*Sean Collins and Eoin Cleary clash. Photograph: Gerard O’Neill

After an opening weekend in which the standard of play all round was disappointing, the race for the Jack Daly cup in the senior football championship came to life at Cusack Park this Saturday evening.

Cratloe 1-08
St Josephs Miltown 0-11
Venue: Cusack Park, Ennis

Two of the teams shortlisted for honours produced a tremendously exciting contest which ended in a draw, a result most in attendance agree was a fair outcome.

A storming final quarter by St Josephs Miltown saw them wipe out a four point deficit to record their second draw in this year’s campaign. This was a tie which ebbed and flowed with both sides enjoying periods of dominance.
Miltown got off to a lively start and raced three points clear before going four clear after eleven minutes.

Cratloe took control in the second quarter and they had opened a three point lead by half time before pusing their advantage to four by the three quarter stage.

When it looked like the game was slipping from them, Miltown stormed back into the tie and Eoin Cleary who had been quiet by his standards in the opening half sparkled in the final quarter and kicked four points to level the tie.

Miltown will be particularly pleased with their final quarter performance as they played the last nine minutes with fourteen men after Cormac Murray picked up a black card. A minute into the half they had lost experienced and influential full back Seanie Malone to injury while they played this tie without Gordon Kelly due to injury.

The West Clare side set a blistering pace and Kieran Malone kicked points in the second and third minutes befor exolin Hehir hit the target tp put them three ahead.

Having missed their opening round win over Cooraclare due to injury, Cratloe had Podge Collins and Cathal McInerney back in their starting line up and they landed their team’s opening two pointsm McInerney’s coming from a free.

It was 0-5 to 0-4 to Miltown at the end of the first quarter. Cathal McInerney levelled the before putting his side ahead with four minutes remaining in the half which they finished strongly with Collins and Mc|Inerney pointing again to make it 0-8 to 0-5 at half time.

Miltown resumed with Graham Kelly n their line up but they were dealt a big blow a minute in when Seanie Malone suffered a knee injury and he had to be assisted from the field. Moments later Cratloe lost Kevin Harnett to injury and he was replaced by the experienced Billy Sheehan.

Points from Darragh and Kieran Mcdonagh left the minimum b eetween the sides but Crtloe hit back and Shane Neville fired home the game’s only goal after receiving the ball from Oige Murphy. It proved to be their only score of the half.

Miltown could have had a goal a minute later but Cormac Murray seemed to hesitate when through on goal and a moment later David Collins deflected an Eoin Cleary effort behind for a 45 which the Clare captain converted.

There was no shortage of excitement from here to the finish. Cleary converted a second ‘45 and quickly followed with one from play to leave the minimum between the sides. He levelled the tie when converting a 30m free with five minutes remaining.

Scorers St Josephs Miltown; Eoin Cleary (0-04, 2’45s, 1f), Kieran Malone (0-04); Colin Hehir, Cian O’Mahoney and Darragh Mcdonagh (0-01) each.

Scorers Cratloe: Cathal McInerney (0-06, 5f); Shane Neville (1-00) Podge Collins (0-02)

Cratloe;
1: Pierce DeLoughrey

4: David Collins
2: Kevin Harnett
7: Enda Boyce

6: Liam Markham
8: Michael Brennan
5: Martin ‘Oige’ Murphy

11: Sean Collins
9: Diarmuid Ryan

10: Shane Neville
14: Rian Considine
15: Conor McGrath

33: Cathal McInerney
13: Jack McInerney
32: Podge Collins

Sub:
12: Billy Sheehan for Harnett (inj. 36)

Miltown;
1: Sean O’Brien

19-Eoin O’Brien
3: Seanie Malone
2: Euan Reidy

24: Colin Hehir
6: Enda O’Gorman
5: Micheál Murray

11: Conor Cleary
9: Darragh McDonagh

18: Cian Mahoney
14: Eoin Cleary
10: Kieran Malone

15: Cormac Murray
13: Brian Curtin
4: Aidan McGuane

Subs:
Graham Kelly for Murray (half time)
Cian Flanagan for Malone (31) (inj)
Liam Hehir for O’Gorman (61)

Referee: Wayne King (St. Josephs Doora/Barefield)

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