Munster SFC: Miltown Malbay make history as they book final spot
St Joseph’s prove too strong for Waterford side The Nire in Dungarvan
Fraher Field in Dungarvan. Photograph: Ken Sutton/Inpho
St Joseph’s Miltown Malbay (Clare) 2-11 The Nire (Waterford) 0-9
St Joseph’s Miltown Malbay have qualified for their first Munster club senior football final and a meeting with Kerry powerhouse Dr Crokes after an impressive eight-point victory over The Nire at Fraher Field on Sunday.
The Clare champions deservedly led by four points at the break but it was second-half goals from Cormac Murray and substitute Seán Malone that confirmed their passage to the final.
The sides were level at 0-4 apiece after 18 minutes but Miltown Malbay upped the pace considerably in the second quarter and hit five points in succession before the break with a single point from Conor Glesson in reply.
The 0-9 to 0-5 lead at half-time should have been greater with the Claremen hitting eight first-half wides.
The crucial opening goal arrived after 40 minutes when a long ball from the outstanding Conor Cleary was seized on by Cormac Murray after his marker slipped and the corner forward blasted the ball to net, 1-10 to 0-7.
The Nire needed a goal to get back into it and Jamie Barron came closest after 48 minutes when his rising shot was tipped over by goalkeeper Seán O’Brien while his brother Tom Barron had a strong claim for a penalty turned down by referee Pádraig O’Sullivan.
With just 10 minutes remaining substitute Malone had a second Miltown Malbay goal when he connected with a loose ball in front of The Nire goal with his ground strike easily beating a wrong-footed Diarmuid Murphy.
ST JOSEPH’S MILTOWN MALBAY: S O’Brien; A McGuane, E O’Gorman, E O’Brien; C Hehir (0-2), G Kelly, Ja O’Connor; Oisín Looney (0-1), C Cleary (0-1); E Curtin (0-1), B Curtin, K Malone (0-2); E Cleary (0-3, three frees), D McDonagh, C Murray (1-1).
Subs: S Malone (1-0) for D McDonagh (47 mins), E Reidy for J O’Connor (53), G Kelly for E Curtin (56), M Murray for O Looney (61).
THE NIRE: D Murphy; D Meehan, T O’Gorman, M Moore; T Barron (0-1), J McGrath, Darren Guiry; T Guiry, C Guiry; J Barron (0-3), Dylan Guiry (0-1), S O’Meara; S Ryan (0-1, free), C Gleeson (0-2, one free), S Walsh (0-1).
Subs: D Ryan for T Guiry (37 mins), C Mulcahy for D Meehan (46), C Walsh for S O’Meara (56).
Referee: Pádraig O’Sullivan (Kerry).