*Eoin Rouine is held by Joey Nagle. Photograph: Gerard O’Neill

CLARE’S U20 footballers have bowed out of the Munster championship with a second half scoring blitz from Kerry pushing them out the exit door.

Kerry 1-11
Clare 0-08
Venue: Hennessy Memorial Park, Miltown Malbay

An opening half whereby they had a two point advantage proved to be the highlight for Clare in this Munster semi-final but the concession of a wave of Kingdom scores was their downfall and effectively wrapped up proceedings by the third quarter juncture.

A return of 0-02 in the second half plus the concession of 1-06 without reply was crucially Clare’s undoing despite a largely positive first half.

Whatever aid of the elements were present blowing towards the Miltown end were in Clare’s favour for the first half. Whether they truly maximised this is debatable but there can be no doubting the spirited showing from Michael Neylon’s charges in this spell.

Their defence worked to the bone in a disciplined fashion but were punished on turnovers. Matters became more difficult as the contest progressed and the inside line struggled to cope with the direct ball to Cillian Burke and Jack Goulding, the pair amassing a total of 1-05 from play.

When Clare kicked four points without reply to lead 0-06 0-04 at half-time, there was delight among the home supporters and worry within the visiting Kerry contingent. Adding to the rising temperatures was a minor kerfuffle as the sides retreated to the comfort of the dressing rooms. Excellent scores were tacked on by Thomas Meenaghan, Brendy Rouine, Eoin Rouine and Sean McNamara in the second quarter, the failure to convert two goal chances that fell to Joe Rafferty also in this period were important.

Rafferty who was Clare’s top scorer over the hour pointed within ten seconds of the second half but then the Kerry dominance began as they kicked score by score slowly tearing the opposing defence apart while continuing to dominate in the air, reaping particular delight off Clare’s own kickouts.

Burke and Goulding stood up during the third quarter as they found it easier than expected to turn past the Clare defence and once Rathmore’s Burke turned Fergal Guinnane and slotted the ball past Oisin O’Callaghan on forty two minutes it was effectively game over.

Unlike their football counterparts at minor and hurling compatriots at minor and U20, there is no back door or second chance in the Munster U20 football championship. The difference in structure is certainly something that needs to be questioned, especially if the U20 hurling is working off a group basis.

For forty two minutes of this match, Clare competed with Kerry and dominated at spells. Michael Neylon’s charges will be ultimately happy with their lot in this campaign having easily overcome Tipperary in the quarter-finals. On this day, Brian McNamara was excellent at midfield while the Rouine cousins from Ennistymon, Eoin and Brendy along with Fionn Kelleher were best.

Scorers Kerry: C Burke (1-02), K Goulding (0-03), D Geaney (0-04 1f), D Byrnes (0-01 1f), T O’Donnell (0-01).

Scorers Clare: J Rafferty (0-02), E Rouine (0-02), B Rouine (0-02 1f), T Meenaghan (0-01), S McNamara (0-01).

Kerry:
1: Devon Burns (Na Gaeil)

4: Joey Nagle (Austin Stacks)
3: Alan Dineen (Rathmore)
2: Dara O’Callaghan (Kilcummin)

5: Enda O’Connor (Na Gaeil)
6: Armin Heinrich (Austin Stacks)
7: Tommy Cronin (Kenmare Shamrocks)

8: Ruairí Murphy (Listry)
9: Sean O’Brien (Beaufort)

10: Cillian Burke (Milltown/Castlemaine)
11: Thomas O’Donnell (Castlegregory)
12: Evan Looney (Dr Crokes)

13: Dylan Geaney (Dingle)
14: Kevin Goulding (Ballyduff)
15: William Shine (Killarney Legion)

Subs:
20: Keith Evans (Keel) for Shine (39)
18: Tom Doyle (Dr Crokes) for Looney (45)
17: Adam Curran (Austin Stacks) for Cronin (50)
19: Gearoid Hassett (Laune Rangers) for Goulding (51)
22: Cathal Ryan (Rathmore) for O’Brien (55)

Clare:
1: Oisin O’Loughlin (St Breckans)

2: Eoghan Casey (Wolfe Tones)
3: Fergal Guinnane (Kildysart)
4: Ciaran McMahon (Ennistymon)

5: Odhran Cunningham (Killimer)
6: Fionn Kelleher (St Joseph’s Doora/Barefield)
7: Eoin Walsh (Banner)

8: Brian McNamara (Cooraclare)
10: Eoin Rouine (Ennistymon)

9: Micheál Garry (Cooraclare)
11: Brendy Rouine (Ennistymon)
12: Shane Griffin (Lissycasey)

15: Joe Rafferty (St Joseph’s Doora/Barefield)
13: Sean McNamara (Michael Cusacks)
14: Thomas Meenaghan (Banner)

Subs:
18: Conor Meaney (Lissycasey) for Rafferty (42)
17: Joshua Moloney (Kilmurry Ibrickane) for Guinane (49)
20: Cillian McGroary (Corofin) for Garry (50)
19: Cian Mahony (St Joseph’s Doora/Barefield) for Meenaghan (52)
24: Gavin Downes (Kilmihil) for Griffin (59)

Referee: John Ryan (Cork)

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If you’re here, you care about County Clare. So do we. Did you rely on us for Covid-19 updates, follow our election coverage, or visit The Clare Echo every week for breaking news and sport? The Clare Echo invests in local journalism and we want to safeguard its future in our county. By becoming a subscriber you are supporting what we do, will receive access to all our premium articles and a better experience, while helping us improve our offering to you. Subscribe to clareecho.ie and get the first six months for just €3 a month (less than 75c per week), and thereafter €8 per month. Cancel anytime, limited time offer. T&Cs Apply. www.clareecho.ie.

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