Clare were sent crashing out of the Munster Senior Football Championship as Kerry ran riot hitting a record thirty two points.
Venue: Fitzgerald Stadium, Killarney
It is the heaviest defeat in league and championship that Clare have suffered in Colm Collins’ five year tenure. Suffering is indeed an apt word as the visiting crowd amongst the attendance just shy of 17,000 endured a difficult seventy minutes as did everyone involved with the Banner County.
Éamonn Fitzmaurice will be beaming, he handed championship debuts to seven different players and they still managed to dominate, three of them; Micheál Burns, Sean O’Shea and David Clifford notched a combined eleven points which was more than their opponents could kick in the entire seventy minutes. From the bench, their experienced heads made an impact and now they have qualified for their sixth consecutive provincial decider.
It will be forgotten in the history books but Clare did take the lead in this contest with Eoin Cleary and Pearse Lillis on target. However by twenty one minutes, all six of Kerry’s forwards had registered on the scoreboard which read 0-10 0-03.
In the opening half, Gary Brennan and Cathal O’Connor won their battle at midfield, they supplied chances to their inside lines but those opportunities were spurned. When Clare are taking on the teams of Kerry’s calibre, every single chance must be taken and then some. For a period of twenty minutes in the opening half, Kerry outscored Clare 10-0.
Kerry ran supreme throughout and it is a game that will give massive confidence to their batch of debutants. Paul Geaney, Stephen O’Brien and James O’Donoghue impressed for the winners.
Words like ‘obliteration’, ‘most disappointing’, ‘chaos, ‘carnage’ are being used to describe this display from Clare. They’re not inaccurate but the critical thing is Collins’ side did not do themselves justice, far from it, how they respond is a test of their character and a third place finish in Division 2 of the league will soon be forgotten about if they fail to bounce back in 2018.
1. Shane Murphy (Dr Crokes)
2. Jason Foley (Ballydonoghue)
3. Peter Crowley (Laune Rangers)
4. Ronan Shanahan (Austin Stacks)
5. Paul Murphy (Rathmore)
6. Tadhg Morley (Templenoe)
7. Gavin White (Dr Crokes)
8. David Moran (Kerins O’Rahillys)
9. Jack Barry (Na Gaeil) (0-01)
10. Micheál Burns (Dr Crokes) (0-02)
11. Seán O’Shea (Kenmare) (0-07, 4f, 1’45′)
12. Stephen O’Brien (Kenmare) (0-03)
13. David Clifford (Fossa) (0-02 1f)
14. Paul Geaney (Dingle) (0-07 1f)
15. James O’Donoghue (Legion) (0-04 2f)
23. Mikey Geaney (Dingle) (0-01) for M Burns (46)
19. Barry John Keane (Kerins O’Rahillys) (0-03) for J O’Donoghue (53)
21. Anthony Maher (Duagh) (0-01) for D Moran (57)
18. Brian Ó Beaglaoich (An Ghaeltacht) for R Shanahan (57)
20. Darran O’Sullivan (Glenbeigh/Glencar) (0-01 1f) for D Clifford (60)
17. Kieran Donaghy (Austin Stacks) for S O’Shea (64)
1. Eamon Tubridy (Doonbeg)
2. Gordon Kelly (Miltown Malbay)
3. Killian Brennan (Clondegad)
4. Eoghan Collins (Ballyhaunis)
24. Conal Ó hAinifein (Éire Óg)
6. Aaron Fitzgerald (Éire Óg)
7. Cian O’Dea (Kilfenora)
8. Gary Brennan (Clondegad)
9. Cathal O’Connor (Coolmeen)
10. Kieran Malone (Miltown Malbay)
11. Eoin Cleary (St Joseph’s, Miltown) (0-05 4f)
12. Jamie Malone (Corofin) (0-02)
5. Pearse Lillis (Cooraclare) (0-01)
14. Keelan Sexton (Kilmurry Ibrickane)
15. David Tubridy (Doonbeg) (0-02 1f)
22. Gearoid O’Brien (Kilrush) for K Malone (45)
13. Eimhin Courtney (Éire Óg) for D Tubridy (53)
19. Gavin Cooney (Éire Óg) for K Sexton (57)
23. Éinne O’Connor Éire Óg) for C Ó hAinifein (59)
20. Conor Finucane (Lissycasey) for C O’Dea (66)
Referee: Barry Cassidy (Derry).