Twenty four years ago today Clare won the Munster Senior Football Championship for the second time in the County’s history.
Played in the Gaelic Grounds in front of 24,015, the Banner County had an unforgettable 2-10 0-11 win over raging hot favourites Kerry. It was their first appearance in a provincial final in forty three years and a first Munster title since 1917. Their win has been called one of the greatest shocks of modern times and is attributed with providing teams across the country with a belief that they can topple the biggest of opponents.
Managed by John Maughan, Clare were fearless in this contest as they took the game by the scruff of the neck. It was a significant outing for two Kerry greats; Seamus Moynihan made his debut while Jack O’Shea played his last senior championship game against the men in Saffron and Blue.
Although Kerry were first on the scoreboard and Gerry Killeen had a penalty saved in the third minute a rallying finish to the opening half saw confidence gradually build in the Clare camp.
A goal from Colm Clancy on forty nine minutes boosted their chances and the dream came closer to becoming a reality when Martin Daly finished to the net ten minutes later. Kerry refused to lie down and Pa Laide of Austin Stacks was denied a certain green flag with a brilliant save from James Hanrahan. Doonbeg’s Gerry Killeen kicked two vital points during injury time to seal the historic win.
The day also saw RTÉ commentator and proud Clareman Marty Morrissey utter the now infamous line “I can tell you there won’t be a cow milked in County Clare for at least a week” moments after the sounding of Paddy Russell’s final whistle.
Francis McInerney had the honour of becoming only the second man from the County to lead his side the glory in the Munster Senior Football Championship final. They would go on to contest the All-Ireland semi-final where they lost out to Dublin while corner-back Seamus Clancy became Clare’s only football All-Star that year.
Clare: James Hanrahan (Éire Óg); Kieran O’Mahony (Doonbeg), Gerry Kelly (St Senan’s Kilkee), Seamus Clancy (Corofin); Kieran O’Neill (St Josephs Doora/Barefield), Joe Joe Rouine (St Josephs Miltown), Frankie Griffin (Kilrush Shamrocks); Tom Morrissey (Cooraclare), Aidan Moloney (Kilmurry Ibrickane); Noel Roche (St Senan’s Kilkee), Francis McInerney (Doonbeg) (0-01), Gerry Killeen (Doonbeg) (0-04); Padraig Conway (Doonbeg) (0-02), Colm Clancy (Corofin) (1-01), Martin Flynn (St Josephs Miltown). Sub: Martin Daly (Lissycasey) (1-00).