John O’Meara in terms of defensive duties and also in providing support to the midfield players. Clodiagh took advantage of one lapse in concentration at the back to score their only goal.
The midfield trio of Ronan O’Meara, Patrick O’Sullivan and Ryan Hanrahan combined very effectively with Keith Neville and Sean Molloy on the wings to create numerous scoring opportunities for strikers Sean O’Meara and Dave Fogarty. Clodiagh at times look bewildered as they were forced to sit back and defend “en masse”, such was the quality of the Portumna passing and control on the ball. With such an amount of possession and plenty of quality crosses also during the game the fact that more goal scoring opportunities were not converted highlights one area where this team’s performance could improve.
Oisin Royston, a stalwart for this team all season, came on for Niall Royston during the second half. Gary Hogan, an inspirational driving force for this team over the last couple of years, was also introduced in the second half but due to an injury, he was already carrying, had to come off again and he was ably replaced by the legendary Mike Starr.
Given that other key players from the squad were missing, due to injury and other commitments, the chance of winning silverware again this season is well within the grasp of this squad with a Cup semi-final coming up very shortly.
Portumna Town FC deserve to be proud of how this team has improved over the course of the season. The fact that 5 of Sunday’s players were playing U12 or younger 10 years ago, when the club first started, demonstrates that the future is bright for football in Portumna as there are a lot of very talented youngsters currently playing schoolboy football with the club and one would hope that in a few years they too will be pushing for places on the senior team.