*Seamus Casey on the attack. Photograph: Gerard O’Neill
Kildysart finally broke their intermediate final hoodoo when edging out Cooraclare by the bare minimum in a dramatic finale in Cusack Park Ennis on Sunday evening.
Venue: Cusack Park, Ennis
Following the heartbreak of four final reverses in just six years, a determined Kildysart ensured that they made their own luck this time around when taking the game to Cooraclare from the outset and fully merited their long-awaited return to senior.
Unfortunately, their superior intensity and physicality wasn’t initially matched on the scoreboard as despite scoring the first three points through Jamie Evans (2) and Seamus Casey by the sixth minute, all their good early work was undone in the 19th minute when Sean O’Donoghue palmed a high James Chambers delivery to the net at 1-1 to 0-4.
Kildysart had an immediate opportunity to cancel it out but Luke McGrath’s shot would be repelled by goalkeeper Mark Lillis. To their credit, Kildysart did rebuild their three point advantage thanks to points from Evans, Emmet McMahon and Fergal Ginnane by the 28th minute.
However, Kildysart’s fortunes appeared to turn as a subequent black card for county senior McMahon allied to a nine wide tally only provided the estuary side with a 0-7 to 1-2 half-time cushion.
The only way was up for Cooraclare who did up the ante to finally regain parity with a superb Ciaran O’Donoghue point by the two-thirds mark at 1-5 to 0-8.
However, the Milesians were never able to inch in front at any stage and received a telling blow entering the final quarter when Sean O’Donoghue was sent to the sinbin.
Kildysart capitalised with two of the next three points through Emmet McMahon and Seamus Casey to nudge themselves 0-10 to 1-6 in front by the 54th minute.
However, an eventful final few minutes saw Sean O’Donoghue’s premature return greeted by a yellow and red card, only to see it rescinded when it was realised that he had been given permission to come back on by the fourth official.
And within 30 seconds, Emmet McMahon was instead dismissed for a trip to ensure that instead Kildysart would finish with only 14 men.
Cooraclare pressed for an elusive equaliser but only had a hopeful last gasp effort drift wide of the target as Kildysart held on to finally bridge a 19 year gap to their last Intermediate crown amidst unbridled elation in Clare Headquarters.
Scorers for Kildysart: Jamie Evans (0-3); Seamus Casey, Emmet McMahon (f), Conor Hassett (m) (0-2 each); Fergal Ginnane (0-1)
Scorers for Cooraclare: Ciaran O’Donoghue (0-3, 1f, 1s/l); Sean O’Donoghue (1-0); Mark Tubridy, Micheál Garry (f), Damien Burke (0-1 each)
1: Mark Lillis
4: Niall Kelly
26: Thomas Downes
3: Gearoid Looney
7: Micheál Garry
6: Pearse Lillis
2: Gary Donnellan
8: James Chambers
9: Sean O’Donoghue
5: Padraic O’Donoghue
12: Damien Burke
22: Sean Browne
11: Mark Tubridy
10: Brian McNamara
14: Ciaran O’Donoghue
18: Keith Marrinan for Browne (HT)
19: John Lillis for Tubridy (HT)
23: Jack Morrissey for J. Lillis (48, inj)
13: Colin McNamara for Marrinan (59)
1: Conor Cusack
4: Stephen Sheehan
3: Brian Eyres
2: Michael Eustace
5: Rory McMahon
6: Kieran Leahy
7: Fergal Ginnane
8: Keith O’Connor
9: Kieran O’Brien
12: Luke McGrath
10: Seamus Casey
14: Conor Moloney
11: Emmet McMahon
15: Conor Hassett
13: Jamie Evans
17: Oisin Coyle for Hassett (63)
Referee: Barry Keating (Lissycasey)