*Tommy Rooney and Daniel Walsh compete in the air. Photograph: Gerard O’Neill
CRATLOE are the first club to seal their place in the semi-finals of the Clare senior football championship for this year.
Kilmurry Ibrickane 0-9
Venue: Cusack Park, Ennis
Given the rivalry and many clashes between the two clubs in recent season, there was the potential for this to be an epic contest. What unfolded was a dour tense affair and one that went the way of the South Clare side.
Dermot Coughlan, the star of Kilmurry Ibrickane’s championship to date had a chance to level matters and force extra time but his free dropped just short and into the hands of Cratloe captain Kevin Harnett.
Rian Considine had the opening score of the contest with the game just a minutes old, it would take another eight minutes for the next score, this one coming at the other end via corner back Andrew Shannon.
Defender Ciaran Morrissey had the first of the goal-line clearances of the day when stopping a Shane Neville shot that got past goalkeeper David Sexton and Kilmurry Ibrickane bounced along with the next three scores in sucession, two from Coughlan and one from Caoilfhinn O’Dea.
Points from Tommy Rooney and Sean Collins were sandwiched between an excellent save from Padraigh Chaplin from O’Dea after Cathal Talty made an excellent delivery.
Clare defender Daniel Walsh picked up a black card but matters got worse for Kilmurry Ibrickane before the half-time whistle as a Cathal McInerney cross was excellently finished to the net by Diarmuid Ryan, the manner of Ryan’s execution would likely be the pick of the goals in any junior soccer contests across the county this weekend. It left Cratloe leading 1-3 0-4 at the sounding of the half-time whistle.
Again it was Considine that struck the first score, it was quickly cancelled out by Coughlan before Cathal McInerney kicked his opening score, managing to grab the ball in the air before swinging a shot off his left boot.
Kilmurry Ibrickane upped the pressure and were back on level terms with Couglan converting three frees as Cratloe picked up three different cards in six minutes, two yellows and one black for Shane Neville.
McInerney kicked a free and a point from play at the other end to allow Cratloe regain the lead. The West Clare side hit back with another Couglan score but the chance to send the tie to extra time went abegging with the final opportunity was not converted.
Keelan Sexton’s absence was a huge loss from the Bricks attacks. Manager James Murrihy had previously stated the Clare forward would be available for all championship games despite his move to the United States. The lack of a scoring threat up front, though it existed for both teams, was visibly apparent for Kilmurry Ibrickane, they were far too reliant on Coughlin for scores and regrettably for them left their worst outing of the championship for this game.
Cratloe didn’t set the world alight but they are now preparing for the semi-finals. The absence of any hurling distractions has strengthened their focus on the big ball and their experience will be an important tool at their disposal for the coming weeks.
Scorers Cratloe: C McInerney (0-3 1f), D Ryan (1-0), R Considine (0-2), T Rooney (0-1), S Collins (0-1 1f)
Scorers Kilmurry Ibrickane: D Coughlan (0-7 5f), A Shannon (0-1), C O’Dea (0-1).
1: Padraigh Chaplin
2: David Collins
3: Kevin Harnett
5: Enda Boyce
7: Rian McNamara
2: David Collins
6: Mike Brennan
8: Diarmuid Ryan
12: Tommy Rooney
23: Shane Neville
11: Sean Collins
9: Conal O’Hanlon
13: Jack McInerney
14: Cathal McInerney
10: Rian Considine
15: Podge Collins for Rooney (50)
1: David Sexton
2: Andrew Shannon
3: Mark Killeen
4: Ciaran Morrissey
5: Diarmuid Comber
6: Daniel Walsh
7: Daragh Sexton
9: Diarmuid King
8: Aidan McCarthy
10: Shane Hickey
12: Dermot Coughlan
11: Josh Moloney
15: Cathal Talty
14: Caoilfhinn O’Dea
13: Niall Hickey
19: Martin McMahon for Comber (35)
21: Michael O’Dwyer for N Hickey (42)
23: Jason McCarthy for S Hickey (57)
Referee: John O’Connell (Cooraclare)