*Conor Cusack controls the ball with Alan Walsh closing him down, watched by Kieran Leahy. Photograph: Gerard O’Neill

Clare’s wait for a Munster intermediate club football title continues as this year champions, Kildysart bowed out of the provincial campaign at the first hurdle on Saturday.

Kanturk 3-11
Kildysart 0-06
Venue: Cusack Park, Ennis

Powered by the Walsh clan, Cork champions Kanturk proved too strong for Kildysart at Cusack Park and deservingly qualified for a Munster semi-final date against their Kerry counterparts in two weeks time.

Play was delayed for ten minutes during the second half of the contest as an overhead helicopter which is involved in the search for a man who entered the water of the River Fergus on Thursday night continues. Referee, Seamus Mulvihil made the decision to pause the game for this spell.

Kildysart may have opened the scoring but Kanturk proved the slicker and more experienced outfit and they had opened a five point lead by half time.

Photograph: Gerard O’Neill

When they struck for their second goal in the third minute of the second half, the writing was on the wall for the Clare champions.

The winners were eleven points clear heading into the final quarter and while Kildysart battled to the end the visitors struck for their third goal in the third minute of ‘added time’ to seal a comfortable victory.

Paul Walsh distributes the ball under pressure. Photograph: Gerard O’Neill

The experience of former Cork dual player Aidan Walsh and county hurler Lorcan McLoughlin was evident from an early stage and Kildysart struggled to cope with their play.

All six forwards got on the scoresheet for the winners whereas only Emmett McMahon from the Kildysart attack managed a score.

Kildysart made a nervous start and they were fortunate not to concede a goal in the opening minute when Kanturk midfielder Paul Walsh opened up the home side’s defence but his left footed effort for goal were narrowly wide.

Kildysart attacked from the kickout and Emmett McMahon opened the scoring. The Claremen more than matched their opponents in terms of possession in the opening quarter but they were guilty of a number of turnovers when in good possessions.

Darren Browne gets away from Emmet McMahon. Photograph: Gerard O’Neill

Having lost possession in the 19th minute, they were punished severely when Kanturk quickly launched a counter attack which ended with Paul Walsh shooting to the net and this helped his side to a half time lead of 1-5 to 0-2.

Hopes of a Kildysart rally were dealt a huge blow three minutes into the new half when their defence failed to clear their lines and Kanturk corner forward Grantus Bucinskas struck for his side’s second goal.

Three unanswered points followed and twn minutes into the half the winners were eleven points clear with the score at 2-7 to 0-2.

Points from substitute Mikey Donnellan from play and Emmett McMahon from a free kept the Clare champions’ hopes alive but like scores from Ian (free) and Colin Walsh quickly restored the visitors’ eleven point advantage.

Eleven scoreless minutes followed during which both sides made changes in personnel but Kanturk continued to hold the upperhand.

Stephen Sheehan emerges from defence with the ball. Photograph: Gerard O’Neill

An Ian Walsh goal, in the third of four added minutes, sealed a comfortable win on a day when Lorcan O’Naill, Darren Browne, Lorcan McLoughlin, Aidan, Colin and Ian Walsh were prominent.

Kieran Leahy, Stephen Sheehan, Luke McGrath and Conor Moloney worked hard for Kildysart.

Scorers Kanturk; Ian Walsh (1-4, 0-4 frees); Alan Walsh (1-1), Grantas Bucinskas (1-0); Colin Walsh (0-3) Lorcan McLoughlin, Ryan Walsh, Lorcan O’Neill (0-1) each

Scorers Kildysart; Emmett McMahon (0-5, 2 frees), Mikey Donnellan (0-1)

Kanturk:
1: Ronan Cashman

2: John McLoughlin
17: Mark Healy
4: Lorcan O’Neill

5: Tommy Walsh
6: Darren Browne
7: Brian O’Sullivan

8: Paul Walsh
9: Aidan Walsh

10: Colin Walsh
11: Lorcan McLoughlin
12: Ryan Walsh

13: Grantus Bucinskas
14: Alan Walsh
15: Ian Walsh

Subs:
21: James Fitzpatrick for R. Walsh (49)
18: Cian Clernon for A. Walsh (50)
25: Cameron Hendry for Bucinskas(55)
20: Liam O’Keeffe for L.McLoughlin (55)
19: Chris Mullane for O’Sullivan (55)

Kildysart:

1: Conor Cusack

2: Michael Eustace
3: Brian Eyers
4: Stephen Sheehan

5: Rory McMahon
6: Kieran Leahy
7: Fergal Guinnane

8: Keith O’Connor
9: Kieran O’Brien

12: Luke McGrath
10: Seamus Casey
14: Conor Moloney

15: Conor Hassett
11: Emmett McMahon
13: Jamie Evans

Subs:
18: Mikey Donnellan for Eustace (half time);
26: Keith Murphy for Hassett (48)
20: Jack Cotter for R. McMahon (57)

Referee: Seamus Mulvihill (Kerry)

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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.

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