Milltown-Castlemaine 2-5 Clondegad 0-10
A moment of magic from Cathal Moriarty inspired Milltown/Castlemaine to a narrow victory over Clare side Clondegad in the Munster Club IFC quarter-final at Milltown yesterday.
Just five minutes from the end and with Milltown-Castlemaine trailing 0-9 to 1-5, Moriarty weaved his way inside the Clondegad square before coolly kicking the ball to the net to set-up a provincial semi-final date with Newmarket next weekend.
But Milltown/Castlemaine can consider themselves very lucky to have survived as they were second best for long stretches, and needed 40-year-old goalkeeper Joe Daly to save a first-half Clondegad penalty from Shane Brennan, while the Clare side also had a goal disallowed for a square ball early in the second half.
As well as that, Cathal Moriarty’s 10th minute goal for Milltown/Castlemaine, against the run of play, was highly fortuitous when his point attempt just dipped in under the crossbar; a vital score for the home side that pushed them 1-1 to 0-3 after Clondegad’s impressive start.
With Gary Brennan lording midfield alongside his brother Shane, and with wing-back Kieran Browne driving on, Clondegad’s fast and direct style caused Milltown/Castlemaine a host of problems, and the Kerry side were lucky to be level at half-time, 1-4 to 0-7.
With scores hard to come by in the second half, Clondegad led 0-9 to 1-5 — Padraig McMahon and Gary Brennan both scoring frees from Clondegad, while John O’Connor hit Milltown/Castlemaine’s point — with just five minutes left, and the Kerry team looked in serious trouble.
By now both Ian Twiss and Derek Twiss had been summoned from the bench and the duo played a key role in Milltown/Castlemaine’s late match-winning goal, with Ian laying the ball off to Derek, who launched a high centre in toward full-forward Colm Kerins. When the ball broke to Moriarty, he danced his way free before slotting home a famous goal.
There was still time for Clondegad to come back and Gary Brennan’s fourth free of the game left it a one-point match late on but Milltown/Castlemaine just held on, with the result more important than the performance at this stage of the season.
Scorers for Milltown/Castlemaine: C Moriarty 2-0, G Wrenn 0-4f, J O’Connor 0-1.
Clondegad: G Brennan 0-4f, P McMahon (2f, 1 45) 0-3, T Kelly, S Brennan, F Neylon 0-1 each.
MILLTOWN-CASTLEMAINE: J Daly; K McKenna, D Murphy, J Blennerhassett; P Carroll, M Mangan, J O’Connor; M Burke, B Delaney; S Murphy, D Kelliher, G Wrenn; J Flynn, C Kerins, C Moriarty.
Subs: I Twiss for D Kelliher (35); I Twiss for B Delaney (48); P Wrenn for G Wrenn (53); K McKenna for J Flynn (60).
CLONDEGAD: D O’Loughlin; B Murphy, P O’Connell, C Ryan; K Browne, F Neylon, C Gavin; S Brennan, G Brennan; G O’Connell, F O’Reilly, T Kelly; E Donnellan, P Coffey, P McMahon.
Referee: Brian Tyrell (Tipperary).