KILMURRY IBRICKANE…..0-10 ST JOSEPHS DOORA BAREFIELD…………….0-4
By Michael O Connor.
No surprise really in Cusack park as Kilmurry Ibrickane once more are champions of Clare. Their overall superiority in defence as they smother opponents forward power granted them title 13 against St Josephs who must now be wondering what they have to do to score in a county final.
Fourth time lucky for St Josephs having lost three previous finals to the reigning champions or Kilmurry Ibrickane once more to uphold their standing as football kingpins of Clare and claimed title number 13. St Josephs under the guise of Doora won the county crown way back in 1898. The VIP section, normally the hottest ticket in town was not even half full as the two teams lined up behind the Tulla pipe band.
In the 2011 final Kilmurry had raced into a five lead lead with the game gone 15 minutes and at the interval St Josephs were facing half time losing 8 points to no score. The commonly held view that it could not be the same scenario in 2012 and from the early exchanges it looked like St Josephs would be more than equal to Kilmurry Ibrickane on this occasion.
The first five minutes of the game saw the ball being kicked with extreme rarity as both teams maintained possession choosing not to gamble into giving away an early score. St Josephs were keen to launch in high balls as Kilrush had profited from this tactic in the two semi final outings with Kilmurry.
Despite early pressure from the Mid Clare club it was the holders who opened the scoring from wing forward Noel Hickey in the 8th minute. There was little evidence at this stage that the first half would become a complete non event. However, within two further minutes the alarm bells were ringing all around headquarters and no where more certain that in Barefield ears as Thomas O Connor and Peter O Dwyer kicked a score each to surge their charges three clear. Declan O Keeffe (free) and Ivor White (play) were off target as Barefield’s kicking left a lot to be desired often relinquishing possession to the Kilmurry defenders.
Ian McInerney (2 frees), Noel Downes, Niall Hickey and John Daly (free) added five scores between the 18th and 28th minutes as the spectre of St Josephs repeating the 2011 feat of no first half score loomed menacingly. This, thankfully did not materialise as Cathal O Sullivan with a speculative effort from 55 yards sailed between the posts as the game entered injury time to leave Kilmurry (0-8) to (0-1) behind at the break.
St Josephs needed two if not three goals to win this title and barring the Kilmurry goalie kicking into his own net this was not going to happen. Niall Hickey and Ian McInerney in the 36th and 38th minutes added to the Kilmurry Ibrickane tally as they went into double figures, (0-10) to (0-1) and no way back for Barefield. To further compound St Josephs misery they kicked a number of wides in desperation and it diluted any momentum in their challenge.
KIlmurry failed to score for the remainder of the game as St Josephs to their credit performed better than in 2011 but did not create even what one could suggest was half a goal chance in the second half. Cathal Duggan following a great catch by Alan O Neill pointed and added a free soon after for St Joseph’s third score in the 43rd minute. The final twenty minutes of action resulted on a miserly one point being added to the scoreboard as Cathal Duggan converted a free in the 57th minute. Kilmurry Ibrickane now move on to play the Kerry county champions and on this performance may have to up their efforts considerably to reach the next round.
Best for the two in a row champions, a feat last achieved in 2008-09 by Kilmurry Ibrickane were Peter O Dwyer who made a number of saves in the second half, Martin McMahon, Paul O Connor, Ian McInerney, Darren Hickey, Niall Hickey, Michael O Dwyer and Thomas O Connor. St Josephs have lost the O Gorman Cup, Cusack cup and county finals to Kilmurry Ibrickane. Their efforts are laudable but from their perspective unsuccessful despite Declan O Keeffe, Kevin Dilleen, Ivor Whyte, Cathal Duggan, Alan O Neill and Enda Lyons when introduced.
KILMURRY IBRICKANE: Peter O Dwyer, Martin McMahon, Darren Hickey, Shane Hickey, Thomas O Connor (0-1), Paul O Connor, Declan Callinan, Peter O Dwyer (0-1), Ian McInerney (0-3), Evan Talty, Michael O Dwyer, Niall Hickey (0-3), Enda Coughlan, John Daly (0-1), Noel Downes (0-1). Subs: Seamus Murrihy for Talty, Odran O Dwyer for Daly, Mark McCarthy for Peter O Dwyer, Ciaran Morrissey for Ian McInerney,
ST JOSEPHS: Subs: Declan O Keeffe,Paudie Nugent, Steven Collins, Martin Brooks, Sean Flynn, Kevin Dilleen, Declan Malone, Alan O Neill, Mark Hallinan, Greg Lyons, Cathal O Sullivan (0-1), Paul Dullaghan, David O Brien, Ivor Whyte, Cathal Duggan (0-3). Subs: Enda Lyons for Malone, Brian Clancy for O Brien, Christy O Brien for Hallinan, Luke Brannock for Dullaghan, Eamonn Clohessy for O Sullivan,
REFEREE: Michael Rock (Ennistymon).
After the game Michael O Neill made the presentation of the Jack Daly cup to Martin McMahon as Niall Hickey was selected as man of the match. Cathal Duggan was awarded the top scorer of the championship title.