*Sean O’Donoghue’s return has strengthened the Cooraclare cause. Photograph: Gerard O’Neill

COORACLARE have sealed their place in the Clare IFC final with a merited ten point win over Ennistymon’s second string.

Cooraclare 1-13
Ennistymon 0-6
Venue: Dr Hennessy Memorial Park, Miltown Malbay

Relegated from senior last year Cooraclare were seen as championship favourites by many before a ball was kicked. Ennistymon, Junior A champions from 12 months ago would not have been on most people’s radar so coming into this first intermediate semi-final nobody knew what to expect.

The opening fifteen minutes were a see saw affair with the sides level three points apiece. Éanna Rouine opened the scoring after 36 seconds with a fisted effort quickly cancelled out by a fisted Damien Burke point. The sides traded scores including a superb Joe Dowling score on the run out on the far touchline before we had the game’s opening goal.

In the 16th minute Sean O’Donoghue on a lung bursting run from midfield played a swift one two with full forward Ciaran O’Donoghue before blasting home low into the bottom corner. Points quickly followed from Eoin O’Driscoll, CiaranO’Donoghue and an incredible Micheál Garry monster point from distance. Cooraclare headed to the dressing rooms completely in the ascendancy leading by six on a half time scoreline of 1-6 to 0-3.

On the resumption, this lead was extended to eight when Brian McNamara pointed after a Sean O’Donoghue pass and then O’Donoghue converted a mark.

Niall Canavan tried to spark life into the Ennistymon charge when scoring their first point in twenty minutes but this was quickly followed by three more Cooraclare points including another Lillis beauty. Ennistymon to their credit battled hard but they were simply no match for the far bigger more physical unit of Cooraclare as they look for an immediate return to the senior ranks after a convincing ten point victory.

Best for the winners were Sean O’Donoghue, Ciaran O’Donoghue and Micheál Garry while Ennistymon had stellar performances from the battling duo of Niall Canavan and Lawrence Healy.

Scorers for Cooraclare: Sean O’Donoghue 1-2, Ciaran O’Donoghue 0-4(2f), Micheàl Garry 0-2(f), Pearse Lillis 0-2, Damien Burke, Eoin O’Driscoll, Brian McNamara 0-1 each.

Scorers for Ennistymon: Niall Canavan 0-3(f), Éanna Rouine, Joe Dowling, Danny Rouine 0-1 each

Cooraclare
1: Mark Lillis

2: Gary Donnellan
3: Gearoid Looney
4: Niall Kelly

5: Padraic O’Donoghue
6: Pearse Lillis
7: Micheál Garry

8: James Chambers
9: Sean O’Donoghue

10: Brian McNamara
11: Mark Tubridy
12: Damien Burke

13: Eoin O’Driscoll
14: Ciaran O’Donughue
26: Thomas Downes

Subs:
18: Keith Marrinan for P O’Donoghue (38)
19: Colin McNamara for Tubridy (39)
22: Sean Browne for D Burke (46)
30: Caoimhin Donnellan for E O’Driscoll (52)
27: Fergal Donnellan for G Donnellan (53)

Ennistymon
1: Darren Torpey

2: Cathal Frawley
3: Lawrence Healy
4: Dara Rouine

5: Niall Hogan
6: Brian McNamara
17: Éanna Rouine

8: Michael Houlihan
9: Ciaran Vaughan

10: Josh Vaughan
11: Cathal McConigley
12: Darren McNamara

13: Niall Canavan
14: Danny Rouine
15: Joe Dowling

Subs:
19: Oisin Vaughan for C Vaughan (40)
18: Shane Kearney for Joe Dowling (44)
20: Ruari Murphy for É Rouine (44)
21: Dara McInerney for D Rouine (54)

Referee: Barry Kelly (St Joseph’s Miltown)

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