Kilmurry Ibrickane broke Cratloe hearts after Peter O’Dwyer’s extra time point was all that separated them from Cratloe at the end of this exciting senior football semi-final in Cusack Park.

Clare Senior Football Championship Semi FinalKilmurry Ibrickane 2-10 Cratloe 2-09

Cathal McInerney’s penalty goes beyond the reach of Ian McInerney in the Kilmurry goal.

Cathal McInerney’s penalty goes beyond the reach of Ian McInerney in the Kilmurry goal.

Having exited the hurling championship quarter-final, Cratloe had time to concentrate on the big ball and landed in the last four with comfort. Niall Hickey had the opening score into the town goal after seven minutes before Podge Collins sent over Cratloe’s first point a minute later.

Soon after Kilmurry Ibrickane peppered the Cratloe goal and were unlucky not to score. Ian and Cathal McInerney exchanged scores and by the 25 minute Cratloe led by the minimum, 0-4 to 0-3.

Kilmurry Ibrickane equalised on 30 minutes courtesy of Michael Hogan but Cathal McInerney had the final say to leave Cratloe 0-5 to 0-4 nervous leaders at the break.

For the opening minutes of the new half, Cratloe were pinned into their final third of the field and were very fortunate to be just a point in arrears six minutes into the new half.  Keelan Sexton and Dermot Coughlan were the sharpshooters as Kilmurry’s inaccurate freetaking cost them two more scores.

When Cratloe did break out they managed a score from a Cathal McInerney free to cut the deficit to the minimum.  A number of half chances were sent wide by Cratloe forwards before  Podge Collins goal chance was smothered by Ian McInerney before Conor McGrath’s speculative effort rebounded off the post.

Keith King strikes for Kilmurry’s second goal past Pierce DeLoughery.

Keith King strikes for Kilmurry’s second goal past Pierce DeLoughery.

In the second half, a fine effort from Sean Collins had the sides deadlocked entering the final ten minutes.  Cratloe were gifted a great chance when Diarmuid Ryan was upended and Rory Hickey signalled a penalty. Cathal McInerney made no mistake with a well-placed shot past Ian McInerney.

However the drama was only beginning as Kilmurry Ibrickane won a free and took it quickly for Niall Hickey to blast the ball low and hard past Pearse De Loughrey to force extra time, leaving the full-time score at 1-7 apiece.

Over the course of the game, Kilmurry hit 14 wides as opposed to 9 for Colm Collins’ men. Cratloe began extra time with some style with Cathal McInerney and Shane Gleeson on target within four minutes of the restart. Kilmurry, however, were not for surrendering as a five-man move ended with midfielder Keith King blasting the ball into the Cratloe net from close range.

The goal glut was not yet finished, two of Cratloe’s rising stars delivered goal number four. Diarmuid Ryan raced clear and his powerful effort rebounded off the crossbar into the path of Rian Considine who made no mistake to put his side in front by 2-9 to 2-7 at the end of the first half of extra time.

Even at this late stage, it would have been foolhardy to write off Aidan Moloney’s men as they have learned how to win at all levels.  For all the effort exerted by Cratloe during the second half of extra time, they failed to provide one score.

Kilmurry Ibrickane added three points from Michael Hogan, Ian McInerney and substitute Peter O’Dwyer to seal a county final place against Clondegad who defeated St Joseph’s Miltown by 2-12 to 1-09.

KILMURRY IBRICKANE: Ian McInerney (0-2), Ciaran Morrissey, Darren Hickey, Mark Killeen, Darragh Sexton, Martin McMahon, Shane Hickey, Keith King (1-0), Keelan Sexton (0-2), Dermot Coughlan (0-1), Niall Hickey (1-2), Michael Hogan (0-2), Peter O’Dwyer (0-1), Mark McCarthy, Enda Coughlan. Subs: Evan Talty for Ciaran Morrissey, Steven Moloney for McCarthy, Thomas Lernihan for Talty, Michael O’Dwyer for Peter O’Dwyer, Noel Downes for Hogan, Eamonn Bracken for Hickey, Michael Hogan for Killeen, Peter O’Dwyer for Downes

CRATLOE: Pierce DeLoughrey, Sean Chaplin, Michael Hawes, Sean Hynan, Martin Oige Murphy, Sean Colllins (0-2), John Galvin, Shane Gleeson (0-1), Damian Browne, Conor McGrath (0-1), Padraic Collins (0-1), Liam Markham, David Collins, Cathal McInerney (1-4), Billy Connors. Subs: Conor Cooney for Browne, Diarmuid  Ryan for Connors, Rian Considine (1-0) for Cooney (Black card), Damian Browne for D Collins.

Referee: Rory Hickey (Éire Óg).