*Kieran Malone made a big impact off the bench. Photograph: Gerard O’Neill

St. Joseph’s Miltown sealed their place in the last eight of the TUS Clare senior football championship when they recorded a hard earned win over Clondegad at sunny Cusack Park this Sunday.

St Joseph’s Miltown 1-11
Clondegad 1-9
Venue: Cusack Park, Ennis

The winners had to survive a strong finish from Clondegad who needed at least a draw to avoid being involved in the relegation play off where they now find themselves along with Ennistymon and Corofin.

One of the keys to Miltown’s success in this one was the contribution of substitutes Kieran Malone and Jamesie O’Connor who, between them, contributed 1-3 of their side’s final tally.
Miltown made the better start and took an early two point lead with scores from Cian Mahoney and Cormac Murray.

The game was twenty one minutes old before Clondegad opened their account through their captain Gary Brennan and he added a second when converting a 40m free in the twenty fifth minute.

With just a minute remaining in the half, the winners had gone four clear, 0-6 to 0-2 but Clondegad finished strongly with points from Brandon O’Connell and Barry Toner to trail by two, 0-4 to 0-6 at the break.

Points were exchanged in the opening minutes of the second half before Jamesie O’Connor struck for his side’s goal having been put through by Darragh McDonagh.

Cormac Murray followed with a point and Miltown were six clear with just six minutes of the second half played.

The margin was back to four by the midpoint of the half. A Jamesie O’Connor point put Miltown five clear with ten minutes remaining but it was back to two a minute later after

Barry Toner finished off a move when flicking to the net from a Podge McMahon delivery. McMahon followed with a point from a free to leave the minimum between the sides with five minutes of normal time remaining.

Clondegad piled on the pressure from here to the finish but Miltown defended well with Conor Cleary, Eoin O’Brien, Brian Curtin, Seanie Malone and Gordon Kelly amongst those who denied the Ballynacally based side an equaliser.

With the game in the first of three minutes of added time Miltown made a quick break which ended with Conor Cleary kicking a point to seal their victory and a place in the quarter final.

Scorers St Joseph’s Miltown: Jamesie O’Connor (1-1); Cormac Murray (0-3); Cian Mahoney (frees), Kieran Malone (0-2) each Oisin Looney, Paul Keane, Conor Cleary (0-1) each

Scorers Clondegad: Barry Toner (1-1); Gary Brennan, Padraig McMahon (0-2) each, all frees; Cian Kirby, Morgan Garry, Fiachra Kirby, Brandon O’Connell (0-1) each

Miltown St. Josephs;
1: Sean O’Brien

2: Eoin O’Brien
3: Seane Malone
4: Gordon Kelly

5: Gearoid Burke
12: Conor Cleary
7: Cian Flanagan

8: Oisin Looney
9: Darragh McDonagh

18: Sean Neylon
11: Cian Mahoney
20: Paul Frawley

13: Brian Curtin,
14: Cormac Murray
15: Paul Keane

Subs:
17: Kieran Malone for Frawley (19)
19: Jamesie O’Connor for Keane (HT)
25: Conal Meade for Neylon (58)

Clondegad;
1: Darren Cleary

3: Conor Gavin
6: Peter Casey
5: Brian Murphy

10: Ryan Jennings
33: Tadhg Ó hUallacháin
7: Evan Flynn

18: Brandon O’Connell
9: James Murphy

8: Morgan Garry
11: Barry Toner
12: Cillian Gavin

20: Cian Kirby
14: Gary Brennan
15: Fiachra Kirby

Subs:
13: Padraig McMahon for Cillian Gavin (35)
22: Colm Meaney for C. Kirby (49)
29: Sean McAllister for O’Connell (56)
24: Thomas Gavin for Toner (62)

Referee: Barry Keating (Lissycasey)

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