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Lissycasey secure quarter-final spot with victory over Cratloe

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*James Griffin holds off Micheál Hawes. Photograph: Gerard O’Neill

Lissycasey have booked their spot in the quarter-finals of the Clare SFC causing an upset by defeating Cratloe.

Lissycasey 2-09
Cratloe 0-13
Venue: Cusack Park, Ennis

When they last met in championship, back in 2015, extra time was also required to determine a winner in Gurteen. Five years on with a different setting, it took extra time once again to separate the sides, just like that occasion it was the men in maroon that claimed the spoils.

Managers will differ on which line of the field is most important. Lissycasey’s half-back line with Seamus Collins in the centre flanked by Oisin Hanrahan and Brian Cahill acted as an invaluable launchpad, Ryan Griffin and Martin Moran in the line behind them were solid while Páraic McNamara did a commendable job in trying to dilute the influence of Podge Collins.

Minus the services of both Cathal McInerney and Sean Collins really hurt Cratloe’s prospects. McInerney’s attacking presence was greatly missed, granted they finished with 0-10 from play but the LIT graduate has caused problems for defences all over the county.

Following an industrious opening half, Lissycasey were deservingly in front. They trailed by a single point at the water break but their four wides prior to this prevented them from gaining a firm grip on proceedings.

White flags from Rian Considine, Podge Collins and Killian Phair put last year’s semi-finalists into an early three point lead. It took Lissycasey nine minutes to get their first score, but they were back on level terms by the thirteenth minute thanks to points Aaron Griffin and Mikey O’Neill, two of which were created from turnovers by Seamus Collins.

Collins and goalkeeper Killian Normoyle traded scores before Normoyle was called upon to pull off an excellent save to deny the Clare hurler. The Lissycasey netminder put his side in front for the first time on twenty six minutes from a 45, a lead they would retain going in at half-time.

Liam Markham took on a more prominent role on the restart. He popped over his first of three second half point inside the opening seventy seconds and moments later was involved in an altercation with Cian Meaney which resulted in Niall Quinn giving the Lissycasey attacker his marching orders.

The sides would swap scores on three further occasions but crucially for John Ryan’s side, one of these efforts included a goal from Aaron Griffin. Martin Moran won back possession for Lissycasey in defence and offloaded to Seamus Collins who found Enda Finnucane, he along with Matt O’Shea then created the chance which Griffin duly slotted to the net.

Crucially, Lissycasey failed to score in the remainder of normal time as Podge Collins and Liam Markham scored on the forty eighth and fiftieth minute to force the game to extra time. Lissycasey were forced to play the final ten minutes with thirteen men as midfielder Francie Hayes was given a black card.

Unsurprisingly the sides remained level at half-time in extra time. Damien Browne pointed with his first touch of the evening to put Cratloe in front, only for his effort to be cancelled out in the next attack by Conor Finnucane. Lissycasey went back ahead via Aaron Griffin but Billy Sheehan hit the final score of the half in additional time to keep the sides level pegging.

Conor Finnucane stepped up with the crucial score in the final period. Following a foul on Mikey O’Neill, Finnucane converted a penalty expertly to the bottom left corner of the net. A Podge Collins free followed but it would be Lissycasey that held on to secure an important win.

Collins was lively as ever throughout for Cratloe with his younger brother David Collins also impressing along with Michael Brennan prior to his substitution. Along with the aforementioned six backs, Aaron Griffin, Francie Hayes, Killian Normoyle and Mikey O’Neill and Matt O’Shea impressed for the winners.

Scorers Lissycasey: Aaron Griffin (1-03), Conor Finnucane (1-02 1’Pen 2f), K Normoyle (0-03 2f 1’45), M O’Neill.

Scorers Cratloe: Podge Collins (0-05 1f), Liam Markham (0-03), Rian Considine (0-01), Killian Phair (0-01), Jack McInerney (0-01 1f), Damien Browne (0-01), Billy Sheehan (0-01).

Lissycasey:
1: Killian Normoyle

2: Marty Moran
3: Ryan Griffin
4: Páraic McNamara

5: Oisin Hanrahan
6: Seamus Collins
7: Brian Cahill

20: Matt O’Shea
9: Francis Hayes

12: Cian Meaney
11: Roy Griffin
10: Michael O’Neill

19: Aaron Griffin
14: Niall Kelly
13: Conor Finnucane

Subs:
24: Enda Finnucane for Roy Griffin (22)
18: Niall McCarthy for Hanrhan (45)
22: Shane Griffin for Kelly (56)
17: Cyril Sheehan (60)
11: Roy Griffin for Cahill (72) (Inj)

Cratloe:
1: Pierce DeLoughrey

4: David Collins
3: Michael Brennan
2: Sean Chaplin

5: Liam Markham
6: Micheál Hawes
7: Sean Hynan

8: Billy Sheehan
9: Diarmuid Ryan

10: Shane Gleeson
11: Conor McGrath
12: Rian Considine

13: Podge Collins
14: Conal O’Hanlon
15: Killian Phair

Subs:
17: Jack McInerney for Phair (30)
18: Sean O’Gorman for Brennan (51)
20: Damien Browne for Hynan (60)

Referee: Niall Quinn (St Josephs Miltown)

Páraic McMahon is Head of News & Sport with The Clare Echo. The Newmarket-on-Fergus native also writes for national papers including The Irish Examiner, The Irish Independent and The Irish Times along with doing work for RTÉ, Today FM, TheJournal.ie and The42.ie. A graduate of Mary Immaculate College, Páraic was previously employed by The Clare Herald and Clare FM. If you have a story, tip or some feedback for him then send an email to - paraic@clareecho.ie

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