Cratloe had a convincing win over Corofin in Round One of the Clare Senior Football Championship.
Venue: Cusack Park
As the rain pelted down from start to finish in this encounter on Sunday morning, it was the perfect example of pathetic fallacy as the weather most certainly reflected the mood in what was far from an entertaining contest.
There was a massive contrast in quality between the teams as it was an instance of a team who will be fighting to become County Champions versus a side whose main objective is to retain their status.
Cathal McInerney was the scorer in chief for Cratloe as he hit 2-04 which was more than the whole Corofin team combined. It was a low scoring affair and Colm Collins’s side only managed to score 1-02 in the second half and this is something they will be disappointed with as they analyse their performance.
Indeed it was McInerney who was first on the scoresheet as he kicked the opening two scores of the game from his left boot inside the three minutes. Corofin got out of the blocks on the sixth minute via Eoin Davoren. Spot kicks from McInerney, Sean Collins and Liam Markham along with a Sean Chaplin point extended the gap to five points with fourteen minutes on the clock.
A shot from Clare Senior Hurling panellist, McInerney on the twenty third minute was dropped into the goal by Kieran Carkill as the greasy conditions impacted on the creation of the first green flag of the game. The Corofin custodian made up for this unlucky blunder later on in the match as he pulled off a great save to deny the Cratloe attacker a certain goal.
Cratloe were first off the mark in the second half courtesy of Cathal McInerney but after finally changing their freetaker Corofin finally added some more scores with Jamie Malone kicking over three points. The lively Sean Collins popped over two points and they finished the tie with a goal from none other than an unmarked Cathal McInerney who was picked out with a pass from Sean Collins and the qualified school teacher slotted home.
Corofin gave an exhibition in how not to take a free, they missed scoreable placed balls and when it comes to playing the top teams these chances must be taken, it took thirty seven minutes for management to put Jamie Malone on the frees and the County man had a one-hundred percent shooting record from spot kicks.
It is worth nothing that the reigning Intermediate champions lost three players to injury over the hour and this didn’t help their cause either. They have a lot of work to do if they want to hold on to their senior status.
Although they were never really tested this outing will stand to Cratloe. It was their first championship match without Clooney/Quin duo Cillian Duggan and Fergal Lynch who have since returned to their native club, their presence in the middle of the park was key to the South Clare club fielding possession.
This was a chance for Colm Collins to trial out players to see what they have to offer, Conor McGrath was rested for this tie while Conor Ryan and Michael Hawes were also missing and he did, notably Sean Hynan was like a bad rash for Corofin’s star-man Jamie Malone as Hynan followed him wherever he went. Cratloe’s fitness levels were far superior than their opponents and everything they did was done at a quick, sharp pace. Cathal McInerney, Sean Collins, John Galvin and Oige Murphy impressed for the winners.
Cratloe: Pierce DeLoughrey; Sean Chaplin (0-01), Barry Duggan, Thomas O’Connor; Martin Oige Murphy, Antoin McFadden, Liam Markham (0-01 1’45); John Galvin, Shane Gleeson; Sean Collins (0-03 1f), Sean Hynan, Conor Cooney; Cathal McInerney (2-04 2f), Podge Collins, David Collins.
Corofin: Kieran Carkhill; Colm Rice, Manus Malone, Damien O’Loughlin; Brendan Keane, Jamie Malone (0-03 2f), Shay Malone; Stephen Heagney, Fionn Clancy, John Keane, Eoin Clancy; Fergal Neylon, Damien Ryan; Eoin Davoren, Jason Tierney. Subs: Darren Malone for Ryan (08) (Inj), Donnacha Kelleher for M Malone (22) (Inj), Gearoid Kelly for Davoren (HT), Eoin Davoren for D Malone (44), John Rees for Neylon (52), Jason McCarthy for Kelly (Inj) (60).
Referee: Rory Hickey (Éire Óg)