*Photograph: Gerard O’Neill

KILMIHIL are returning to the top tier in Clare football after winning the TUS IFC for the fifth time.

Kilmihil 1-13
Kilrush Shamrocks 1-12
Venue: Shanahan McNamara Memorial Park, Doonbeg

At their first attempt, Kilmihil have ensured they will return to the senior ranks after overcoming fellow West Clare side Kilrush Shamrocks by the smallest of margins.

Stephen Ryan’s sixty fifth minute free looked like it was going to force a replay but the wind made it tail to the left of the post and on Sean Scott Cafferkty’s resulting kickout, the final whistle was sounded by Chris Maguire.

Kilrush would have been lucky to have salvaged a share of the spoils as over the hour Kilmihil were just about the better side with Ciaran Downes starring in attack with David Lernihan equally impressive in the middle of the field.

Having won the toss, Kilrush elected to play with the breeze, they crucially didn’t manage to cultivate a sizeable advantage, even with the elements they were still level at half-time and within six minutes of the second half found themselves trailing by three points.

Ciaran Downes was first on the board, converting a free inside two minutes. A Padraig Browne turnover in defence was the catalyst for Kilrush’s opening score which arrived via Gearoid O’Brien.

Downes and Tadhg Lysaght swapped scores before joint captain Martin O’Leary nudged Kilmihil back in front on twelve minutes.

Beginning to roam from his goal, Stephen Ryan’s influence on the game was growing, he had a tremendous effort to level matters from play but it just tailed wide, he made no mistake with his next shot, a 45 on seventeen minutes.

Quick passes almost sent Kilmihil on their way to the back of the net, O’Leary and Downes combined with the latter handpassing in the direction of the on-rushing Gearoid O’Grady but it just went too far which allowed the Shams to clear the danger.

No mistakes were made when the next opportunity presented itself. Ciaran Downes made a savage run up the right flank, he then fed the ball to Dan Keating who heard the shout from O’Grady and offloaded a handpass which he collected at speed before tucking the ball into the bottom of the net on twenty one minutes.

Sensing the need to respond, Kilrush duly did and had three points in seven minutes to cancel out the green flag, two placed balls from Ryan and a free from O’Brien.

Ross Phelan kicked a fine effort to put Kilrush in response to another Downes effort, then the Shams went in front for the first and only time in the contest on twenty nine minutes courtesy of an O’Brien free.

O’Leary at the other end made no mistake, converting a free in a calm fashion to leave the sides on level terms at the interval.

Quickly out of the traps, Kilmihil had a three point advantage built up by the thirty sixth minute. Substitute David Egan kicked the first, then supplied the assist for Sean Crowley’s effort and then goalscorer O’Grady completed their triple tally.

Another well-taken Phelan score saw Kilrush register their first score of the half on forty one minutes. Kilmihil responed with Downes before Billy Clancy took his effort well, again for the instrumental Downes to reply.

Two O’Brien frees were matched with white flags from Crowley and O’Leary before Downes extended the difference to four points on fifty eight minutes.

Six minutes of additional time were signalled adding for a tense finale and nerves went up a notch when a long-range effort into the square was palmed home by Conor Fennell to leave just a single point between the teams.

Kilmihil worked the ball up the field but missed their effort. Then as play revered to the other end of Shanahan McNamara Park, Gearoid O’Brien picked up his second yellow card meaning Kilrush would have to do it the hard way, having already lost Phelan to injury.

Suddenly an opportunity arose and with the wind against him, it was an uneviable task for Stephen Ryan who was within an inches of forcing a replay. The chance came and went for the Shams however with Kilmihil on their way back to the senior grade.

Key to this was the performances of Downes and Lernihan. Experience at inter-county and Sigerson Cup level stood to Ciaran Downes who was a level above all on the field, he finished with 0-6 in a tremendous display, adding an electricity to proceedings whenever he was in possession. At midfield, the strong Lernihan stood tall when needed, against the conditions in the opening half he won five kickouts which were invaluable. Martin O’Leary, John Finnucane and Gearoid O’Grady also impressed for Brian Dillon’s charges.

Not having an advantage despite the aid of the elements and their slow start to the second half will stand out as the main regrets for Kilrush. The Shams must be credited for the manner in which they kept coming back and just needed to stick their noses in front to really strengthen their self-belief. While they had players to do well, they had nobody to match the contribution of Downes in their own attack and really needed leadership to see them atone for their 2017 final loss to Kilmihil. Daniel Ryan’s side had strong showings from Darragh Bolton, Padraig Browne and Stephen Ryan.

Vice Chairman of Clare GAA, Michael O’Connor presented the Talty Stores Cup to joint captains Martin O’Leary and Fionn Febbraro to cheers of ‘glory Kilmihil’.

Scorers Kilmihil: C Downes (0-6 4f), G O’Grady (1-1), M O’Leary (0-3 2f), S Crowley (0-2) D Egan (0-1)

Scorers Kilrush Shamrocks: G O’Brien (0-5 4f), C Fennell (1-0), S Ryan (0-3 2’45 1f), R Phelan (0-2 1f), T Lysaght (0-1), B Clancy (0-1).

Kilmihil:
1: Sean Scott Cafferky

5: Jack Browne
3: John Finnucane
4: Mikey Keating

9: Stan Lineen

6: Dan Keating
2: Fionn Febbraro
7: Gavin Downes

8: David Lernihan
10: Jack Keating

15: David Coughlan
14: Sean Crowley
12: Gearoid O’Grady

13: Martin O’Leary
11: Ciaran Downes

Subs:
18: David Egan for M Keating (HT)
17: Shane Downes for Coughlan (64)

Kilrush Shamrocks:
1: Stephen Ryan

17: Evan Power
4: Niall Brennan
2: Padraig Browne

6: Dylan O’Brien
7: Sean Canny
3: Ross Cullinan

9: Darragh Bolton
8: Sean Madigan

10: Tadhg Lysaght
15: Gearoid O’Brien
20: Dean Neary

22: Billy Clancy
14: Conor Fennell
11: Ross Phelan

Subs:
12: Don O’Driscoll for Neary (34)
28: Ewan Kelly for Lysaght (39)
13: Jamie Griffin for Phelan (47)
23: Joe Miniter for Power (44)
30: Keith Crowley for Madigan (57)

Referee: Chris Maguire (Wolfe Tones)

Related News

ennis courthouse tent 24-02-21 3
Judge imposes suspended prison term on Mullagh 'family man' for child porn offences
shannon airport 1
Rail link to Shannon Airport must be a priority as Cabinet sign off on €30bn investment strategy
joe carey newmarket on fergus community forum 02-12-19 22
Announcement imminent on political future of Joe Carey
DSC01362 copy
John-Joe setting a high Banner with support for Clare
Latest News
ennis courthouse tent 24-02-21 3
Judge imposes suspended prison term on Mullagh 'family man' for child porn offences
paul flanagan 2
Flanagan backing up the Banner belief
shannon airport 1
Rail link to Shannon Airport must be a priority as Cabinet sign off on €30bn investment strategy
clare v kilkenny 06-07-24 brian lohan 4
Lohan behold - 'his character is moulded within the team'
clare v cork 24-07-21 4 patrick horgan
Horgan chasing shot at history
Premium
joe carey newmarket on fergus community forum 02-12-19 22
Announcement imminent on political future of Joe Carey
clare v cork 28-04-24 niall o'leary mark rodgers 1
The Water Break: Start as you mean to go on to decide whether Clare or Cork are All-Ireland champions
gerard gunning
Ennis plumber pleads guilty to careless driving causing death of Broadford GAA coach
clare v tipperary 26-05-24 shane o'donnell 3
Everything has changed since 2013 for star man O'Donnell
donie fitzpatrick medal
Stories behind medals of Clare's 1914 heroes captivates attention 110 years on

Subscribe for just €3 per month

If you’re here, you care about County Clare. So do we. Did you rely on us for Covid-19 updates, follow our election coverage, or visit The Clare Echo every week for breaking news and sport? The Clare Echo invests in local journalism and we want to safeguard its future in our county. By becoming a subscriber you are supporting what we do, will receive access to all our premium articles and a better experience, while helping us improve our offering to you. Subscribe to clareecho.ie and get the first six months for just €3 a month (less than 75c per week), and thereafter €8 per month. Cancel anytime, limited time offer. T&Cs Apply. www.clareecho.ie.

Subscribe for just €3 per month

If you’re here, you care about County Clare. So do we. Did you rely on us for Covid-19 updates, follow our election coverage, or visit The Clare Echo every week for breaking news and sport? The Clare Echo invests in local journalism and we want to safeguard its future in our county. By becoming a subscriber you are supporting what we do, will receive access to all our premium articles and a better experience, while helping us improve our offering to you. Subscribe to clareecho.ie and get the first six months for just €3 a month (less than 75c per week), and thereafter €8 per month. Cancel anytime, limited time offer. T&Cs Apply. www.clareecho.ie.

Scroll to Top