Clare SFC final: O’Brien a safe pair of hands for Miltown
Late surge and goalkeeper’s interventions help St Joseph’s retain title
St Joseph’s Miltown 0-12 Kilmurry Ibrickane 0-8
St Joseph’s Miltown have retained the Clare football title, five late unanswered points getting them over the line against Kilmurry Ibrickane in Sunday’s replay in Ennis.
The Miltown Malbay based club enjoyed strong finishes to both halves of football with the late burst of scores securing a 15th county title in front of a crowd of 3,917 at Cusack Park.
Following a low scoring opening half the sides went in level at 0-5 to 0-5, with St Joseph’s coming from behind to score three late points from the impressive Cleary twins, Eoin (2) and Conor.
Kilmurry had enjoyed the better of the opening exchanges and came close to claiming a goal, only for Miltown goalkeeper Seanie O’Brien to smother Dermot Coughlan’s attempt. In fact, O’Brien’s performance over the hour, high-catching potential points above his crossbar on three occasions, had a major bearing on the outcome.
Kilmurry, champions in 2016 and 2017, again hit the ground running in the second period and led by 0-8 to 0-7 on 56 minutes. But that late flurry by Darragh McDonagh (2), Eoin Cleary, Conor Murray and substitute Eoin Curtin helped Miltown over the line.
St Joseph’s Miltown: S O’Brien; E O’Gorman, S Malone, E O’Brien; G Curtin, G Kelly, A McGuane; D McDonagh (0-2), C Cleary (0-2); K Malone, B Curtin, O Looney; G Kelly (0-1), E Cleary (0-5, 0-4f), C Murray (0-1). Subs: M Murray for Looney (47 mins), E Curtin (0-1) for G Kelly (54), C Hehir for K Malone (60), J O’Connor for McGuane (64).
Kilmurry Ibrickane: I McInerney (0-1, 0-1f); M Killeen, C Morrissey, D Hickey; D Sexton, M McMahon, S Hickey; K King, A McCarthy (0-1); M Hogan, M O’Dwyer, D Walsh; K Sexton (0-6, 0-4f, 0-1’45), E Coughlan, D Coughlan. Subs: E Bracken for King (38), D Callinan for O’Dwyer (43), N Hickey for Hogan (59).
Referee: F Gray (Feakle)