McInerney’s kick sends County Final to a replay

David Collins & Darragh Sexton collide. Pic Martin Connolly
David Collins & Darragh Sexton collide. Pic Martin Connolly

It finished all square in the Clare Senior Football Championship final as an injury time Cathal McInerney ensured Jack Daly would have to wait a little longer to find out his home for the next twelve months.

Páraic McMahon reports from Cusack Park

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Cratloe 1-09
Kilmurry Ibrickane 0-12
Venue: Cusack Park

Level on eight occasions in sixty minutes neither of the sides can complain about the result in what was a very evenly balanced affair that didn’t live up the hype. Both sides were guilty of simple errors and gifted the opposition possession on several attempts.

Opposing danger men Cathal McInerney and Keelan Sexton exchanged scores to kick off proceedings. Two pointed placed balls from Kilmurry Ibrickane netminder Ian McInerney were cancelled out by efforts from his Cratloe namesake Cathal and David Collins.

A well-worked Brecks move involving Mark McCarthy, Keith King, Enda Coughlan and Michael Hogan was finished off by Sexton to put them one point ahead with sixteen minutes on the clock.

Two minutes later a David Collins pass sent Cathal McInerney on his way and he made no mistake in booting the ball low and hard past Ian McInerney for the first and only goal of the game. Podge Collins increased their advantage to four with a white flag on the twenty first minute.

Kilmurry Ibrickane finished the half the stronger kicking the last four scores via the Hickey’s Niall and Shane, Enda Coughlan and Michael Hogan which really lifted their supporters as they went in one point in front at the break.

On their way into the dressing rooms both sides collided and a heated interaction followed. Both teams had to travel through the tunnel with tensions running very high, punches were thrown, jerseys were ripped as officials did their best to cool things down. When the teams reappeared for the second half, referee Rory Hickey brandished a yellow card to John Galvin and Mark McCarthy while substitute John Sexton who had not featured in the first half was shown a red card.

When attention returned to the game on offer it was Sexton and McInerney once more doing the scoring. Conor Ryan levelled matters on the thirty ninth minute before substitutes Noel Downes and Shane Gleeson both of whom put their hands up for starting positions in the replay added points.

Only four scores were kicked inside the final quarter with Sexton and McInerney adding two frees each to send the game to a replay, a meeting will take place tomorrow to determine when this will be played but it is said to be taking place in two weeks time.

Both sides will feel they could have won or lost this match so a draw is definitely a fair result. Kilmurry Ibrickane won the first half eight scores to five while Cratloe did likewise in the second half five scores to four.

For the replay Colm Collins will be hoping All-Ireland medallist Antóin McFadden will have recovered from an injury that saw him hopple off early on in the game. They created sixteen scoring chances over the hour which needs to be increased. Their character has been praised recently and rightly so, going into the game they were without Conor McGrath, they lost McFadden to injury but they still drove on and refused to let the heads drop.

Oige Murphy, Sean Chaplin, Cathal McInerney and Podge Collins stood out for the two time champions. McInerney in particular deserves praise, he stood over frees under intense pressures and amidst roaring from the opposing fans behind the goal he managed to quieten them by sticking the ball between the posts every time.

Half-time couldn’t have come at a worse period for Kilmurry, not just because of what followed but it was in the moments leading up to the interval that they dictated matters, they moved the ball well, found the space and kicked from difficult angles, crucially they didn’t do this enough in the second half and they dropped a level on the resumption.

Defensively they were rock solid, not one member of the Cratloe half-forward line got on the scoresheet such was the robust nature of the Bricks half-back line. A solid sixty minutes performance is needed if they’re to succeed the next day out. Keelan Sexton, Michael O’Dwyer, Declan Callinan, Shane and Darren Hickey impressed for the Aidan Moloney managed outfit.

Cratloe: Pierce DeLoughrey; Sean Chaplin, Barry Duggan, Antóin McFadden; Martin Oige Murphy, Michael Hawes, Liam Markham; Conor Ryan (0-01), John Galvin; Stephen McHugh, Sean Collins, Conor Cooney; Podge Collins (0-01), Cathal McInerney (1-04 3f), David Collins (0-01). Subs: Enda Boyce for McFadden (17) (Inj), Sean Hynan for Cooney (37), Shane Gleeson (0-01) for McHugh (39).

Kilmurry Ibrickane: Ian McInerney (0-02 1f 1’45); Mark Killeen, Darren Hickey, Shane Hickey (0-01); Declan Callinan, Martin McMahon, Ciaran Morrissey, Darragh Sexton; Mark McCarthy, Keith King; Michael Hogan (0-01), Michael O’Dwyer, Niall Hickey (0-01); Keelan Sexton (0-05 2f), Enda Coughlan (0-01). Subs: Noel Downes (0-01) for N Hickey (38), Steven Moloney for Hogan (47), Peter O’Dwyer for McCarthy (53).

Referee: Rory Hickey (Éire Óg)

All photos by Martin Connolly

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