The quarter finals of the intermediate football championship at the weekend resulted in wins for the four sides that were tipped to progress to the semi-finals.
Last year’s beaten finalists Corofin had a big win over their North Claare neighbours Michael Cusacks but the other winners, Kildysart, O’Currys and Kilfenora were all made battle to the end for their wins.
Strong final quarter proves decisive for O’Currys
A strong final quarter by O’Curry’s proved decisive as they edged past Coolmeen. The Doonaha based outfit carried the favourites tag into the tie having been tipped by many to win this tie comfortably but they were playing catch-up for much of the game.
Behind by three points at half time, they quickly found themselves six down early in the third quarter thanks to a goal from Aidan Corry at a time when their opponents were down a man having had Joe Corry sent to the sin bin on a black card offence just before the half time whistle.
Despite being numerically disadvantaged Coolmeen continued to dictate matters in the second moiety and at the second waterbreak they led by four, 1-8 to 0-7 and they were looking good to cause a shock at this stage of the competition.
Noted for their battling qualities, O’Currys were not going to go down without a fight and with three minutes remaining they drew level when Cathal Downes goaled.
Team captain Thomas Clancy then put the men from the peninsula into a one point lead but Coolmeen weren’t finished and they rallied and levelled through Aidan Corry.
Six minutes of ‘added time’ were signalled and with extra time looking likely O’Curry’s struck for what proved to be the winning point through Eoin Brew
O’Currys: Colin Clohessy; Brian Troy, Michael O’Shea, Seamus Keane; Darragh Keane, Sean Haugh, Eoin Brew; Cathal Downes. Jim Marrinan; Alex Harvey, Danny Downes, Thomas Clancy, Gearoid Lynch, Eoin Troy, Michael Foran;
Subs; Glen Mullaney for O’Shea; Sean Murphy for Marrinan
Coolmeen: Paudie Corry; Mark Meaney, Gary Meaney, Dylan O’Halloran; Thomas Coffey, Daniel Forde, Aaron Kelly; Cathal O’Connor, Eoin O’Connor; Jamie Brooks, Liam Markham, Joe Corry; Aidan Corry, Brian Markham, Ronan Murphy.
Subs: Adam Wallace for J. Brooks; Dylan Power for R. Murphy; Alan Normoyle for J. Corry; Micheal Brooks for O’Halloran.
Referee: Brian Shanahan (Doonbeg)
Corofin in control
Michael Cusacks 0-6
Venue: Hennessy Memorial Park, Miltown Malbay
Beaten finalists last year and knocked out of the intermediate hurling championship last weekend, Corofin went into this quarter final against their North Clare neighbours Michael Cusacks, determined to get back to winning ways.
After an evenly fought first quarter, they took control and from here to the final whistle they dominated proceedings.
While getting to the semi-final was clearly the target, the return to action of inter county man Jamie Malone was clearly a major cause for celebration. Malone has been out of action since suffering an ankle injury while assisting Clare in the opening round of the Allianz National Football League in May. The injury which required surgery was slow to heal but his return is a massive boost to the side as they seek to go one better than last season in this championship.
Two goals in the space of three minutes in the second quarter from Robin Mounsey gave Corofin the upperhand in this tie. They led by eleven points, 2-9 to 0-4at the halfway stage and continued where they had left off when the second half got underway.
Diarmuid Cahill who top scored for them, was their second half goalscorer on a day when he contributed 1-7 of the team’s tally. Robin Mounsey landed 2-1 while Gearoid Cahill kicked 0-4, Killian McGroary 0-2 with Gearoid Kelly, Fionn Clancy and Damian Ryan each scoring a point.
Aidan Forde was Ml. Cusack’s chief marksman with 0-4 to his credit while Hugh Kelly and Joey Droney each contributed a point.
Corofin: Luke Neylon; Mark O’Loughlin, Damian O’Loughlin, John Rees; Colm Rice, Cilléin Mullins, Shay Malone; Kevin Keane, Fionn Clancy; Geaoid Kelly, Cillian McGroary, Cian Doolin; Robin Mounsey, Diarmuid Cahill, Gearoid Cahill.
Subs; Damien Ryan for Doolin, Enda Collins for Doolin; Ross Hayes for D. O’Loughlin; Jamie Malone for Kelly.
Michael Cusacks: Shane Lee; Danny O’Connor, Ruadhri McNamara, Ronan Monahan; Hugh Kelly, Conor Fahy, Thomas Roche; Domhnall Mc|Mahon, Lorcan O’Grady; John Fawle, Aidan McNamara, Pappy Taaffe; Joey Droney, Sean McNamara, Aidan Forde
Subs: Seaghan Brosnan for J. Droney; Kevin Fawle for Fahy; Cathal Droney for Taaffe; Shaun Naughton for O’Grady.
Referee: Niall Quinn (St Josephs Miltown)
Kildysart march on as defences dominate
Shannon Gaels 0-7
Venue: Shanahan McNamara Memorial Park, Doonbeg
Hot favourites Kildysart were made to battle all the way in this quarter final clash with near neighbours Shannon Gaels on Sunday afternoon.
In a game in which defences dominated they laid the foundation for this victory in the opening half at the end of which they held a five point advantage, 0-7 to 0-2.
The Gaels were dealt a big blow midweek when dual player Michael O’Malley was ruled out of the tie due to a broken thumb suffered when playing with his native Kilmaley in the Clare SHC a week earlier.
They enjoyed better success after the break and three points in succession saw them come to within two points of the winners.
Kildysart hit back with a brace to go four clear but the Gaels refused to give in and they pulled two back to leave two between the sides going into the closing stages.
Kildysart for whom Diarmuid O’Donnell and Emmet McMahon scored 0-3 each, had the final say to seal victory and a last four place. Shannon Gaels came close to levelling the game when a Niall Ellis effort on goal was deflected behind for a ‘45
Goalkeeper Robert Eyers converted two ‘45’s while Seamus Casey and Luke McGrath were the winner’s other scorers on a day when Thomas Kelly (5) Darragh Bohannon and Aaron Malone Smyth scored for Shannon Gaels.
Kildysart: Robert Eyers; Fergal Guinnane, Kieran Leahy, Stephen Sheehan; Brian Eyers, Rory McMahon, Mikey Donnellan; Keith O’Connor, Emmet McMahon; Seamus Casey, Conor Hassett, Luke McGrath; Diarmuid O’Donnell, Keith Murphy, Ian Flanagan.
Subs: Kieran O’Brien for Murphy; Shane McNeilis for Flanagan; Michael Eustace for Hassett.
Shannon Gaels; Michael O’Donoghue; Michael McMahon, Jack Reidy, Micheal Lorigan; Tadhg Kelly, Fergal Kenny, Tomas Cleary; Aaron Malone-Smyth, Darragh Bohannon; Gearoid Kenny, Darren Crehan, Eoin Keane; Barry Crehan, Niall Ellis, Thomas Kelly;
Sub: Aaron Lee McMahon for G. Kenny.
Referee: Michael Talty (Kilmurry Ibrickane)
Experience the key for Kilfenora
In a game which saw the return to action from injury for the first time this season of Banner’s dual star Shane Meehan, the Ennis based side, competing at this level for the first time, bowed out of the championship to a more experienced Kilfenora outfit.
Despite this loss, it’s been a good year for the Banner who in July claimed the 2020 Clare junior A crown and followed up with progress to the quarter final at the higher grade.
The foundation for Kilfenora’s win was laid in the opening half at the end of which the North Clare outfit held a five point advantage, 0-6 to 0-1.
The second half saw the winners confined to just one score but their defence held firm in this period and snuffed out the threat posed by a Banner forward line which has troubled a lot of opponents this year.
Kilfenora had seven different scorers on a day when full back Paul Carkill impressed in what was, overall, a solid team performance. Their scores came from Cian and Jack O’Dea, Paudie Ireland, Aidan Malone, Micheal Duffy, Pat Connole and Gearoid Howley while Banner’s came from Shane Meehan (2), Danny O’Halloran and Dara Walsh. Once again, inter county man Cian O’Dea was to the fore having a hand in most of his team’s scores.
Kilfenora: Liam Keane; Niall Hegarty, Paul Carkill, Cronan Howley; Shane Long, Daniel Egan, Matthew Egan; Jack O’Dea, Cian O’Dea; Aidan Malone, Micheal Duffy, Gearoid Howley; Paudie Ireland, Pat Connole, Declan Brennan;
Subs: Peter Collins for Malone; Martin Flanagan for Brennan.
Banner: Mark Cleary; Oran Rynne, Cian Rynne, Martin McCormack; Sean Collins, Ronan O’Halloran, Niall Walsh; Dara Gleeson, James Coakley; Eoin Walsh, Colm Duffy, Johnny Martyn; Daire Walsh, Danny O’Halloran, Thomas Meenaghan.
Subs: Shane Meehan for C. Duffy; Cian Ruane for Martyn; Tola Coote for D. Gleeson; Diarmuid Cassidy for S. Collins
Referee: Fergal O’Brien (Broadford)