Passion, commitment and experience helped Miltown Malbay book their spot for a second consecutive year in Clare’s SFC last four when they outclassed Clondegad in Doonbeg on Sunday. Miltown played the opening half with a powerful gale force behind their backs, helping them score 11 points in comparisons to Clondegad’s three.
Jamesy Mc Conigley reports from Shanahan McNamara Memorial Grounds, Doonbeg
Venue: Shanahan McNamara Memorial Grounds, Doonbeg
Miltown utilised the wind with the Cleary brothers scoring 9 out of a possible 11 scores in the first 30 minutes but it was Clondegad’s basic handling that caused them serious problems. Clondegad will look back on this game and rue their indiscipline as Miltown converted 50% of their scores from placed balls.
Miltown moved the ball from back to front swiftly and this worried Clondegad, Miltown’s two man full-forward line of Mc Donagh and Cleary caused severe hassle but it was Clondegad’s eight wides that cost them dearly.
As the game wore on, Miltown racked up the yellow cards while Clondegad racked up the wides. Clondegad slowly chipped into Miltown’s eight point lead but they left it too late.
Both defences stood strong throughout the 60 minutes with neither side allowing their adversaries to raise a green flag. Gary’s Brennan’s free kept Clondegad in contention. Time was their enemy as they needed seven points as the clocked ticked into additional time. They dug out two points but it was too little too late as the County Champions advance into the semi-final.
Youth mixed with experience was evident for both these sides and the future is certainly bright for Clondegad even if today wasn’t their day. Shane, Gary and Cillian Brennan along with Tony Kelly battled hard for Clondegad.
Michael Neylon’s side impressed right through, with only two wides kicked in this match, a magnificent team effort with grit and determination helped Michael Neylon’s side conquer Clondegad. Best for Miltown were Darragh Mc Donagh, Gordon Kelly, Brian Curtin, Gearoid Curtin, John Jimmy Meade and the Cleary brothers.
Miltown: Sean O’Brien; Enda O’Gorman, Seanie Malone, Gearoid Curtin; Colin Hehir, Gordon Kelly, Eoin O’Brien; John Jimmy Meade, Conor Cleary; Aidan Mc Guane, Brian Curtin, Kevin Keevey; Eoin Cleary, Darragh Mc Donagh, Brian Curtin. Subs: Graham Kelly for Colin Hehir, Eoin Curtin for Joe Curtin.
Scorers: Eoin Cleary (0-07 3f 1×45), Conor Cleary (0-04 3f), Joe Curtin, Darragh Mc Donagh and John Jimmy Meade (0-01 each).
Clondegad: Declan O’Loughlin; Cormac Ryan, Brian Murphy, Gearoid O’Connell; Conor Gavin, Cillian Brennan, Tony Kelly; James Murphy, Gary Brennan; Joe Neylon, Shane Brennan, Eoin Griffin; Podge McMahon, Eoghan Donnellan, Eoin Griffin. Subs: Brian Carrigg for Eoin Glynn, Francy Neylon for Joe Neylon and Tadgh Lynch for Eoghan Donnellan.
Scorers: Gary Brennan (0-06 [4f 1×65]), Podge Mc Mahon (0-01 1f), Shane Brennan (S/L), Cormac Ryan (0-01).
Referee: John Hannon (Michael Cusacks)
All pictures by Martin Connolly