Kilmurry Ibrickane’s bid to retain their title as Clare SFC champions remains on track after they became the first club to seal their place in the last four of the championship.
Kilmurry Ibrickane 1-13
Venue: Cusack Park, Ennis
As tight a scoreline was not expected when these two clubs were paired off in the quarter-final draw but the margin would have been closed and the outcome possibly different had Kilmihil been more clinical in front of goal.
At the other end, curbing the influence of Keelan Sexton proved a difficult task with the county man accounting for ten points of their thirteen.
Kilmihil were the better of the sides in the opening quarter and held a 0-03 0-02 advantage, Sexton cutting the gap to a single point on sixteen minutes. David Lernihan was denied a goal by excellent work from Daragh Sexton whose deceleration on the goal-line was as impressive as his ability to race back to stop the green flag being raised.
Sexton was the only scorer for the winners in the second quarter as the lively Ciaran Downes continued to ask questions of the Bricks defence, such was the difficulty he posed that yellow cards were dished out to Darren Hickey and Mark Killeen for repeated fouls on him. An inspirational Downes score from distance closed out the half leaving Kilmurry Ibrickane 0-06 0-05 ahead at half-time.
Within thirty seconds of the restart, Kilmihil were level but could well have been ahead as Dan Keating’s effort went north of David Sexton’s crossbar. They replied at the other end via Keelan Sexton and Eamon Bracken to regain the lead which they maintained throughout the remainder of the contest.
What appeared to be a foul on Stan Lineen was not awarded on fifty three minutes by referee Jim Hickey with Kilmurry Ibrickane turning over the ball and working it up field with Sexton offloading to Mark ‘Cookie’ McCarthy who palmed to the back of the net to put Aiden Moloney’s side in the driving seat.
Gerry Downes’ Kilmihil continued to try working attacks and another move saw Martin McMahon given a black card for a cynical foul on Martin O’Leary in what was another goal chance. These opportunities needed to be taken by the challengers while a superb block by Jason McCarthy prevented Sean Crowley from registering a goal earlier in the half.
Two further points from Sexton were enough to keep Kilmurry Ibrickane in front and crucially seal their place in the last four of the race for the Jack Daly.
Daragh Sexton was exceptional for the winners with Keelan Sexton and Aidan McCarthy also to the fore. Ciaran Downes, Dan Keating, Stan Lineen and Geaorod O’Grady were most prominent for Kilmihil.
Scorers Kilmurry Ibrickane:K Sexton (0-10 7f), M McCarthy (1-00), D Callinan (0-01 1f), E Bracken (0-01), D Sexton (0-01).
Scorers Kilmihil: C Downes (0-09 7f 1’45), D Keating (0-03), G Downes (0-01).
1: David Sexton
18: Jason McCarthy
3: Darren Hickey
15: Martin McMahon
7: Darragh Sexton
4: Mark Killeen
6: Ciaran Morrissey
9: Aidan McCarthy
8: Daniel Walsh
12: Andrew Shannon
10: Joe Campbell
17: Eamon Bracken
13: Keelan Sexton
14: Daryn Callinan
11: Enda Coughlan
19: Michael O’Dwyer for Coughlan (HT)
23: Mark McCarthy for Campbell (46)
5: Paudie Murrihy for Bracken (49)
21: Evan Talty for Walsh (59)
1: Damien Lineen
2: Fionn Febraro
10: John Finucane
4: Shane Downes
5: Gavin Downes
6: Dan Keating
7: David Coughlan
9: Conor Finucane
8: David Lernihan
3: Stan Lineen
15: Alan Normoyle
12: Martin O’Leary
13: Sean Crowley
11: Ciaran Downes
14: Gearoid O’Grady
18: David Ryan for C Finucane (27)
17: Cathal Murray for Coughlan (38)
19: Shane Egan for O’Grady (46)
20: Jack Keating for Lernihan (50)
Referee: Jim Hickey (Cratloe)