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COLM COLLINS’ Cratloe began their Clare SFC on a winning note as they survived a strong rally from St Joseph’s Doora/Barefield to move to top of Group 2.

Cratloe 2-10
St Joseph’s Doora/Barefield 0-14
Venue: Wolfe Tones GAA

By Derek Dormer

2020 County finalists Cratloe started this opening round of the Senior Football Championship at an electric pace.

Only four minutes in and a superb thirty yard cross field pass off the left peg of the highly impressive Cathal McInerney found full forward Conal O’Hanlon twenty five yards from goal. Inexplicably Doora/Barefield keeper Tom O’Brien had raced from his goal in a probable attempt to intercept the pass, O Hanlon simply dropped the shoulder, side stepped O’Brien and finished to the empty net.

Five minutes later and it was another disaster for the Parish when a Cathal McInerney attempted point dropped short under the crossbar, O’Brien spilled the ball and in the ensuing scramble, Podge Collins finished to the net.

At half time this game was going along expected lines with Cratloe leading by seven 2-6 to 0-5.

Whatever was said in the dressing room by Barefield manager Donagh Vaughan most certainly had the desired effect as the Parish emerged from the interval a transformed unit.

Like men possessed they came roaring into the contest kicking three points inside three minutes to really kickstart the 2022 race for Jack Daly. Tom McDonalds point in the 33rd minute was worth the admission fee alone, kicking a tremendous score from a full fifty yards. McDonald followed this up with another beauty moments later and the noise in Shannon was now deafening.

Doora/Barefield were completely on top, first to every ball, winning primary possession and overturning Cratloe with regular frequency.

At the three quarter mark the lead was down to three with Cratloe leading 2-8 to 0-11 and patrons were set for a grandstand finish. The teams traded scores before a black card for midfielder Diarmuid Ryan meant Cratloe would basically finish the game with 14.

It was here where they showed all their experience though when Podge Collins and Cathal McInerney kept possession recycling the ball and controlling the clock.

There was to be one last twist though when Kieran Thynne bore down on goal with time almost up only to see Padraigh Chaplin pull off a point blank save. Another point was added but try as they did they could not raise that all important green flag and a hugely entertaining contest finally went the way of the Cratloe men but only after an epic battle.

Scorers Cratloe; Cathal McInerney 0-5(4f), Podge Collins 1-2, Conal O Hanlon 1-1, Rian Considine, Sean Collins 0-1 apiece

Scorers Doora/Barefield ; Tom McDonald 0-3, Darragh Nagle 0-3(2f),Jack Hannon 0-2,Tom Hannon 0-2,Morgan O’Connell 0-2(2f) Eoin Hanrahan, James Curran 0-1each

1: Padraigh Chaplin

2: David Collins
3: Kevin Harnett
4: Enda Boyce

5: Sean Collins
6: Mike Brennan
7: Liam Markham

8: Diarmuid Ryan
9: Shane Gleeson

10: Rian Considine
11: Cathal McInerney
12: Tommy Rooney

13: Padraic Collins
14: Conal O’Hanlon
15: Jack McInerney

St Joseph’s Doora/Barefield:
1: Tom O’Brien

2: Peter Collins
3: Fionn Kelleher
6: Jack Hannan

5: James Curran
11: Tom Hannan
7: Cian McDonagh

8: Eoin Hanrahan
9: Cian Barron

10: Kieran Thynne
24: Tom McDonald
12: Darragh Nagle

13: Joseph Rafferty
14: Eoghan Thynne
15 Nicky Hardiman

25: David O’Brien for Rafferty (45)

Referee: John O’Connell (Cooraclare)

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