*Rory McMahon holds off Diarmuid Ryan. Photograph: Gerard O’Neill

AN ALL-ROUND better balanced Kildysart upset the odds when recording a fully merited win over a hotly tipped Cratloe in this round 2 TUS senior football championship tie on Saturday evening.

Kildysart 2-14
Cratloe 1-14
Venue: Cusack Park, Ennis

In what is Kildysart’s first win at the grade since their intermediate success last year, it is a result that throws Group 3 right open.

The foundation for the victory was laid in the opening half at the end of which the winners had an eight point advantage, leading on a scoreline of 2-7 to 0-5.

A strong opening five minutes to the second half which yielded 1-2 without reply for Cratloe suggested a strong rally was on the way but Kildysart didn’t lose their composure and they responded with four unanswered points in just over five minutes to go seven points clear with twenty minutes remaining.

The result means that all four teams in the group are level on two points each and the final round will see the two winners progress to the quarter finals while scoring difference is likely to determine which of the losing teams will go into the dreaded relegation play off.

The South Clare side went into this one without the influential Podge Collins who was ruled out through injury while Conal O’Hanlon was once again absent due to injury.

On the other hand, Kildysart had inter county man Emmett McMahon back in their lineup after he returned from the U.S. earlier in the week.

Cratloe opened the scoring in the second minute when Cathal McInerney converted a 20m free. After their next attack the ball ended up in the Kildysart net via Rian Considine but after referee Niall Quinn consulted with his umpires a free out was awarded.

Kildysart pounced and between here and the end of the opening quarter they landed 1-3 without reply, the goal coming from full forward Keith in the tenth minute after a sweeping move.

A brace of pointed frees kept Cratloe in touch but these were quickly cancelled out by like scores from Emmett McMahon and Diarmuid O’Donnell before the winner struck for their second goal. A foul on Keith Murphy resulted in a penalty which Rory McMahon converted four minute from the end of the half.

Both sides added 0-2 in the remaining time leaving the score at 2-7 to 0-5 at the interval.
There was much more urgency about Cratloe on the resumption and early points from Jack and Cathal McInerney were followed by a Rian Considine goal which reduced the deficit to one goal, 1-7 to 2-7.

To their credit, Kildysart didn’t show any signs of panic and they had their first score of the new half from wing back Rory McMahon, one of their star players on the day. Three more followed from Luke McGrath, Rory McMahon and Diarmuid O’Donnell and by the tenth minute of the half they were seven clear again.

There were still seven between them with five minutes to play. Cratloe hit three in a row to keep their slim hopes of getting something from this tie alive but Kildysart were in control in the vital areas and they held on for a merited win.

It tees up an exciting final round in Group 3 with Kildysart, Cratloe, Ennistymon and Lissycasey all with one win to their name. Two teams will advance automatically to the quarter-finals with the third placed club meeting the third placed team in Group 2 in a preliminary quarter-final.

Scorers Kildysart: Rory McMahon (1-3, 1-0 penalty); Keith Murphy (1-0); Emmett McMahon (1 free), Diarmuid O’Donnell (2 frees, 0-3 each); Mikey Donnellan, Luke McGrath (0-2) each; Kieran Leahy (0-1);

Scorers Cratloe: Sean Collins (0-5, 4f); Cathal McInerney (0-5, 4f) Rian Considine (1-1) Shane Neville, Enda Boyce, Jack McInerney (0-1) each

Kildysart;
1: Conor Cusack

18: Fergal Guinnane
3: Brian Eyers
4: Stephen Donnellan

5: Rory McMahon
6: Kieran Leahy
7: Oisin Coyle

8: Keith O’Connor
11: Kieran O’Brien

10: Seamus Casey
9: Luke McGrath
12: Mikey Donnellan

13: Diarmuid O’Donnell
14: Keith Murphy
15: Emmett McMahon

Subs:
17: Michael Eustace for S. Sheehan (inj) (46)
19: Conor Hassett for O’Connor (50)
21: Jack Cotter for Murphy (56)
22: Ryan Casey for McGrath (61)

Cratloe:
1: Padraigh Chaplin

2: David Collins
3: Kevin Harnett
4: Liam Markham

5: Enda Boyce
6: Mike Brennan
7: Riain McNamara

8: Diarmuid Ryan
12: Tommy Rooney

10: Rian Considine
11: Sean Collins
23: Shane Neville

13: Jack McInerney
14: Cathal McInerney
18: Jamie Costigan

Subs:
19: Caimin Deegan for Costigan (36)
20: Sean Gallagher for Harnett (inj) (53)
27: Jake Higgins for D. Collins (60)

Referee: Niall Quinn (St Joseph’s Miltown)

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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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