*Aidan McCarthy attempts to shrug off the challenge of Enda O’Gorman. Photograph: Gerard O’Neill
Experienced heads helped Kilmurry Ibrickane secure a draw and another chance at becoming the 2019 Clare SFC champions, manager Aidan Moloney maintained but he also revealed the county final meeting with their neighbours has caused many people to lose hours of sleep.
“We’re happy to get out of jail at the end of the day. In the first half we didn’t make enough of our possession, we were the better team in the first half. We expected Miltown to have their time on top and they did put us under pressure in the second half, we lost our shape a little bit and certain things didn’t work for us. We hung in there, we’re happy that we didn’t play well in the second half and are still in it,” Moloney surmised in the moments following Ian McInerney’s sixty second minute equaliser on Sunday.
Once Conor Cleary kicked the ball between the posts to put St Josephs Miltown one point ahead in stoppage time, ‘Horse’ Moloney knew his charges needed just one attempt on goal. “These guys have the experience so our lads were cool in the head, we kept possession and didn’t panic, we didn’t just kick the ball down the field, we worked in down and we got our free. It was a great kick, he had a couple of shots from that area so he was bound to get one right”.
He always expected one kick would separate the teams and the two time Clare SFC winning manager said he was looking forward to the replay. “Both teams will be happy enough, it was a fair result overall, there was no team that deserved to win, I don’t think anyone would go out of here saying we played to our potential or even close to it. Both teams have a lot to improve on and it makes for a good game the next day”.
Away from the football field, Aidan told The Clare Echo that the permutations of the game is keeping people awake at night. “A lot of people lost sleep over the past two weeks since we knew it was going to be this final. It’s amazing the stress it has caused on both teams, both families and supporters but they have to endure it for another week and here we go again”.