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.