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*Conor Cleary does his best to shake off Paraic Aherne. Photograph: Gerard O’Neill

ST JOSEPH’S MILTOWN are facing into a “do or die” relegation battle after falling to their fourth successive defeat of this year’s championship.

While they took Doonbeg to extra time on Saturday, the result still didn’t finish in favour of the 2018 and 2019 champions.

They are now preparing for a relegation final against Kilmihil. Ironically, Miltown defeated Kilmihil in the 2011 relegation play-off while a year later they themselves dropped down to the intermediate ranks following a 1-07 0-08 loss to Lissycasey.

Martin Flynn is adamant that Miltown know what they are fighting for. “It’s do-or-die now, we know exactly what we’re facing into so we just have to pull up our socks now and be ready for an other massive battle. We’re fully aware that we’ll get absolutely nothing soft from Kilmihil either so we’ve two weeks now to put our heads down and really focus on trying to get over that battle”.

While pleased with aspects of their display against Doonbeg, the 1992 Munster SFC winner acknowledged they fell too far behind in extra time to deserve the win.

“We showed great character in the second half as we were behind several times and just kept fighting and fighting and in the end were relieved to get it to extra-time. But unfortunately they just seemed to have the legs on us in extra-time and we just didn’t perform while Doonbeg did and got the scores and you can’t fall five or six points behind in extra-time and expect to win it”.

That they were forced to bring on an injured Cormac Murray with sixty six minutes played showed Miltown’s use of a “last resort”. They remain without the injured Gordon Kelly and Enda O’Gorman.

Flynn told The Clare Echo, “Doonbeg had fresh legs while we had injured players and really hadn’t the same scope to bring on players. We even brought Cormac [Murray] there as a last resort when he’s only coming back from a hamstring injury but we hoped to pull it out of the fire but it ultimately didn’t work”.

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