Borrisokane 2-14 Killanena 3-10
Throughout the last week there was a fear amongst Killanena and Clare hurling followers that a six-day break between the East Clare club’s historic first Clare intermediate title win and a Munster championship date would be much too short.
Twenty minutes into Saturday’s Munster quarter-final clash with Tipperary counterparts, Borrisokane, it looked like these fears would be realised as Killanena trailed by eight points and had still to raise a flag. From here to the finish they improved steadily and a storming last five minutes left them just a point adrift when the final whistle sounded.
Given that they went into this tie with two of the stars of the county final win, centre-back John O’Meara and man of the match from that game, Alan McNamara, their performance is all the more praiseworthy. In addition, they played the last 25 minutes of the game with 14 men after corner-back Barry Noone picked up a second yellow card five minutes into the second half.
While the Clare champions could have snatched victory, Borrisokane deservingly advanced to a semi-final date with the Waterford champions in two weeks’ time. They were the better-balanced side overall and picked off some excellent scores on the day in a tie played in good conditions at a well-appointed O’Garney Park in Sixmilebridge.
The game was seven minutes old before the first score arrived, a point for the winners from Gordon Harding. They grew in confidence after this and were 0-8 to 0-0 ahead after 18 minutes. A further two minutes went by before Mark Flaherty opened Killanena’s account when he pointed their first free of the game. Within a minute his brother Ronan had the Clare champions’ first score from play but then Borrisokane regained control and quickly added 1-2, the goal coming from the star of the opening half, Philip Austin, who scored 1-4 from play before the half-time whistle sounded.
Three minutes from the break, Killanena were given a great boost when Mark Flaherty’s 80m free went all the way to the net and he closed out the half with a brace of pointed frees to leave the half-time score at 1-10 to 1-4.
Killanena returned with Stephen McMahon and Stephen Moloney in their side in place of Liam and Brian McNamara. Four minutes into the half, they introduced Alan McNamara to their attack in place of Fintan McNamara but a minute later they suffered a huge blow when Barry Noone picked up a second yellow card, which ended his involvement in the game.
In the third quarter, each side managed just two points, with Colm Larkin scoring both for the winners from frees while the Flaherty brothers had the Killanena points. Mark Flaherty pointed from play at the start of the final quarter but another brace from Colm Larkin and a goal from substitute Shane Dooley left the North Tipperary club comfortable ahead, 2-14 to 1-8, with five minutes remaining.
The Tipperary side’s supporters weren’t overly worried when Mark Flaherty blasted a 22m free to the net with two minutes of normal time, remaining. In the first minute of injury time there was some concern when he stepped up to a 25m free but his bullet-like drive went inches over the bar, leaving four points between the teams.
From the puck-out, Killanena won a free at midfield. Michael Noone floated the ball into the goalmouth and substitute Stephen Moloney got the touch for goal number three and now the margin was down to the minimum. However, time ran out for the Clare champions and the final whistle sounded seconds later.
Tadhgie Slevin, Enda Forde, Philip Austin and Colm Larkin were prominent for the winners on a day when Joe Clancy, David and Michael Noone and the Flaherty brothers impressed for Killanena
Borrisokane: Paul Egan; Cathal Dooley, Kevin Gleeson, Pádraig Moriarty; David Kennedy, Enda Forde, Conor Forde; Tadhgie Slevin, Seosamh Cleary; Philip Austin, Eoin Larkin, Graham McMahon; Adrian Hogan, Colm Larkin, Gordon Harding.
Subs: Shane Dooley for McMahon (42 minutes); Ronan Guest for A Hogan (49 minutes); George Power for Harding (55 minutes); Brian Davis for E Larkin (57 minutes).
Scorers: Philip Austin (1-4); Colm Larkin (0-6, 5f); Shane Dooley (1-0); Tadhgie Slevin (0-2, 1f); Eoin Larkin, Gordon Harding (0-1) each.
Frees: 1; Wides: 8
Killanena: David Noone; Barry Noone, Joe Clancy, Pat Noone; Kieran Glynn, Gerry McNamara, Enda Collins; Michael Noone, John Noonan; Noel Sheedy, Brian McNamara, Liam McNamara; Fintan McNamara, Ronan Flaherty, Mark Flaherty.
Subs: Stephen McMahon for L McNamara (half-time); Stephen Moloney for B McNamara (half-time); Alan McNamara for F McNamara (34 minutes).
Scorers: Mark Flaherty (2-6, 2-5f); Stephen Moloney (1-0); Ronan Flaherty (0-2); Michael Noone, John Noonan (0-1) each.Frees: 19; Wides: 6