Football Match Reports 2015
KILMURRY IBRICKANE................2-13 CRATLOE...........................0-6
By Michael O Connor.
Expected result and if all were true in their comments the extent of the victory is not that surprising. Kilmurry Ibrickane learnt most and improved with greater determination in the two weeks since the drawn game. Aidan Moloney's men ran riot against a Cratloe side that are pale shadows of what dominated the club game in 2013 and 2014. The lack of power at midfield is an issue and without doubt Conor McGrath's absence was a telling factor whenthe game could have been won day one.
With the suggestion that Conor McGrath was contemplating a bandaged up return to action a red herring due to his surjourn to sunnier climes the odds lengthened on a Cratloe win.
From the throw in Kilmurry defended in depth and were attacking in numbers from the back and after ten minutes it was simply a matter of how much they were going to win by as Cratloe looked toothless in attack.
Shane Gleeson kicked an eminently scorable chance wide in the 3rd minute as Cratloe were really pushing up on the Kilmurry kickouts as Enda Coughlan was playing from deep. Keelan Sexton was inches wide with his sides first real scoring chance as the ball was travelling with speed from end to end. Kilmurry were operating in the early exchanges with just two men often in the Cratloe half of the field. Peter O Dwyer who was the main target man for Kilmurry Ibrickane in the first half won and quickly released to Keelan Sexton who pointed from the 21 yard line. This was quickly added to by Michael Hogan to send the Western side two clear after 8 minutes action.
The intensity of exchanges suggested a harder game was in prospects than the drawn encounter. Craloe were inventive with possession attempting to play into space but even so their finishing was poor and at best percentage efforts. It took a 11th minute free by Cathal McInerney to open the Cratloe account as soon after Conor Cooney replaced the injured Antoin McFadden. Keelan Sexton was on hand from a free to score his sides third score. The level of movement sadly regressed as the first half. As the game entered the final five minutes of the first half Kilmurry were (0-4) to ) (0-2) ahead as Cratloe spurned a number of scoring chances before Sean Collins kicked over a free to leave the minimum between the sides. Shane Hickey and Ian Mcinerney and a free from Cathal McInerney rounded off the scoring to leave the multi time champions (0-6) to (0-4) interval leaders.
The first major action of the second half saw Michael O Dwyer fluffing a clear front of goal chance by allowing Pierce deloughrey to get a touch to it and have it cleared. Ian McInerney saw two free kicks succeed with a 50% success as the first score of the half emerged in the 37th minute. The Kilmurry half forwards were dropping back with success to gather and bring the ball upfield. The match winning score came from a solo run through the heart of the Cratloe defence and finished to the net by county player Martin McMahon. He turned provider seconds later to Mark McCarthy who popped over the bar and now Cratloe were seven in arrears against a rampant Kilmurry side growing in confidence with every attack..
A seven man Kilmurry movement ended with Keelan Sexton kicking over from 30metres as the game entered the final quarter as Cratloe were fouling consistently in attempts to slow down the Kilmurry juggernaut running at their goal. Cratloe finally got a score in the second half 19minutes into it when Cathal McInerney sent over a free. Noel Downes who had been just been introduced had to retire injured to be replaced by Niall Hickey. The champions elect courtesy of Shane Hickey and Michael O Dwyer stretched their club 9 points clear with 9 minutes left to play. A momentum fuelled Kilmurry Ibrickane would continue to tack on scores culminating in an injury-time penalty for Sexton that ensured that the county star ended up as top scorer in the club championship pipping Cathal McInerney to the honour.
My man of the hour was Enda Coughlan who despite having a loose role was superb attacking and defending with clarity and assurance. Shane Hickey, Martin McMahon and Darragh Sexton were an impeccable half back line as Mark McCarthy, Michael O Dwyer, the busy Michael Hogan and Keelan Sexton kept the scoreboard ticking over.
Kilmurry Ibrickane now host Kerry champions Dr. Crokes in Quilty next weekend in the Munster senior club quarter-final.
Scorers for Kilmurry-Ibrickane: Keelan Sexton 1-4 (1-0 pen, 0-1f), Martin McMahon 1-0, Shane Hickey, Ian McInerney (0-2f), Mark McCarthy 0-2 each; Michael Hogan, Peter O’Dwyer, Michael O’Dwyer 0-1 each
Scorers for Cratloe: Cathal McInerney 0-4 (0-3f), Martin Oige Murphy, Sean Collins (0-1f) 0-1 each.
KILMURRY IBRICKANE: Ian McInerney, Mark Killeen, Darren Hickey, Ciaran Morrissey, Shane Hickey, Martin McMahon, Darragh Sexton, Mark McCarthy, Keith King, Peter Dwyer snr, Michael O Dwyer, Michael Hogan, Declan Callinan, Enda Coughlan, Keelan Sexton.
Subs: Noel Downes for D Callinan, Niall Hickey for Downes, Evan Talty for Morrissey , Thomas O’Connor for McCarthy (58), Johnny Daly for M. O’Dwyer .
CRATLOE: Pierce DeLoughrey, Sean Chaplin, Barry Duggan, Liam Markham,, Martin Oige Murphy, Michael Hawes, Enda Boyce, Conor Ryan, John Galvin, Antoin McFadden, Sean Collins, Shane Gleeson, Cathal McInerney, Podge Collins, David Collins.
Subs: Conor Cooney for McFadden (inj), Stevie McHugh for Gleeson
Refereee: Pat Cosgrove (Corofin).
After the game Clare county board chairman Joe Cooney presented the Jack Daly cup to Kilmurry Ibrickane captain Thomas O Connor.
KILMURRY IBRICKANE...............0-12 CRATLOE...............1-9
By Michael O Connor.
From early season it was clear to many observers of the game that Kilmurry Ibrickane had their charges firmly fixed on ending the four year famine by their standards. For Cratloe, the hopes of a third championship for Colm Collins's charges were evidently in the eyes of most dealt a mortal blow with the injury received to Conor McGrath in the hurling semi final. As it transpired a very entertaining hard hitting final handled in the main with calmness by Rory Hickey ended in stalemate. Maybe Cratloe will feel that they had the greater of the more obvious chances to win the game as Kilmurry looked toothless in front of goal. It should lead to a more freeflowing replay unless defensive planners set up walls in front of Ian McInerney and Pierce deLoughrey.
An extremely average attendance at county grounds greeted both sides onto Cusack park for the 2016 final as the football supporters were far from enraptured with the final pairing. The loss of McGrath as well adding to the viewpoint that this tie was a foregone conclusion. Yet, who could bet against the talent of Cratloe for yielding an hour of inspiration against the North Clare citadel.
Kilmurry Ibrickane non playing captain Thomas O Connor led the parade so his side had the unusual feat of having 16 in the parade prematch.
Niall Hickey had the first effort for score but was well wide of Pierce DeLoughrey's goal with less than one minutes action as Cathal McInerney opened the scoring after he converted a free he won in the 2nd minute. There was little more than polite applause for the Cratloe point signifying the poor support for the dual club at the venue. A huge cheer came for Kilmurry's opening score as county star and 19 year old Keelan Sexton floated over a beauty for the equaliser in the 4th minute. Kilmurry goalkeeper Ian McInerney was called up by management for his sides second score from a placed ball 45m out after seven minutes before Cathal McInerney kicked over a stunning left footed effort to level the game for the second time after only eight minutes on (0-2) apiece.
The next real scoring opportunity fell to Kilmurry with a 45 won by Martin McMahon in the 11th minute that was sent over once more by Ian McInerney. David Collins with a smart effort from an acute angle levelled proceedings for the third time in the 13th minute. Keelan Sexton was on the end of a sharp four man Kilmurry move and his lobbing effort dropped over the Cratloe crossbar in the 17th minute. Within a minute the ball was in the Kilmurry net as David Collins teed up the inrushing McInerney who evaded one tackle and left footed the ball past Ian McInerney as Cratloe now surged (1-3) to (0-4) clear with ten minutes remaining in the half. Podge Collins added to this tally as now Cratloe were scoring with every attack. At this juncture it looked like Kilmurry were devoid of scoring power and depended on their goalkeeper for every free unless a pop over.
A mini disaster saw three Cratloe kickouts go astray with the Hickey brothers Shane and Niall kicking two in a minute as Mark McCarthy also profitted to level matters by the 26th minute on (1-4) to (0-7). The western side were now in the ascendancy as Cratloe were wishing heavily for the half time whistle. The play ebbed from end to end without any real scoring chance coming to fruition for either side as there were claims for Cratloe frees to no avail. Enda Coughlan spurned the easiest point chance of the half kicking wide before making amends setting up Michael Hogan for the lead point deep into injury time as Kilmurry Ibrickane went in (0-8) to (1-4) ahead at the break.
An altercation involving players, subs and officials attempting to break it up took place at the break as both teams went into for the break. It was indeed a most unsavoury incident and perhaps whilst it should not happen the new side entrances for both teams were not open so both teams went in the same old central entrance.
The first score of the new half fell to Keelan Sexton who kicked a point and was inches wide from a marvellous 20 metre effort a minute later that could have easily ended up in the top corner. Kilmurry were now two clear but two exceptional scores constructed by Podge Collins who was dominant at midfield and finished by Cathal McInerney and Conor Ryan levelled matters by the 40th minute before an attendance of 4450..
Newly introduced sub Noel Downes honoured his selectors faith in him with a fine score with his first touch in the 42nd minute and this feat was replicated by Cratloe sub Shane Gleeson seconds later as once more parity was shared by the teams for the sixth occasion. Keelan Sexton and Cathal McInerney exchanged frees by the 49th minute as the spectre of a replay loomed large over this fixture as now both sides were kicking efforts wide of the intended target. A Keelan Sexton free in the 53rd minute broke the deadlock as this side went a point ahead and indeed his colleagues hit two more wides as Cratloe now searched for the equaliser and indeed they did with a converted free in the 61st minute by Cathal McInerney to set up a mouth watering replay.
Scorers for Cratloe: Cathal McInerney 1-5 (3f); David Collins, Podge Collins, Conor Ryan, Shane Gleeson 0-1 each
Scorers for Kilmurry Ibrickane: Keelan Sexton 0-5 (2f); Ian McInerney (1f, 1’45) 0-2; Niall Hickey, Shane Hickey, Enda Coughlan, Michael Hogan, Noel Downes 0-1 each
KILMURRY IBRICKANE: Ian McInerney, Mark Killeen, Shane Hickey, Darren Hickey, Ciaran Morrissey, Martin McMahon, Darragh Sexton, Mark McCarthy, Keith King, Michael Hogan, Michael Dwyer, Niall Hickey, Keelan Sexton, Enda Coughlan Declan Callinan. SUBS: Noel Downes for Niall Hickey, Stephen Moloney for Hogan, Peter O Dwyer for McCarthy.
CRATLOE: Pierce DeLoughrey, Sean Chaplin, Barry Duggan, Michael Hawes, Martin Murphy, Antoin McFadden, Liam Markham, Conor Ryan, John Galvin, Stevie McHugh, Sean Collins, Conor Cooney, Cathal McInerney, Podge Collins, David Collins. SUBS: Enda Boyce for McFadden, Sean Hynan for Cooney, Shane Gleeson for McHugh.
Referee: Rory Hickey (Eire-og).
Good wishes for a speedy recovery to St Josephs Doora Barefield sub Jason Herbert who damaged his knee in the post game celebratory huddle of the Barefield players.
Clare 1-18 Westmeath 0-10:
By Michael O Connor.
Whilst the Sam Maguire cup may not reside this coming winter in Clare the efforts of the home side on Sunday last in their round 4 win over Westmeath was similar to a side with ambitions of having a fruitful summer. Football pundits where far from confident of Clare having an extended stay in division three when promoted for the 2015 season now after this pivotal mid league win they have all but secured their furture in it for 2017. More so they can now challenge for a place in the division 3 league final. This will take at least two more wins and also on how Tipperary will fare in their remaining games.
It must be acknowledged that Clare as a squad of players have matured both physically and in footballing terms. The ease with which they dismissed the tepid challenge of Westmeath surprised and delighted banner supporters in equal measure. The seven point half time lead on this occasion did scant justice to their chokehold on proceedings especially for the first twenty minutes.
David Tubridy opened the scoring with a 55metre free playing into the town goal after less that two minutes action on a surface that survived the game but cut up nonetheless. The seated stand lay empty as construction work continues on the edges. It is expected to be open for the Clare v Limerick NHL game on Sunday week. Tubridy repeated his opening score feat a minute late converting a 45 conceded by the Westmeat rearguard. Eoin Cleary who looked most impressive and confident in his shooting pointed from play after only five minutes and when Cooraclare centre forward Pearse Lillis sent over a fourth Clare point after seven minutes one could sense that the game was Clare's to lose. Both sides played with extra players back defending and it was Westmeath lack of punch in their forward ranks that ensured Clare were at ease controlling their last third of the field. Westmeath replaced a number of first choice players after 20 minutes in an attempt to kickstart with no success their challenge in Cusack Park.
The Clare support were constantly demanding a fast ball into the Clare forwards but that type of ball is now alien in football as all sides now play with extra defenders. Cathal O Connor was set up the hardworking Enda Coughlan for a fine score after 13 minutes. The rate of scoring diminished as Westmeath managed to curb the threat of scores in front of their own goal. 8 minutes elapsed before the game's next score courtesy of David Tubridy from play in the 21st minute. Eoin Cleary added a seventh Clare score after 23minutes as Westmeath supporters pondered the embarrassing possibility of not registering a first half score. They did not have to fear as the Lakeland county side got off the mark with eight minutes left in the first half as Shane Dempsey struck from 30 metres out. This kickstarted UCD Sigerson hero John Heslin into action and he converted two frees in a minute as Westmeath despite looking second rate were now only four points in arrears. They caused a few troublesome moments for Clare but never threatened Joe Hayes in goal.
The winning of the game was not in the second half but during injury time in the first half as a quickfire salvo of three unanswered points from Clare deconstructed the good work of Westmeath. Eoin Cleary led the way with two scores in the 36th and 37th minutes with Sean Collins rounding off a satisfying opening half with a great point and to leave the home side (0-10) to (0-3) ahead at the break.
Nothing bar a huge collapse on the part of Clare and a possible return of Dessie Dolan in flying form for Westmeath was going to change the result in Cusack Park. David Tubridy started the second half the same way he managed the first with the opening score. John Connellan responded a minute later but his point was neutralised by Enda Coughlan with a well taken point. Westmeath made two substitutions either side of John Heslin kicking his sides fifth score. He kicked a 6th Westmeath point just before Tubridy continued his rich vein of form in the 53rd minute. A marvellous solo effort from Gordon Kelly and a converted free from John Heslin combined with a Ronan Foley effort left five points between the sides after 56 minutes.
The icing on the cake was a stunning field length move from Clare involving 6 players ending with Jamie Malone bursting past two Westmeath defenders to finish past Darren Quinn in the Westmeath goal. Eoin Cleary kicked two frees as Malone added another to go with his goal. Westmeath attempted a consolation goal but Heslins injury time effort was stopped by Joe Hayes as sub Sean Haugh rounded off the scoring to send Clare away with their third league win of the year.
CLARE: Joe Hayes, Sean Malone, Kevin Hartnett, Martin McMahon, Jamie Malone (1-1), Gordon Kelly (0-1), Cian O Dea, Gary Brennan, Cathal O Connor (0-1), Sean Collins (0-1), Pearse Lillis (0-1), Shane McGrath, David Tubridy (0-5), Enda Coughlan (0-1), Eoin Cleary (0-6). Subs: Keelan Sexton for McGrath, Dean Ryan for Cian O Dea, Pat Burke for Coughlan Graham Kelly for Malone, Sean Haugh (0-1) for Lillis, Alan O Neill for Collins,
WESTMEATH: Darren Quinn, Killian Daly, Frank Boyle, Kevin Maguire, Jamie Gonoud, Kieran Martin (0-1), Alan Stone, Dennis Corroon, Paul Sharry, Ray Connellan, Callum McCormack, James Dolan, John Connellan (0-1), John Heslin (0-6), John Egan. Subs: Shane Dempsey (0-1) for Stone, Paul Greville for McCormack, Shane Flanagan for Gonoud Paddy Holloway for Connellan, Ronan Foley (0-1) for Dempsey
Referee: Jerome Henry (Mayo)
CLARE................. 1-11 TIPPERARY.................1-10
by Michael O Connor
Defeated finalists in 2014 and against the same opposition on the bank holiday weekend Clare returned to Pairc na nGael Limerick with a new crop of players to build on good form in this competition and lay down a marker for the Munster minor championship of 2016. Success finally came to this age group for Clare by the narrowest of margins that was influenced with no small degree of skill, speed and organisation.
The opening score from Dermot Coughlan was a score of real quality as he took charge and burst through the centre. Mark Lillis was forced to pull off a save from Tipperary star Jack Delahunty after five minutes. Both sides traded chances with no score until Joe McGann kicked over from 20m in the 11th minute. This sparked an immediate response from Tipperary with towering midfielder Ben Hyland kicking over from 40metres to level matters on (0-2) apiece after 13 minutes. Clare attacked but had no real opening and on the counter Jack Delahunty finished off a three man Tipperary move for the lead score at the end of the opening quarter. Joe McGann raced clear in the 19th minute for the equaliser and seconds later Paudie Kelly kicked a 40m wide. In a clear indication that Clare were capable of outrunning their Tipperary markers Conor Lynch broke through but his goal effort hit the side netting after 21 minutes action in the Gaelic grounds. Cathal Guerin, one of the five St Breckans representatives gave Clare a deserved lead. Tipperary felt they had a goal scored after 24 minutes but the referee adjudged the Clare ball carrier to be pushed over the goalline. Colin English after two minutes of sustained Tipperary pressure including two shots off the posts scored another equaliser in this game that was free flowing with plenty of end to end fare. As the first half reached a conclusion the premier men were gradually gaining a strong hold on the Clare attack after a shaky opening quarter. That said, the last two scores of the first half went to Clare captain Dara Bohannon with a 40m effort of his left foot over the bar and Joe McGann to leave Clare (0-6) to (0-4) ahead entering half time. From a Clare management perspective whilst the effort was admirable they had expended a lot of energy but far from the winning line. Both sides introduced replacments in second half and a number had telling effects on proceedings.
Tipperary sub Dylan Walsh opening the second half scoring before Clondegad's Conor Lynch responded with a like score after 36 minutes. Jack Delahunty sent a scorable effort well wide off the mark. Tipperary goalkeeper Anthony McKelvey pulled off a fine save from Conor Lynch and straight from the clearance a high ball into the Clare square broke to Shane Ryan who goaled from the breaking ball and once again the sides were level, (0-8) to (1-5). The premier side courtesy of Jake Flannery went ahead at the end of the third quarter.
Clare's best period of scoring was about to emerge to set up a thrilling last five minutes. Dara Bohannan pointed from play before the impressive Joe McGann finished for a powerful Clare goal in the 48th minute. Paudie Kelly stretched the lead to four entering the final ten minutes. Tipperary dominated the final ten minutes plus three minutes of injury time bar one vital match winning score from Miltown's Diarmuid Meade. Jack Delahunty, Dylan Walsh, Conal Kennedy, and Delahunty were all on target but it was all in vain as Clare held out for a rare and much deserved title at underage football in Munster.
Best for Clare included Mark Lillis, Evan Barrett, Conor O Loughlin, Jack Hannon, the impressive Dara Bohannon, Dermot Coughlan, sharpshooter Joe McGann, Conor Lynch, Diarmuid Meade and Paudie Kelly.
CLARE: Mark Lillis (Cooraclare), Peter Collins (St Josephs), Evan Barrett (St Breckans),Eoin Keane (Shannon Gaels), Tom Hannon (St Josephs), Conor O Loughlin (Corofin), Jack Hannon ( St Josephs), Dara Bohannon (Shannon Gaels) (capt)(0-2), Paudie Kelly (St Breckans)(0-2), Dermot Coughlan (Kilmurry Ibrickane) (0-1), Ciaran O Donoghue (Cooraclare), Sean Rouine (Ennistymon), Joe McGann (St Breckans) (1-3), Cathal Guerin (St Breckans)(0-1), Conor Lynch (Clondegad)(0-1). Subs: Ross Phelan (Kilrush) for Donoghue, Niall Kelly (Cooraclare) for Tom Hannon, Danny Griffin (Eire-og) for Phelan, Diarmuid Meade (Miltown)(0-1) for Guerin, Joe Miniter (Kilrush Shamrocks) for Keane, Mark Crowe (Clondegad) for Jack Hannon.
TIPPERARY: Anthony McKelvey, Oscar O Dwyer, David Byron, Diarmuid Leahy, Daire Brennan, Radeic Natkanich, Tom Murphy, Eoin Ryan, Ben Hyland (0-1), Shane Ryan (1-0), Calvin Boland, Colin English (0-1), Andrew Vance, Jack Delahunty (0-4), John Lyons. Subs: Mark Kehoe for Vance, Dylan Walsh (0-2) for Murphy, Conor Cashman for Ryan, Jake Flannery (0-1) for Radeic Natkanich, Conal Kennedy(0-1) for Boland.
After the game Munster council vice chairman Gerry O Sullivan presented the Daryl Darcy memorial cup to Clare captain and a member of a proud West Clare GAA family Dara Bohannon.
By Michael O Connor
excuses here as Clare exited the championship at the very first hurdle
against a spirited Longford side in Cusack park on Saturday evening.
Prior to the game it was expected that Clare would survive this clash
against a side that were mauled in Croke Park against Dublin in the
struck for the first score as Gary Brennan converted a free with the
game less than two minutes old. SIgnals that Longford were intent on
making a contest of it were evident with their efforts early on. Brian
Kavanagh levelled matters before David Tubridy scored a well taken
effort after four minutes. Ciaran Russell who struggled throughout the
game and it was a surprise that he was not relieved of his duties
conceded a penalty after taking down Liam Connerton and it was a
grateful Brian Kavanagha that goaled. Connerton and Michael Quinn
stretched the lead of the midlanders by the 14 mintues to five points,
(1-3) to (0-1) and indeed Clare were second rate by this stage.
Eoin Cleary who was surprisingly replaced late in the game whilst others who were non productive were left on the field and Gary Brennan narrowed the deficit by the 21st minutes to two points before Brian Kavanagh restored the goal lead. The handling errors by Clare when in primary possession in defence and attack played a huge role in their downfall against a physically strong Longford side managed by former Dublin star Jack Sheedy.
The home side had one of their most productive spells of the game scoring 1-2 in 7 minutes as David Tubridy, and Pat Burke struck over points as a well worked five man move ended with Clare's Dean Ryan hitting the back of the net. The home side were now two clear and in the view of many in the ascendancy. However, this climb up the ladder soon became a stunted movement and gradual decline. Liam Connerton who caused numerous problems and Dessie Reynolds levelled matters once more before the half time whistle. Clare went in at the break up by the minimum as Sean Collins who an uneventful afternoon had the final score of the first half to leave Clare (1-7) to (1-6) uncomfortable half time winners.
The opening minutes of the second half were error strewn by Clare with handling errors, poor kicking and it was like a rash spreading throughout the side for the remainder of the game. When they had good possession it was given away with ease especially by the full back line and half forward line. Rory Connor levelled proceedings three minutes into the second half before disaster struck as Dessie Reynolds lobbed the outrushing Joe Hayes.
With the game now entering the final half hour Clare were trailing by just three points but the feeling was that they were struggling all over the park and nothing less than a goal would ease that difficulty on the field.
David Tubridy (2) and Rory Connor were on target between the 40th and 50th minutes to leave Longford (2-8) to (1-9) clear and holding their own against a side that was perceived to be better than the Leinster side. Eoin Cleary scored a wonderful point and then was subbed which drew gasps of amazement from supporters. It appeared the decision was made before he scored and as stated before others were in the reckoning to go ahead of the Miltown man.
David Tubridy who did his best throughout the afternoon with limited supply drew the sides together after 55 minutes. Longford wing back Diarmuid Masterson scored a great long range effort and was stunningly sent off for a second yellow card less than a minute later. This appeared to hand the impetus back to Colm Collins men but far from it as Clare managed only one score in the final 15 minutes and this was simply not enough for a team in the All Ireland championship. Dean Ryan was on hand with the equaliser in the 59th minute.
Clare had chances to win and draw the game in the last ten minutes with Pat Burke and Keelan Sexton going close with goal chances. On the break Longford proved too much for Clare and in particular Brian Kavanagh as he struck for the last three points of the game with two frees and a third and final score of the game from play on the stroke of full time. The loss of Cathal O Connor was detrimental to the Clare cause whilst Gary Brennan was injured early on and it clearly hampered his movement. The Clare full back line coughed up too many scores (2-8) and sadly the forward division were far from evident in their runs.
CLARE: Joe Hayes, Ciaran Russell, Kevin Harnett, Martin McMahon, Shane Hickey, Gordon Kelly, Dean Ryan (1-1), Gary Brennan (0-2), Cathal O'Connor, Sean Collins (0-1), Jamie Malone, Keelan Sexton, Eoin Cleary (0-2), David Tubridy(0-4), Pat Burke (0-1). Subs: Shane McGrath for O Connor (inj), Enda Coughlan for Cleary, Stephen Collins for Kelly,
LONGFORD: Paddy Collum, Cian Farrelly, Barry O Farrell, Fergal Battrim, Colm P Smyth, Barry Gilleran, Diarmuid Masterson (0-1), Kevin Diffley, Michael Quinn (0-1), Pauric Gill, Ronan McEntee, Rory Connor (0-2), Liam Connerton (0-2), Brian Kavanagh (1-5), Dessie Reynolds (1-1). Subs: Shane Doyle for Gill, Ross McInerney for McEntire , Peter Foy for Connor.
Referee: Anthony Nolan (Wicklow)
By Michael O Connor.
In a much needed boost for Clare football and in a powerful effort weakened by wayward shooting Clare booked a place on the weekend of 13/14th June in a semi final meeting in Pairc Ui Rinn with Cork. The better side won the game but yet could have easily lost the tie and in the words of a GAA follower " Clare won dirty and could have lost with much kindness".
Team captain Gary Brennan led by example and burst through on the first attack to give Clare the lead after twenty seconds. Clare exerted pressure but on the counter Robert Browne the left corner back for Limerick responded after three minutes. Shane Brennan forced a great save from Limerick netminder Brian Scanlon as the resultant 45 was kicked wide by Cathal O Connor. Ian Ryan had the next scoring chance from a free won by Ryan and he made no mistake. On a big weekend for the Cleary family Eoin made his first start for Clare footballers a successful one with a punched point with seven minutes elapsed.
Sean Collins hit the top of the post at the end of a good Clare move involving Gordon Kelly, Martin McMahon and Collins. After ten minutes Clare had five wides kicked as Clare had the benefit of the stiff breeze in the first half in Cusack Park. The game had to wait a full six minutes for the games next score and when it did it was two scores from the Brennan brothers in the 12th and 13th minutes as the home side opened up a (0-4) to (0-2) lead. This was richly deserved as Clare were the dominant side in possession but only for their wasteful shooting would have been out of sight at the end of the opening quarter.
Cathal O Connor increased the Clare lead to three with a well kicked 45 but again the folly of wides continued as wide number seven was provided by Eoin Cleary. A moment of magic from Podge Collins saw him beat three and score off his left foot for the game's best moment to date in the 22nd minute in front of the attendance of 4520.
Limerick lifted the siege with a 40m free scored by goalkeeper Brian Scanlon after 26 minutes as three points was the difference. It was but a temporary reprieve for the shannonsiders as Clare struck back with two scores from Eoin Cleary and Gary Brennan who was in sparkling form restored a five point Clare lead.
Clare should have been coasting with a six plus lead at the break and were six clear with Jamie Malone's first score a minute into the new half as the heavy drizzle was appearing and the wind was rising. Limerick rallied well for three minutes with two points courtesy of Peter Nash and Stephen Cahill as Clare looked to be on the back foot even at this early stage in the second half
Shane Brennan's retirement with a suspected shoulder injury was a loss to Clare as Sean Collins was put through by brother Podge but his effort was over the bar when a goal would have ended the game as a serious event from a Clare viewpoint.
Once again Clare began to falter and it was in no small part to the efforts of Limerick as Ian Ryan (free) and Peter Nash with a sweet effort had the Clare lead cut to a goal with 23 minutes left of action in Cusack Park. Rory Donnelly, a veteran of many years football with Clare and recently brought back into the panel was introduced and after a couple of errors paid back in spades the selectors faith in him with an important point. The two Ian's, namely Ryan and Corbett as well as Cian Sheehan showed great hope for Limerick entering the final quarter with three in a row to narrow the deficit to the minimum with 12 minutes remaining.
Indeed, many Clare supporters were fearing the worst as Gary Brennan who had been dominant in the first half had showed little in the third quarter. Rory Donnelly rallied with a second score before Ian Ryan ensured the minimum separated the sides. From a Clare viewpoint never conceding an equalising score was crucial and it displayed great spirit that may help them later in the season that has already seen safety in division three of the NFL.
The introduction of Davy O Halloran who was centre of a media storm in February had the cameraman working with intent and whilst he did not score he worked hard and a was a vital link man between the backs and midfield. In the final ten minutes the workrate of Podge Collins was essential to Clare blocking out Limerick. However the last sub introduced, namely Cathal McInerney was the match winner. He pointed a free in the 65th minute and Clare were two clear once more. Both sides had chances for scores in the following five minutes but Limerick were depending on goalkeeper Brian Scanlon with long range free and he tagged on a third with the game entering the final minutes. Yet, it was left to Cratloe man McInerney to secure the win with the coolest of strokes as the game entered the 71st minute
Best for Clare were Ciaran Russell who worked hard, Kevin Hartnett, Gordon Kelly, Dean Ryan, Gary Brennan who had a superb first half and rallied in the final ten minutes. Cathal O Connor, however was the Mr consistent of the team and he was aided well by Podge Collins, Jamie Malone until black carded, Eoin Cleary plus subs Donnelly, McInerney and O Halloran. Interestingly over the 70 minutes Clare and Limerick had 16 different scorers which was quite a high tally for a football game and one would have expected a higher tally in scoring returns for each side.
Limerick's best included Brian Scanlon, Johnny McCarthy, Stephen Cahill, John Riordan, Peter Nash, Ian Ryan and Ian Corbett.
CLARE: Joe Hayes, Ciaran Russell, Kevin Hartnett, Martin McMahon, Shane Hickey, Gordon Kelly, Dean Ryan, Gary Brennan (0-4), Cathal O Connor (0-1), Sean Collins (0-1), Jamie Malone (0-1), Shane Brennan (0-1), Eoin Cleary (0-2), Paraic Collins (0-1), Pat Burke. Subs: Stephen Collins for S Hickey, Rory Donnelly (0-2) for S Brennan, Davy O Halloran for J Malone (Black card), Cathal McInerney (0-2) for Cleary, Chris Dunning for Stephen Collins (inj), Keelan Sexton for Burke,
LIMERICK: Brian Scanlon (0-3), Sean O Dea, Johnny McCarthy, Robert Browne(0-1), Ian Corbett (0-1), Cillian Fahy, Stephen Cahill (0-1), Thomas Lee, Gearoid Hegarty, John Riordan, Pa Ranahan, Darragh Treacy, Peter Nash(0-2), Seanie Buckley, Ian Ryan (0-4). Subs: Kevin Moore for Ranahan, Gareth Noonan for Browne, Cian Sheehan (0-1) for J Riordan.
Referee: Derek O Mahony (Tipperary).
Tipperary defeated Clare by the minimum in this evening’s Electric Ireland Munster minor football semi-final in Thurles.
Points in the 59th, 60th and and 61st minutes edged Tipperary over the line against Clare at Semple Stadium, denying the Banner County a first provincial final appearance since 1994.
Clare had moved two points clear when captain Keelan Sexton popped over his side’s first score of the game from a free with eight minutes left.
But Tipperary hit late points from Tommy Nolan, Jack Kennedy and
man-of-the-match Brendan Martin, his fifth, to book a place in a fourth
final in five seasons.
Goals in either half had rocked Tipp back on their heels but they created enough chances at the other end to sneak over the line. Martin and Jack Kennedy hit five points each, with three of Kennedy’s from play, and the hosts also finished with 11 wides.
Clare’s first score of the game was a goal midway through the first half, a magnificent solo effort from Cormac Murray.
After Murray’s goal, when Tipp were punished for a turnover, Martin’s second point levelled matters before Clare surged into a three-point advantage with the breeze.
Darragh Bohannon kick started a run of three unanswered points before senior panellist Keelan Sexton and Murray were on target.
But Tipp hit back with three of their own before half-time to restore parity, with Emmett Moloney, minor hurling captain Stephen Quirke and Shane Power on target.
Danny Owens (right) captained Tipperary to victory tonight. Source: James Crombie/INPHO
Power’s point was a gutsy score as he was the player turned over by Clare’s Cillian Brennan in the lead-up to the Banner County goal, and Tipp were level at half-time, 0-6 to 1-3.
Clare’s second goal, created by sub Conor Lynch and scored by Sexton, handed Clare the early second half advantage and they would lead by three points on as many occasions before Tipp’s late supershow reeled them in.
Scorers for Tipperary: Brendan Martin & Jack Kennedy (0-3f) 0-5 each, Shane Power, Stephen Quirke, Emmett Moloney, Tommy Nolan, Brian McGrath & Ross Peters 0-1 each.
Scorers for Clare: Keelan Sexton 1-3 (0-1f), Cormac Murray 1-1, Sean Malone 0-2, Darragh Bohannon, Cillian Brennan & Conor Lynch 0-1 each.
Charlie Manton (Fethard), . Tommy Lowry (Arravale Rovers), Morgan Irwin (Moyle Rovers), Shane Power (Galtee Rovers), Mark Kehoe (Kilsheelan Kilcash),
Killian Roche (Cooraclare), Conor O’Halloran (Éire Óg), Kieran Killeen (Kilmurry Ibrickane), Colm Pyne (Killimer), Liam Devitt (Ennistymon), Pearse Lillis (Cooraclare), Colin Hehir (MIlltown Malbay), Darragh Bohannon (Shannon Gaels), Cathal Downes (Naomh Eoin), Alan Sweeney (St Breckans)
Clare 2-11 Limerick 0-05
Apart from a three minute spell which saw Limerick hold a two point lead, it was the Banner who completely dominated this contest. Clare were more economical with their use of possession which led to the creation of scores while their opponents were constantly intercepted when they were in control of the ball.
Miltown’s Sean Malone was first to get on the scoresheet with a fine curving shot from his right boot edging its way between the posts on the fifth minute. Limerick levelled matters, six minutes later from a Mark Connolly free. The Treaty County took the lead with an Ed Sheehy point on the seventeenth minute and added to this with a white flag from captain Mikey Morrissey two minutes later. Sean Malone was on hand to get the all-important goal which swung the tie in Clare’s favour on the twentieth minute with a blistering strike to the top right hand corner of Aaron Murphy’s net following good work from Nigel Murray and Cillian Brennan. Six unanswered Clare points courtesy of Malone, Colm Pyne, Colin Hehir, Cillian Brennan and two from Keelan Sexton saw the Banner head in at the break 1-07 to 0-03 ahead.
Captain Keelan Sexton registered Clare’s first score of the second half, four minutes in. The Clare Senior football panellist added another free from the 45 metre line shortly after to extend his side’s lead to nine points. Limerick netminder Aaron Murphy was called upon to deny Cormac Murphy and the Fr Casey’s man was rewarded for putting his body on the line as his team would go up the field and get their first point since the break via Adam Storan on the forty second minute. Kieran Kelleher’s Clare side replied in remarkable fashion as a quick Cillian Brennan free was offloaded to Nigel Murray who tore through the Limerick defence and in the ensuing goalmouth scramble, Miltown’s Cormac Murray kicked the ball to the back of the net. Sexton and Storan swapped frees on the twenty fifth minute to leave a gap of eleven points between the sides. The Treaty County were reduced to fourteen men with the dismissal of Luke O’Connell for a second bookable offence after an off the ball altercation. Fittingly the man that got Clare out of the blocks would be the last scorer in the contest as Sean Malone hit over a fine point to wrap up the contest.
In their victory over Waterford last week, Jerry O’Sullivan’s Limerick showed great fight in overturning an eight point deficit at half-time. That fight and grit was non-existent in Cusack Park, as the Treaty County never showed the required drive to get going. Their play was too obvious at times as Clare constantly got interceptions and turnovers at their expense. When they look back on their 2015 Minor Campaign, Limerick will be pleased to have won a game at the grade for the first time in five years but this encounter is one they will be keen to forget. Adam Storan, Sean Murphy and Diarmuid Kelly did well for the Shannonsiders.
For Clare the objective was to win and that has been achieved. Key to their victory was their attitude, not once did they involve themselves with the referee or go looking for trouble. They also lost three important players to injury namely Páraic McNamara, Sean O’Donoghue and Pearse Lillis during the game but the Banner refused to let this affect their mentality with these losses and it is a credit to them as most teams would have crumbled. Defensively Clare were far superior and only allowed Limerick hit eighteen shots on goal over the hour. Next up is a May 13th semi-final clash with Tipperary in the last four and the Banner cannot afford to waste chances on goal when they travel to Semple Stadium. Sean Malone was very dangerous up front for Kieran Kelleher’s side while Keelan Sexton showed tremendous leadership with the trio of Darragh Bohannon, Colm Pyne and Nigel Murray also impressing.
Clare: Killian Roche (Cooraclare), Conor O’Halloran (Éire Óg), Colm Pyne (Killimer) (0-01), Kieran Killeen (Kilmurry/Ibrickane), Liam Devitt (Ennistymon), Pearse Lillis (Cooraclare), Colin Hehir (St Josephs Miltown Malbay) (0-01), Sean O’Donoghue (Cooraclare), Darragh Bohannon (Shannon Gaels), Alan Sweeney (St Breckans), Nigel Murray (O’Currys), Keelan Sexton (Kilmurry/Ibrickane) (0-05 3f), Páraic McNamara (Kilmaley), Cillian Brennan (Clondegad) (0-01), Sean Malone (1-03). Subs: Cormac Murray (St Josephs Miltown Malbay) (1-00) for McNamara (16:06) (Inj), Conor Lynch (Clondegad) for O’Donoghue (33:30) (Inj), Niall McCarthy (Lissycasey) for Lillis (36:06) (Inj), Maurice Nugent (St Josephs Doora/Barefield) for N Murray (44:27), Jack Morrissey (Cooraclare) for Sweeney (49:47), Conor Downes (Naomh Eoin) for Hehir (59:02).
Limerick: Aaron Murphy (Fr Caseys), Fionn Murphy (Killteely-Dromkeen), Luke O’Connell (Mungret), David Hanley (Ballysteen), Sean Murphy (Newcastlewest), Sean Ivess (Newcastlewest), John Wallace (Glin), Adam Kerins (St Senans), Michael Whelan (Hospital-Herbartstown), Mikey Morrissey (Rathkeale) (0-01 1f), Colm McSweeney (Gerald Griffins), Ed Sheehy (Granagh/Ballingarry) (0-01), Diarmuid Kelly (Newcastlewest), Mark Connolly (Adare) (0-01 1f), James Ryan (Athea). Subs: Paul Maher (Adare) for Hanley (HT), Adam Storan (Mungret) for Ryan (36:57), Cameron Stephenson (St Patricks) for Whelan (44:07), Richard Hayes (St Senans) for McSweeney (52:02), Dillon Corrigan (Kildimo Pallaskenry) for Connolly (54:00), Andrew White (Rathkeale) for Morrissey (54:01).
Referee: Seamus Mulvihill (Kerry).
KERRY 0-14 CLARE 0-3:
In a lifeless encounter in front of 1,962 souls, Kerry were erratic in front of goal, error-prone and lazy in the tackle.
And yet for all the cobwebs associated with a first championship outing, the Kingdom were by some distance the superior force.
The visitors failed to score from open play over the hour, while Kerry, who really never moved beyond second gear upon the change of ends, clocked eight wides and squandered as many more scoring opportunities. The winning margin stood at 11-points, it so easily could have been double that.
Such was Clare’s inferiority. Such, essentially, was Kerry’s dominance.
“We mixed the good and the bad,” said Kerry manager Jack O’Connor.
“We were decent in the first-half, we had a good lead at half-time. In the second-half, we were playing against a tricky wind and a tricky sun. We wouldn’t be overly happy with the second-half.
“We certainly would have liked to have kicked four or five more points.”
By half-time Kerry’s progression was all but assured – the home outfit establishing a 0-10 to 0-1 advantage. They had rendered their opponents scoreless from play and on top of the 10 white flags raised, at least two goals should have been added.
Conor Geaney had Kerry off the mark on seven minutes and points followed from Stephen O’Sullivan, Bryan Sweeney, Geaney and midfielder O’Connor.
Clare full-forward Keelan Sexton finally broke their deadlock on 16 minutes, having previously missed two routine frees.
The Banner defence was struggling to hold down Geaney and O’Sullivan, and on the rare occasion they moved within shooting distance of the Kerry goal, the required composure was sorely lacking.
Geaney (0-2), O’Sullivan and two from full-forward Linnane had the champions home and hosed returning to the dressing room at the break.
The contest petered out thereafter. The second-half would produce just six scores.
Clare’s attacking woes didn’t let up - Sexton and goalkeeper Killian Roche on target from the placed ball to bring their tally to 0-3.
For Kerry, Gavin White, goalkeeper Billy Courtney, Michael Foley and Evan Cronin etched their names onto the score sheet.
Cork next, and plenty of room for improvement.
Scorers for Kerry: C Geaney (0-4); C Linnane (0-1 free), S O’Sullivan (0-2 each); B Courtney (0-1 free), E Cronin (0-1 free), G White, M O’Connor, B Sweeney, M Foley (0-1 each).
Scorers for Clare: K Sexton (0-2, 0-2 frees); K Roche (0-1, 0-1 free).
KERRY: B Courtney (Dr Crokes); D Brosnan (Gneeveguilla), J Foley (Ballydonoghue), T O’Sullivan (Dingle); G White (Dr Crokes), M Breen (Beaufort), D O’Brien (Glenflesk); M O’Connor (Dingle), JM Foley (Kilgarvan); B Ó Seanacháin (Ballydonoghue), B Sweeney (Listowel Emmetts), S O’Shea (Kenmare); S O’Sullivan (Templenoe), C Linnane (Beale), C Geaney (Dingle).
Subs: E Cronin (Spa) for Linnane (44 mins), D O’Shea (Kenmare) for O’Sullivan (53), G O’Sullivan (Dromid Pearses) for White (53), B Barrett (Ardfert) for S O’Shea (55), M Foley (Spa) for S O’Sullivan (55), R Buckley (Listry) for Foley (57).
CLARE: K Roche (Cooraclare); K Kileen (Kilmurry Ibrickane), N McCarthy (Lissycasey), C Pyne (Killimer); P Lillis (Cooraclare), C Downes (Naomh Eoin), C Hehir (St Joseph’s); K Burke (Cooraclare), S O’Donoghue (Cooraclare); C O’Halloran (Éire Óg), C Murray (St Joseph’s), P McNamara (Kilmaley); E Tubridy (Doonbeg), K Sexton (Kilmurry Ibrickane), A Sweeney (St Breckan’s).
Subs: N Murray (O’Currys) for McNamara (HT), C Brennan (Clondegad) for Burke (HT), J Morrissey (Cooraclare) for Tubridy (42 mins), D Foran (Killimer) for A Sweeney (55), R McMahon (Kildysart) for Pyne (55).
Referee: J Ryan (Cork).
Tipperary 0-15 Clare 0-7
Tipperary are through to a third successive EirGrid Munster U21 Championship final against Cork.
The Premier County beat Clare by eight points in this evening’s semi-final at Semple Stadium to set up another joust with the Rebels on April 8.
Jason Lonergan scored 0-5 for Tipp as they came good late on to get past the dogged challenge of the visitors.
Tipp were 0-7 to 0-4 clear at half-time, as Clare failed to register from play until four minutes after the break.
Tipp had nine different scorers on the night as senior panellist Jamie Malone was the only Clare player to score from play.
Scorers for Tipperary: J Lonergan 0-5, L Casey & S O’Brien 0-2 each, C O’Riordan, B Maher, I Fahey, P Maher, J McGrath & J Keane (f) 0-1 each.
Scorers for Clare: K Sexton 0-4f, J Malone 0-2, P O’Malley 0-1f.
TIPPERARY: E Comerford; K Fahey, J Feehan, C O’Shaughnessy; C O’Riordan, R Mulcahy, B Maher; L Casey, S O’Brien; J Lonergan, I Fahey, P Shanahan; P Maher, J McGrath, J Keane. Subs: D McEnroe for Keane (44), G Cronin for Shanahan (50), T Sweeney for P Maher (57).
CLARE: K Normoyle; C O’Mahoney, J O’Dea, C Brennan; D Nagle, C O’Brien, C O’Dea; E Hanrahan, J Malone; L Corry, P O’Malley, D Masterson; M O’Leary, K Sexton, E Courtney. Subs: D Burke for Hanrahan (28), C Cleary for Masterson (h.t.), M Byrne for Corry (h.t.), J Downes for O’Malley (41), N Bonfil for Courtney (58), C MacNelis for O’Mahoney (60+1).
Referee: J Bermingham (Cork)