After 60 minutes of a great spectacle, Clare’s IFC finalists will have do it all over again in a fortnights time as the game finished all-square, either side could feel hard done by if they lost this one but neither side could honestly admit they had done enough to lift the trophy.
Jamesy McConigley reports from Cusack Park
Venue: Cusack Park
Barry Crehan pointed with five minutes gone to open the scoring. He would have been disappointed though when he couldn’t keep his second effort down as his hammered attempt flew over the black spot from point blank range. 9 minutes gone, Killian Malone brushed Tony Mc Mahon aside and fired over after some nice inter-change with Jack O’Dea.
Cian O’Dea evaded the on-rushing Rory Mc Mahon to elegantly kick his sides third and help them into the lead for the first time. Keith O’Connor didn’t enjoy being out done and landed a crowd pleasing score within a minute of O’Dea’s point. Both defences’ held firm in the first half but both sides can raise their hand for some careless defending at times in the opening half.
Kelly and Malone exchanged points via placed balls and this left the West Clare side in front at the break, 0-06 to 0-05.
The supporters had to wait three minutes after the restart for the twelfth point of the game but it was an attractive score, Michéal Duffy fed the approaching Killian Malone, his dummy solo deceived the touch tight Michael Eustace before accurately splitting the posts from an acute angle.
But Malone’s brilliantly work was literally undone when he couldn’t convert a free directly in front of the Kildysart goal, 13 metres out. Paudie Ireland was replaced by Duncan Mc Cormack after being shown a black card by Michael Talty. Inter-county panellist Jack O’Dea whipped over the score of the day to give the village the lead for the third time with just 38 minutes on the clock.
Keith O’Connor was awarded for his tireless work in midfield when he equalised for Kildysart. This contest never waned in entertainment value, together Kildysart and Kilfenora illustrated why they reached this year’s IFC Final with hard-working play throughout.
Intensity levels raised another notch and Malone’s nerves of steel shone through as he coolly scored two frees in quick succession. But cometh the hour, cometh the man as Ger Kelly scored the most important equalising score of the contest.
Cian O’Dea’s first-class performance could have been toasted if he landed a free from 50 yards out from goal but his effort tailed to the left and wide. This didn’t take from his fine showing in the middle of the park beside his brother Jack today. Michéal Duffy and the Malone brothers impressed throughout.
In contrast, Kildysart’s young gun Rory McMahon can be pleased with his determined defending along with sharp shooter Ger Kelly and the O’Connor brothers in their attack. Their side can look forward to another pulsating affair in two weeks time to see who will lift the 2016 Clare Intermediate Trophy.
Kidysart: Liam Griffin; Tony Mc Mahon, Shane Mc Neilis, Michael Eustace; Conor Donnellan, Rory Mc Mahon, Brian Eyres; Keith O’Connor (0-02), Neillie O’Connor; Kieran Eyres, Damien Hill, Kieran O’Brien; Ger Kelly (0-05 2F), Barry Crehan (0-02), Oisin Coyle. Subs: John Murtagh for Barry Crehan.
Kilfenora: Liam Keane; Shane Long, Paul Carkill, Cronan Howley; Michael James Malone, Pat Connole, Daniel Egan; Jack O’Dea (0-01), Cian O’Dea (0-01); Aidan Long, Michéal Duffy, Páudí Ireland; Killian Malone (0-08 4F), Aidan Malone, James Keane. Subs: Mathew Egan for Páudí Ireland and Duncan Mc Cormack for James Keane.
Wides : 9
Referee: Michael Talty (Kilmurry Ibrickane)