*Feakle’s goal scorer Martin Daly. Photograph: Gerard O’Neill
FEAKLE are through to the semi-finals of the Clare senior hurling championships for the first time since 2016.
Venue: Cusack Park, Ennis
Guilfoyles have been synonymous with the history of the club since its foundation and it was Gary, the son of former Clare player Tommy who had a big role to play in final quarter.
Gary came into the game with sixteen minutes of normal time remaining and his first point in the tie reduced Kilmaley’s lead to the minimum with seven minutes remaining.
He then took over the freetaking duties from Shane McGrath who didn’t have one of his best days and he converted two in a row to put his team into a one point lead before landing two in added time, one from play, to seal a two point victory and send followers of the East Clare club home happy.
t was a result that didn’t look likely for much of a game in which Kilmaley held the lead.
Feakle had raced into a three point lead after thirteen minutes with scores from Shane McGrath (2), Oisin Donnellan and Steven Conway.
A minute later they were level after Michael O’Neill got a vital touch to a Daire Keane delivery to flick the ball past inter county team mates Adam Hogan and Eibhear Quilligan.
Tom O’Rourke and O’Malley quickly added points and Kilmaley enjoyed the better of matters for the next ten minutes opening up a four point lead, 1-6 to 0-5 with five minutes remaining in the half.
Feakle were right back in contention a minute later when Martin Daly picked up a pass from Raymond Bane and drilled the ball low to the net, a score which levelled the tie at 1-6 each just before Kilmaley lost their captain Daire Keane with a leg injury.
Kilmaley finished the half with points from Tom O’Rourke, his second of the tie and Michael O’Malley from a 30 m free to lead 1-8 to 1-6 at the break.
Feakle landed the opening three points of the second half to take a one point lead but then Tom O’Rourke soloed in along the end line and from a tight angle found the net to restore Kilmaley’s lead.
They struggled to stretch the lead past two points as Feakle were strong in defence. It was 2-11 to 1-11 at the turn of the final quarter. Feakle pulled it back to the minimum but points from Conor Cleary and a Michael O’Malley free had Kilmaley two clear inside the final ten minutes. They failed to score after this however and five in a row for Feakle sealed a memorable win for the East Clare men.
Con Smyth, Evan McMahon, Eoin Tuohy, Oisin Donnellan, Martn Daly and Steven Conway were prominent for the winners while Martin O’Connor, Colin McGuane, Conor Cleary, particularly in the second half, Michael O’Neill and Tommy Barry got through a lot of work for Kilmaley.
Scorers Feakle: Shane McGrath (0-8, 7f); Gary Guilfoyle (0-4, 2f) Martin Daly (1-0); Steven Conway (0-3); Oisin Donnellan (0-2); Oisin O’Connor (0-1);
Scorers Kilmaley; Michael O’Malley (0-7 5f); Tom O’Rourke, Michael O’Neill (1-2) each; Conor Cleary (0-2)
1: Eibhear Quilligan
2: Killian Bane
5: Adam Hogan
4: Oisin Clune
3: Evan McMahon
6: Con Smyth
7: Ronan O’Connor
9: Eoin Tuohy
10: Oisin Donnellan
11: Enda Noonan
12: Martin Daly
8: Shane McGrath
13: Steven Conway
14: Raymond Bane
15: Oisin O’Connor
17: Gary Guilfoyle for O O’Connor (43)
20: Fiachra Donnellan for R Bane (56)
1: Bryan O’Loughlin
3: Colin McGuane
17: Aaron Moloney
2: Martin O’Connor
6: Aidan McGuane
4: Oisin Looney
5: Brian Cahill
7: Tommy Barry
9: Sean Kennedy
10: Daire Keane
11: Michael O’Malley
8: Conor Cleary
15: Gearoid O’Grady
14: Michael O’Neill
29: Tom O’Rourke
12: Joseph Carmody for D. Keane (inj. 28)
24: Kenneth Kennedy for S. Kennedy (44)
13:Colm Killeen for O’Grady |(46)
Referee: John Bugler (Whitegate)