*Kilmaley coach Colin Lynch speaking to his charges. Photograph: Burren Eye Photography
A storming finish from Clonlara, their second in successive rounds, wasn’t enough to keep them in the race for the Clare SHC title as they bowed out to Kilmaley on score difference.
Venue: Cusack Park, Ennis
Seven points behind with four minutes of normal time remaining, the South Clare outfit piled on the pressure and landed seven points without reply in a nine minute spell, including five minutes of added time.
Kilmaley followers clearly breathed a sigh of relief when referee Rory McGann sounded the final whistle as they had qualified for the remaining quarter final spots in second place to group winners Inagh/Kilnamona. They will now play either Ballyea or Cratloe in the quarter final.
Clonlara were dealt a couple of massive blows during the week when John Conlon and Colm Galvin were ruled out due to injury. Conlon had keyhole surgery on Friday on the knee injury he suffered in training and will be out of action for some time as a result.
Galvin was introduced ten minutes into the second half and he helped in the fight back which almost got his side into the last eight.
Playing with the aid of a fresh wind, Kilmaley made the better start and they had raced 0-7 to 0-1 clear after just seven minutes. They were 0-9 to 0-2 in front at the first waterbreak but when play resumed Clonlara landed four in a row to move to within a point.
Kilmaley finished the half strongly and led by five at half time, 0-13 to 0-8. they had stretched their lead to eight points, 0-18 to 0-10 as the third quarter drew to a close but Clonlara had the last score of the quarter when Aidan Moriarty scored the game’s only goal.
When play resumed for the final quarter Cathal O’Connell converted a ‘65 but Kilmaley responded with three in a row and looked to be on their way to victory when leading 0-21 to 1-11 with five minutes of normal time remaining.
Clonlara refused to accept defeat and with Colm O’Meara, Dylan McMahon, Paraic O’Loughlin and Cathal O’Connell leading the charge, they fired over point after point to level but they just ran out of time.
Scorers Kilmaley: Cian Moloney (0-9, 8f) Tom O’Rourke (0-4), Michael O’Malley (0-3) Sean O’Loughlin, Conor Cleary, Brian Cahill, Michael O’Neill, Gearoid O’Grady (0-1) each
Scorers Clonlara: Cathal O’Connell (0-10, 4f, 1 ‘65); Aidan Moriarty (1-1), Kieran Galvin, Brian McLeish, Dylan McMahon (free), Ian Galvin, Micheal O’Loughlin (free), Cormac O’Donovan, Colm O’Meara (0-1) each
1: Bryan O’Loughlin
31: Martin O’Connor
3: Colin McGuane
4: Bradley Higgins
2: Tommy Barry
6: Conor Cleary
7: Aidan McGuane
29: Eoin Enright
9: Brian Cahill
13: Sean O’Loughlin
11: Michael O’Neill
17: Tom O’Rourke
14: Daire Keane
10: Michael O’Malley
12: Cian Moloney
21: Gearoid O’Grady for D. Keane (44)
8: Éanna McMahon for S. O’Loughlin (62)
20: Joe Carmody for O’Rourke (63)
1: Cillian O’Brien
3: Paul McNamara
20: Gareth Kennedy
4: Jathan McMahon
2: Colm O’Meara
6: Paraic O’Loughlin
7: Dylan McMahon
9: Ian Galvin
20: David Fitzgerald
11: Kieran Galvin
30: Brian McLeish
13: Cormac O’Donovan
21: Cian Moriarty
15: Catahal O’Connell
10: Micheál O’Loughlin for D. Fitzgerald (half time)
28: Cillian Fennessy for McLeish (45)
Referee: Rory McGann (Newmarket-on-Fergus)