KILMURRY IBRICKANE are back in the Clare SFC semi-finals for the seventh successive season.
Kilmurry Ibrickane 3-13
Venue: Cusack Park, Ennis
Maximising every opportunity that fell their way in terms of scoring chances and numerical advantages, Kilmurry Ibrickane displayed their championship credentials when eliminating Cratloe from the race for the Jack Daly.
Although they led for the majority of the opening half, Kilmurry Ibrickane found themselves level at half-time. On the restart, they made hay when Podge Collins was shown a black card and during the Clare attacker’s time off the field, they outscored Cratloe 1-03 0-01.
Two David Sexton saves in the opening half would also prove decisive in stopping Cratloe who entered the quarter-final stage unbeaten, indeed the six point loss is the first championship defeat they have experienced in both the senior hurling and football championship this year. Sexton first made a save from Cathal McInerney on five minutes when an excellent Podge Collins pass put him through on goal while Sexton smothered a Rian Considine one on one effort with twenty two minutes on the clock.
When it came to goal opportunities, Kilmurry Ibrickane made sure to raise the green flag. Dermot Coughlan hit the target courtesy of a deflection on fifteen minutes when a quick free caught the Cratloe defence off guard. A counter-attack paved the way for Keelan Sexton to bury the ball past Padraigh Chaplin on forty two minutes.
Chaplin himself was off the field for the final goal, having been shown a black card in the dying moments for a rugby tackle on Daryn Callinan on the opposite 65m line. Inter-play between Oisin Sexton and Caoilfhionn O’Dea resulted in the latter finishing to the top left corner of the net when Sean Collins found himself as the last man back.
Ciaran Morrissey finished the day with 0-02 to his name, he opened the scoring for The Bricks, with Keelan Sexton doubling their lead on six minutes. Podge Collins and Jack McInerney levelled matters and Cathal McInerney shoved them in front but their joy was short-lived with Coughlan pouncing for goal as James Murrihy’s men smartly worked the ball from David Sexton’s kickout.
Cratloe responded well to the opening goal and finished the half with four of the final five scores to ensure they were tied 0-08 1-05 at the interval.
An altercation between Podge Collins and Dermot Coughlan, less than two minutes into the second half resulted in a black card for Collins and yellow for Coughlan. It proved to be a deciding factor to the result with Kilmurry Ibrickane upping the ante in this ten minute window with Sexton hitting 1-02 as they outscored their opponents 1-03 0-01.
Though they reduced the margin to a goal with sixty one minutes played and certainly made their opponents nervy, Cratloe paid the price for losing Collins and for passing up on their goal opportunities in the opening half.
As it always is when Cratloe and Kilmurry Ibrickane meet, it was competitive. This being their eighth championship meeting in as many years, there’s a great familiarity between the opposing sides and a determination to outdo the other. Colm Collins’ Cratloe nullified the input of Martin McMahon as sweeper and had their shape in such a way that the inside line of Podge Collins and Rian Considine could threaten the opposite full-back line but ultimately they were not fed with sufficient possession to maximise on this. Focus switches to the small ball now for Cratloe who can fall back on a semi-final showdown with Ballyea next weekend, for them Liam Markham, Podge Collins, Sean Collins, Kevin Harnett and Shane Neville stood out.
In a semi-final few people would back against Kilmurry Ibrickane and while James Murrihy’s men have not been setting the world alight, they are in the final four and their experience of getting to the big day will be a massive boost for their next outing. More questions will be asked of their backline where Darragh Sexton is proving to be their most consistent player while the midfield pairing of Aidan McCarthy and Daniel Walsh were particularly solid.
Up front, the addition of Caoilfhionn O’Dea is simply massive, he is a scoring threat that will require a lot of attention. Combined with the ever-reliable Keelan Sexton and the potent Dermot Coughlan, the Bricks will be quietly confident of returning to the county final, whoever their semi-final opponent may be.
Scorers Kilmurry Ibrickane: K Sexton (1-08 6f), C O’Dea (1-01), D Coughlan (1-00), C Morrissey (0-02), D Callinan (0-01).
Scorers Cratloe: C McInerney (0-05 4f), C O’Hanlon (1-01 1f), P Collins (0-03), J McInerney (0-02), S Collins (0-01), T Rooney (0-01).
1: David Sexton
3: Darren Hickey
6: Shane Hickey
4: Martin McMahon
2: Diarmuid King
5: Ciaran Morrissey
7: Darragh Sexton
9: Daniel Walsh
8: Aidan McCarthy
13: Joe Campbell
11: Michael O’Dwyer
10: Andrew Shannon
12: Niall Hickey
14: Keelan Sexton
15: Dermot Coughlan
18: Caoilfhionn O’Dea for Campbell (HT)
22: Daryn Callinan for N Hickey (43)
20: Oisin Sexton for M O’Dwyer (52)
19: Mark Killeen for S Hickey (57)
21: Paudie Murrihy for Walsh (58)
1: Padraigh Chaplin
2: David Collins
3: Kevin Harnett
4: Liam Markham
5: Sean Collins
6: Mike Brennan
7: Shane Neville
8: Diarmuid Ryan
9: Conal O’Hanlon
10: Shane Gleeson
11: Cathal McInerney
12: Tommy Rooney
13: Jack McInerney
14: Podge Collins
15: Rian Considine
33: Conor Cooney for D Collins (17)
Referee: John O’Connell (Cooraclare)