WOLFE TONES….2-13 KILMALEY……………0-9
By Michael O Connor.
Not a great game not even a good game but as Wolfe Tones continue to rebuild with a comprehensive ten point win Kilmaley must be concerned with the lack of passion and apparent effort in their play that would trouble them against Intermediate championship sides. Once again the health warning that goes with the Clare cup especially after nearly 6 weeks in a row must be heeded. One bad result can be followed by a glorious success yet Shannon looked hungry and Kilmaley looked jaded.
Rain welcomed spectators to the Kilmaley venue that is one of the hardest for visiting teams to achieve results in when the home side is in form. However on this occasion Wolfe Tones grew in confidence and simply bar a collective collapse had the game secured in the final ten minutes to secured their fourth win in this years Clare cup. Kilmaley had county panellists Daire Keane (introduced) and Diarmuid McMahon in their side as Aaron Cunningham and Brian O Connell were absent from the winners line up.
Gareth McPhillips hit for the opening point two minutes after the throw in as the visitors were playing into the dressingroom goal. Kilmaley’s Eoin Enright got the equaliser and the first Kilmaley point three minutes later as Wolfe Tones were throwing their bodies on the line from the start and did not let up for the remainder of the game. Mark Regan at corner forward and Diarmuid McMahon exchanged scores by the 12th minute as the standard of fare was far below championship class with Kilmaley beginning to hit wides, a malaise that continued for the hour as they hit well over a dozen wides, many under no pressure and well wide. Wolfe Tones won a number of frees and 65s and the McPhillips brothers took full advantage of these chances.
A long ball sent in by Bobby McPhillips broke to Gary Leahy whose deft effort found the net at the end of the opening quarter to send Shannon three clear. Ken Kennedy, John Cabey and Eoin O Malley all responded within five minutes as Kilmaley enjoyed their best period in front of goal yet still hit six wides in the second quarter. A strong finish by Wolfe Tones in the last five minutes of the first half as the rain ceased resulted in scores from Mark Regan, Bobby McPhillips and Gareth McPhillips to retire (1-5) to (0-5) clear at the break.
An expected second half resurgence from Kilmaley was expected yet doubtful considering their dullness in the first 30 minutes. Wolfe Tones continued in the manner that they had ended the first half with the opening three scores from Bobby McPhillips (2) and Gary Leahy to double their half time advantage to 6 points with 25 minutes to play. Kenneth Kennedy, Daire Keane and David Reidy swopped scores before John Cabey hit a free to leave four points between the sides.
That was as much as Kilmaley could offer in terms of a second half challenge as Wolfe Tones outscored their rivals by (1-4) to (0-1) and were good value for their scores. Once more the McPhillips led the way sharing two points as Gary Leahy and Kevin McCafferty were also on target. The second Wolfe tones goal was well worked by Daithi O Connell who set up bustling substitute Jamie Walker for a powerful close range finish. Diarmuid McMahon had the only Kilmaley score in the last 15 minutes. Best for the Tones were Jamie Roughan, Barry Loughnane, Bobby McPhillips, Shane Chambers, Kevin McCafferty, Gareth McPhillips, Mark Regan and Gary Leahy.
WOLFE TONES: Paul Hogan, John Madigan, Jamie Roughan, Barry Loughnane, Gary O Connell, Bobby McPhillips (0-4), Shane Chambers, Niall Murphy, Kevin McCafferty (0-1), Daithi O Connell, Gareth McPhillips (0-3), David Dunne, Mark Regan (0-2), Gary Leahy (1-2), David Reidy (0-1). Subs: Jamie Walker (1-0) for Reidy
KILMALEY: Ciaran Dillon, Colin McGuane, Anthony Cahill, Sean Talty, Noel Casey, Colin Lynch, Jonathan Clohessy, Ken Kennedy (0-2), Brian McMahon, Michael O Neill, Diarmuid McMahon (0-2), John Cabey (0-2), Eoin O Malley (0-1), Conor Neylon, Eoin Enright (0-1). Subs; Daire Keane (0-1), Paul Kennedy, Killian McNamara.
Referee: Ambrose Heagney (Corofin).