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Cratloe fight all the way for victory

Cratloe 1-8   Kildysart 0-10

A CRACKING goal as good as likely to be seen in any championship game in the county this season, proved decisive in Cratloe’s one-point win over Kildysart in the first of the intermediate football semi-finals played at Éire Óg on Saturday.
Cratloe’s Liam Markham heads for goal.   Favourites Cratloe were made fight all the way for this victory on a day when the teams were level on four occasions. The winners were without inter-county man Seán Collins until he was introduced in the closing stages, as they fought their way back from a deficit of two points to win the spoils.
The goal came just before half time from wing-back Martin ‘Ogie’ Murphy, who cracked a powerful shot to the top corner after an 80m run. It levelled the game for the first time after the winners had found themselves five points in arrears at the end of the opening quarter.
Kildysart made a very impressive start to this game scoring the opening five points through Noel O’Grady, Christy Clancy, Ger Kelly (2) and Brian O’Sullivan. Indeed they should have had another score or two during this period of dominance.
From the midpoint of the half onwards, Cratloe came much more into the game. With Ogie Murphy and Barry Duggan becoming more prominent in defence, they drove forward more often and had their first score through Liam Markham on 16 minutes. Last year’s young footballer of the year in Clare had his second a few minutes later, followed by a like score from team captain Kevin Browne, with six minutes still remaining in the half.
By this time, Cathal McInerney had forced two excellent saves from Kildysart goalkeeper Liam Griffin and the South East Clare side were again denied a goal when Keith O’Connor saved on the line from Padraig Chaplin, a minute after Ogie Murphy’s goal that tied up the match.
Kildysart had the final say in the half when Brian O’Sullivan pointed to leave them 0-7 to 1-3 in front at the midpoint in the game.
The winners had the better of the early exchanges in the second half and levelled when Cathal McInerney converted a free after two minutes. They took the lead for the first time in the fifth minute of the half when Paudge Collins kicked a point after some magnificent play, which saw the 17-year-old beat a number of Kildysart defenders.
A couple of minutes later, Collins saw his effort for goal well saved by Liam Griffin. Both sides made changes at this time with Cratloe introducing Dean De Loughrey for Seán Hynan and Kildysart bringing in Damian Hill for Eoin Cleary.
Ger Kelly converted a 45’ to tie up matters again on 10 minutes and, to the delight of their followers, Kildysart quickly went into a two-point lead with points from Brian O’Sullivan and Kelly.
Two points down and the game inside the last quarter and Cratloe were clearly concerned. They brought in Seán Collins who is still struggling to get back to full fitness following the shoulder injury which he picked up in their final group game in this competition. His presence helped them to regain the upperhand and points from Conor Ryan and Cathal McInerney tied up the game before the skillful McInerney fired over what proved to be the winning score.
Incidentally, the winners played the final period of the game without Ogie Murphy who was forced to retire with a leg injury, which he picked up when scoring the all important goal.
Barry Duggan, Ogie Murphy, Paudge Collins, Liam Markham and Cathal McInerney were prominent throughout for the winners, while Kildysart’s best were goalkeeper Liam Griffin, Michael Eustace, Keith O’Connor, Brian O’Sullivan and Ger Kelly.

Jamie Joyce, Wes De Loughrey, Michael Hawes, Barry Duggan, Ogie Murphy, Barry Gleeson, Seán Chaplin, Kevin Browne, Joseph O’Connor, Paudge Collins, Conor Ryan, Seán Hynan, Cathal McInerney, Padraig Chaplin, Liam Markham.
Subs: Dean De Loughrey for Hynan; Brian Phelan for Murphy (inj); Seán Collins for K Browne.
Scorers: Ogie Murphy (1-0), Cathal McInerney (0-3), Liam Markham (0-2), Kevin Browne, Conor Ryan and Paudge Collins (0-1) each.
Kildysart: Liam Griffin, John Guinnane, Keith O’Connor, Tommy Eustace, Cian Cleary, Niall O’Connor, Michael Eustace, Shane McNeilis, John Clancy, David Clancy, Brian O’Sullivan, Christy Clancy, Ger Kelly, Eoin Cleary, Noel O’Grady.
Subs: Damian Hill for E Cleary; Niall Guinnane for J Clancy; Brendan Casey for C Clancy; David McMahon for T Eustace.
Scorers: Ger Kelly (0-5, three frees); Brian O’Sullivan (0-3); Noel O’Grady and Christy Clancy (0-1) each.


Referee: Damian Fox, Wolfe Tones.

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