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Sexton hat-trick leads Kilmurry Ibrickane back to top flight

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*Amy Sexton. Photograph: Burren Eye Photography

A lightning hat-trick of sucker-punch goals in each half saw Kilmurry Ibrickane blitz neighbours St Joseph’s Miltown to capture the Intermediate honours in Shanahan McNamara Park in Doonbeg on Sunday afternoon.

Kilmurry Ibrickane 6-07
St Joseph’s Miltown 1-11
Venue: Shanahan McNamara Memorial Park, Doonbeg

Amidst the resplendent sunshine, instead it rained goals as first an Amy Sexton eight minute half-trick turned Miltown’s early four point cushion on its head to power the ‘Bricks to a five point interval cushion before remarkably surpassing that feat nearing the end of the third quarter when a brace of converted Chloe Moloney penalties sandwiched a Karen Galvin goal in the space of just five minutes to put the result beyond any doubt.

The links between these neighbours were unavoidable as Kilmurry Ibrickane captain Ciara Hickey opposed her sister Emma, 12 months on from both lining out for Miltown in their heartbreaking final defeat to Cooraclare.

Hat-trick heroine Amy Sexton was another of the four Kilmurry Ibrickane players to assist Miltown’s 2019 bid but with their own club able to field their own team this year, the red and green made a faultless return to immediate glory.

All that after Miltown had made the brighter start as early points for the inside trio of Eimear Keane, Grainne Meade and Abby Downes were accentuated by an Aine Talty goal just after the opening water break at 1-3 to 0-2.

Within two minutes, that goal would be wiped out after Ciara McCarthy handpassed inside to the overlapping Amy Sexton to billow the net, followed soon afterwards by a McCarthy equaliser.

Amongst the major talking points was the positioning of Fiona Lafferty at full-back as a marker on chief target Chloe Moloney. And while it did initally stiffle Kilmurry Ibrickane’s offence, the quality of delivery to Moloney finally paid dividends to tee up Sexton for two more majors by the 28th minute at 3-3 to 1-3.

In a real compelling end-to-end battle, Eimear Keane soloed through from 40 metres, only to see her effort drift outside the right post. So while Grainne Meade did lessen the half-time damage to five (3-3 to 1-4), half-time couldn’t come soon enough for a shellshocked Miltown to regroup.

Now with the wind at their backs, the comeback trail was a slow burner as an early Abby Downes shot was saved by goalkeeper Katie McMahon before Miltown settled with three of the first four points to slash the arrears to just three.

However, in an effort to find an extra gear, Fiona Lafferty’s switch into the attack did leave Miltown vunerable on the counter. And so it proved at the two-thirds mark when Karen Galvin was hauled down for a penalty after good work from Chloe Moloney, with the latter cooly dispatching the placed ball to the right corner.

That combination again proved successful for Galvin to fire Kilmurry Ibrickane’s fifth goal in the next passage of play before Moloney herself was dragged back for a second penalty that was finished in almost indentical fashion by the 45th minute at 6-4 to 1-8.

While Miltown never gave up the fight, that eleven point cushion would be maintained right up to the final whistle despite the ‘Bricks going down to 13 players with late yellow cards for Maeve Coughlan and Caitlin O’Connor.

In all, it would be a remarkable 15 point turnaround for a devastatingly clinical Kilmurry Ibrickane who on this showing, will be genuine contenders in the top flight for 2021.

Scorers for Kilmurry Ibrickane: Chloe Moloney (2-4, 2-0 Pen, 2f); Amy Sexton (3-1); Karen Galvin (1-0); Ciara McCarthy (0-2)

Scorers for St Joseph’s Miltown: Aine Talty (1-1); Eimear Keane (1f); Abby Downes (1f) (0-3 each); Grainne Meade (0-2, 1f); Patricia Coote, Caoimhe Carmody (0-1 each)

Kilmurry Ibrickane:
1: Katie McMahon

4: Maire Garvey
3: Rebecca Doohan
7: Rachel Tubridy

5: Maeve Coughlan
6: Lauren McCarthy
15: Siofra O’Dea

13: Joanna Doohan
14: Ciara McCarthy

11: Caitlin O’Connor
2: Emma Coughlan
12: Ciara Hickey (Captain)

10: Karen Galvin
8: Chloe Moloney
9: Amy Sexton

17: Karen Coughlan for L. McCarthy (37)
24: Sophie Daly for C. McCarthy (44)
28: Amber O’Connor for Galvin (64)

St Joseph’s Miltown:
1: Orlagh Kenneally

7: Hannah Shannon
15: Fiona Lafferty
9: Grainne Lynch

4: Ciara Hayes
3: Emma Hickey
5: Jean Talty

6: Aine Keane
8: Caoimhe Carmody

10: Lucy Flanagan
11: Tara Rynne
12: Aine Talty

29: Abby Downes
13: Eimear Keane
14: Grainne Meade

26: Patricia Coote for Rynne (34)
2: Ciara Burke for Hayes (43)
19: Ellen Flanagan for Lynch (52)
21: Sarah Looney for J. Talty (56)
28: Grace Carmody for A. Talty (60)

Referee: John McDonagh (Kinvara)

Eoin Brennan is one of the most quick witted writers in Co Clare. A former sports journalist with The Clare People, Eoin now works as a freelance journalist for multiple publications at local and national level including The Clare Echo. Alongside James Lynch, he presents Clare FM’s flagship sports show, Sideline View every Friday evening. A former no-nonsense defender with Clarecastle, Eoin has been lauded for his coverage of women’s sports which received national recognition by the Camogie Association in 2015. He is also the co-founder of Go Gaelic and is noted for a colourful selection of footwear.

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