For Colm Collins and Cratloe they will get another bite at the cherry as they go in search of their third ever Clare SFC title.
It finished all square between Collins’ side and Kilmurry Ibrickane with a late Cathal McInerney free guaranteeing a replay and an extra sixty minutes of football in this year’s championship.
“It was like a basketball game and who’ll be ahead the buzzer, thankfully we got an opportunity to level it and Cathal showed great composure and got the score, we’re delighted to get the opportunity to come back the next day” Collins told reporters after the game.
“A draw is a fair result I think in what went on today, I think everybody will be looking forward to the reply”.
Between now and the replay Colm will be working with his players on making the most of possession whilst they have it. “I thought that was the area we let ourselves down I wasn’t as conscious of Kilmurry, that was our big downfall and some crazy shots for scores, it’s great to have them for another couple of weeks and preparing for a county final again, it’s still there thanks be to God”.
Their preparations are made a little bit easier seeing as the club’s hurling team are no longer competing for honours in the championship. “It’s lovely it’s something to look forward to. It’s football for two weeks just exclusively football it’s a luxury we don’t normally get we’ll see does it do any good”.
Despite the half-time scuffle Colm felt it was a clean game which spectators would have enjoyed more than those in the heat of the battle. “Kilmurry are a football team end of story, they’re not a dirty side, Kilmurry play football and are bloody good at it, they’d be foolish to go any other route because that’s what they’re best at, I never thought it would be any other way, both teams went at the second half in a real determined fashion, it wasn’t too enjoyable for me but maybe it was enjoyable for neutrals”.
Cratloe lost Antóin McFadden to injury seventeen minutes into the game, the replay is expected to take place in two weeks time which may grant the Donegal native sufficient time to recover and get back to full fitness. “One thing we’ll be looking at is how injuries heal and will they heal up, that’s important and let’s see how that goes, we’ll have to wait and see I’m not sure where they are or the extent of any injury, I thought everybody came off in plenty of time so there wasn’t excess damage”.
It appears that the replay will come too soon for Conor McGrath as the 2013 All-Star hurler is set to undergo a shoulder operation. “As far as I know he needs to get an operation on the shoulder and I don’t think he’s going to postpone it, it needs to be done, he went through quiet a lot of pain the last day and I don’t think he’d like to face that again”.