*Lissycasey’s Shane Griffin scored two goals. Photograph: Burren Eye Photography
LISSYCASEY’s greater scoring threat and pace proved decisive as they recorded an opening round win in the Clare SFC against their neighbours Kilmihil.
Venue: Cusack Park, Ennis
Fresh from winning the inaugural U19 championship, Lissycasey had reason to smile at the final whistle once again when recording a deserved eight point win against Kilmihil.
With Aaron Griffin, Conor Finnucane, Shane Griffin and debutant Conor Meaney coming up trumps on the scoring stake, Lissycasey had a solid platform to build on while their opponents were overly reliant on frees to add to their tally, throughout the hour twenty seventy percent of their tally came from play.
By the twelve minute mark with Lissycasey leading 1-01 0-02 and the awarding of a black card of to Mikey Keating, the beaten semi-finalists of the last two years were in pole position to push on. They didn’t at this juncture with Conor Finnucane failing to capitalise the penalty awarded from Keating’s foul and Sean Scott Cafferkey’s save offered a timely lift to Kilmihil.
During Keating’s ten minutes on the line, Lissycasey failed to add a single score, such a return against stronger opposition will come back to bite them.
To rewind, Finnucane had opened inside the first two minutes before Ciaran Downes replied with a free in their first attack. There was reason to celebrate for Lissycasey on five minutes when Aaron Griffin combined with Conor Meaney to tee up Shane Griffin who palmed to the back of the net.
That it took Kilmihil twenty four minutes to score from play highlights a flaw that will need to be rectified if they are to be progressing past the group stages. The utilisation of a sweeper has its merits for the West Clare men but it is also giving opponents a potential edge by focusing on limiting their free count to further dilute the threat up front. They had three scorers over the hour and will need to have a bigger impact in this sector when facing off with Cratloe and St Joseph’s Doora/Barefield in subsequent rounds.
Their response to Griffin’s goal was impressive, kicking the next four scores to go ahead for the first and only time in the contest. The 2007 champions however emerged with the last three scores of half to boast a 1-05 0-06 interval lead.
Sean Scott Cafferkey produced his first of three fine second half saves on the restart to deny Aaron Griffin. He would later be called upon to stop likely green flags from Matt O’Shea and Conor Meaney.
John Ryan’s Lissycasey continued to keep the scoreboard ticking in the second half with Meaney adding two well taken scores off his left boot while Aaron Griffin and Finnucane proved accurate with their efforts.
Matters were wrapped up on fifty nine minutes when a dropping ball was punched away by the Kilmihil netminder only to rebound off the head of Shane Griffin and end up in the back of the net.
Ciaran Downes and Gearoid O’Grady were troublesome up front for Gerry Downes’ Kilmihil but crucially it was only the Clare senior panellist that would show this danger on the scoreboard. The absence of both Dan Keating and Stan Lineen in the middle of the field was telling with both of their starting midfielders substituted as the game wore on. A big lift will be required if they are to get back in contention for a knockout spot.
As has been the case over the past two seasons, Seamus Collins was central to everything positive accomplished by Lissycasey. Aaron Griffin, Conor Finnucane, Conor Meaney and Ryan Griffin were others to impress for the winners.
Scorers Lissycasey: S Griffin (2-01), C Finnucane (0-05), A Griffin (0-04), C Meaney (0-02)
Scorers Kilmihil: C Downes (0-08 6f), M O’Leary (0-02 2f), S Crowley (0-01).
1: Killian Normoyle
2: Cyril Sheehan
4: Ryan Griffin
17: Martin Moran
19: Cathal Doohan
6: Seamus Collins
7: Niall Kelly
3: Matt O’Shea
9: Niall McCarthy
10: Luke Griffin
11: Aaron Griffin
8: Enda Finnucane
13: Shane Griffin
11: Aaron Griffin
15: Conor Meaney
12: Francie Hayes for Doohan (50)
20: Sean Hayes for McCarthy (60)
1: Sean Scott Cafferkey
4: Shane Downes
15: Gavin Downes
2: Mikey Keating
6: Niall Reidy
3: John Finucane
5: David Coughlan
10: Sean Crowley
9: Conor Finucane
8: Jack Keating
13: Martin O’Leary
11: Cathal Murray
12: Gearoid O’Grady
14: Ciaran Downes
19: Mark Normoyle
7: Alan Normoyle for N Reidy (HT)
17: Niall Pender for J Keating (41)
18: Shane Egan for C Finucane (45)
21: David Egan for M Normoyle (59)
Referee: Barry Kelly (St Joseph’s Miltown)