By Páraic Mc Mahon
Cratloe 2-12 Éire Óg 0-11
Venue: Cusack Park
Cratloe were crowned County Senior Football Champions on Sunday after they overcame the stern challenge of Éire Óg.
In doing so Cratloe have become the first team to win both the senior hurling and football titles in the same year since the Ennis Dals team of 1929. Cratloe led from the outset and Éire Óg were always chasing them but were never able to catch their opponents. The goals scored by Cratloe were crucial as they were scored in the space of seven minutes and really swung momentum in their favour and took the wind from Éire Óg’s sails.
Podge Collins opened the scoring in the tie when he pointed with a minute on the clock. Points from Liam Markham and Cathal Mc Inerney put Cratloe three ahead with five minutes played. Éire Óg captain, Shane Daniels got his side’s first score of the decider after he pointed with six minutes gone. Fast thinking from County star Podge Collins reaped rewards as his quick free caught the Townies off guard but found Conor Mc Grath who slipped the ball past Colin Smyth to get the first goal of the game. The Ennis based club responded with a point from midfielder Darren O Neill on the tenth minute mark. Cathal Mc Inerney added to his tally as his free sailed straight over with twelve minutes played. Excellent movement from Podge Collins enabled him to skip past the Éire Óg defence and beat Colin Smyth to raise another green flag.
The Townies fought back with points from Stephen Hickey and Sean O Meara. Podge Collins added another point with twenty one minutes played. David O Halloran opened his account with a point from 40 metres with twenty two minutes on the clock. Two frees in succession from Chartered Physiotherapist with the Clare Senior Footballers, Sean O Meara lowered the gap between the sides. Another effort from David O Halloran cut the deficit further with twenty minutes played. Cratloe hurling captain, Liam Markham got the final score of the half with a point to leave his side ahead by four points at the break.
Former Limerick footballer and recent Cratloe recruit, John Galvin was first onto the scoresheet after the resumption as he raised a white flag with four minutes gone. A pass from Podge Collins found Conor Mc Grath and he kicked the ball right between the sticks with less than seven minutes played. Podge Collins and Sean O Meara swapped scores at the midway stage to leave six points between the sides. Two points from the accurate Cathal Mc Inerney pushed Cratloe further ahead with twenty one minutes played. Podge Collins was on the mark again with another point on the twenty fourth minute mark. Conor Brennan and Eimhin Courtney managed to get their names on the scoring list for the Townies but it wasn’t enough as Cratloe emerged victorious with seven points to spare.
Needless to say Éire Óg are devastated with the result, their performance seemed to drop in the second half and had they got the first few scores at that beginning of the second half, events could have been a lot different. They scored 0-11 which was their lowest all year and this is something that will annoy the Townies as they reflect over the winter months. James Hanrahan’s side put it up to Cratloe in the first half but the concession of two goals did dent their self-belief. Looking back on their 2014 campaign, there is a lot of positives to be taken despite the fact that Jack Daly will be residing in Cratloe, this is the first time this bunch of players have played on the biggest day and the experience will stand to them. There is a County title in this Éire Óg side but they will need to bounce back from this defeat and not let it affect their mentality. On the day, Dean Ryan, Eimhin Courtney covered a lot of ground while David O Halloran who has been one of the best performers on the Clare club scene in both codes this year also put in a solid display.
Cratloe are County Champions and deservedly so. They’ve managed to go unbeaten in both the hurling and football championships for 2014 and that is one magnificent feat. When they played Éire Óg in the first round of the championship, they scored 2-12 and they did just that again today. Colm Collins has led his side to back to back titles and as always their link up play was superb while their workrate caught the eye in this encounter. Cratloe are blessed with their current crop, they’re some of the best players to grace Cusack Park in recent times while their off the field attitude is also exemplary. This bunch are a credit to their club and their families and they have set the benchmark for all the club teams of County Clare, it’s now up to all of them to catch Cratloe and that won’t be easy.Next up for the Cratloe footballers is a Munster semi-final on the sixteenth of November against the winners of the Ballylanders (Limerick) versus Stradbally/Nire (Waterford). Podge Collins gave an oustanding display over the hour while Liam Markham, John Galvin, Barry Duggan and Conor Mc Grath featured heavily also.
Cratloe captain, Michael Hawes accepted the Jack Daly Cup off Clare County Board Chairman, Michael Mc Donagh and paid tribute to the people of Cratloe both at home and abroad, the selectors; Martin Murphy, Sean O Dea, Jerome DeLoughrey, Brian O Connell and Derek Crowley while singling out Colm Collins for the effort he has put in.
Cratloe: Pierce DeLoughrey, Michael Hawes, Barry Duggan, Sean Chaplin, Enda Boyce, Liam Markham (0-02), Martin Oige Murphy, Cillian Duggan, Fergal Lynch, Sean Collins, John Galvin (0-01), Conor Ryan, Conor Mc Grath (1-01), Cathal Mc Inerney (0-04 3f), Podge Collins (1-04). Subs: Shane O Leary for Murphy (52:37), David Collins for Mc Inerney (55:48), David Ryan for Boyce (57:37), Sean Hynan for S Collins (57:37), Wesley DeLoughrey for Lynch (57:37).
Éire Óg: Colin Smyth, Liam Corry, Aaron Fitzgerald, Saran Butler, Sean Corry, Dean Ryan, Ciaran Russell, Darren O Neill (0-01), Shane Daniels (0-01), Eimhin Courtney (0-01 1f), David O Halloran (0-02), Eoin Glynn, Graham Glynn, Sean O Meara (0-04 4f), Stephen Hickey (0-01). Subs: Conor Brennan (0-01) for L Corry (21:00), James Woods for Butler (31:00) (BC), David Reidy for E Glynn (36:35), Dara Walsh for Hickey (45:37), Paddy O Malley for O Meara (52:15), David Russell for Daniels (60:24) (Inj).
Referee: Pat Cosgrove (Corofin)
— RTÉ GAA (@RTEgaa) October 12, 2014
Podge Collins gets MoM in the football final.. Davy will love to hear that #Division3Footballer
— Colin McNamara (@colinmcnmr) October 12, 2014
— Balls.ie (@ballsdotie) October 12, 2014
— Inpho Photography (@Inphosports) October 12, 2014
— Padraigh Chaplin (@PadraighChaplin) October 12, 2014
— Padraigh Chaplin (@PadraighChaplin) October 12, 2014
Eireog 11pts, Cratloe 2-12pts, unlucky today lads but we will be back contesting more finals. Well done Cratloe, pic.twitter.com/BKkegivMdK
— EireogAcademy Inis (@EireogAcademyIn) October 12, 2014
— Marie Crowe (@mariecrowe) October 12, 2014