IT was an historic occasion last Sunday evening as Kilmurry Ibrickane secured their second successive championship by defeating neighbours Miltown in the Clare Ladies Football Intermediate Championship final in Doonbeg. It means they will play senior football for 2014.
The foundations for Kilmurry’s win were laid through 15-year-old full-forward Chloe Moloney, who finished the evening with eight points to her name.
Down the other end, Kilmurry’s custodian, Melissa McCarthy, had an excellent game producing numerous high-quality saves over the hour, which saw her catch four balls from underneath her own crossbar.
Kilmurry opened the scoring through centre-forward Karen Galvin but Miltown hit back with points from Laura Rynne and Niamh Coyne. A yellow card for Miltown’s Jean Talty saw a period of dominance for Kilmurry, where the long deliveries into the Killmurry forward line paid rich dividends as they led 0-6 to 0-3 after 20 minutes.
During this period, Moloney (twice) and Ciara Hickey were denied three clear-cut goal opportunities.
However, Miltown weathered the Kilmurry storm and, after a brace of Michelle Macaw points, they only trailed 0-6 to 0-4 at the break.
If Kilmurry were wasteful in the first half, the same can’t be said of their second-half performance. It began almost from the throw-in as a brilliant 40-yard run from Chloe Moloney ended with win-forward Becky Mahon fisting to the net to give the Kilmurry girls a four-point advantage.
Further raids up the field saw Kilmurry stretch their lead, 1-11 to 0-8, inside the final 10 minutes, while Miltown kept in touch through points from McCaw and Sinéad Sexton.
Kilmurry led by six with five minutes of normal time to play but through the hard work of former county players Sandra Malone and Niamh Coyne, Miltown clawed their way back into the game.
They finally found momentum at this late stage with points from Katie Curtin and Sinéad Sexton.
However, they never got the goal they were looking for as a defence marshalled by 14-year-olds Lauren McCarthy and Rebecca Doohan held firm, along with the excellent goalkeeping of Melissa McCarthy.
While Miltown had good performances from Sinéad Sexton, Sandra Malone, Laura Rynne, Niamh Coyne and captain Michelle McCaw, they really only came to life in the final 10 minutes.
For much of the contest, Miltown played second fiddle to a Kilmurry team performance that was backboned by the excellence of their backline in which Audrey Cahill and Niamh Sexton shone.
The midfield trio of trio of Bernie McGuire, Dympna O’Dwyer and Maeve Foley got through Trojan work, while upfront Ciara Hickey, Karen Galvin, Becky Mahon supported the excellent Chloe Moloney.
Kilmurry-Ibrickane: Melissa McCarthy, Audrey Cahill, Lauren McCarthy, Niamh Sexton, Maura Garvey, Rebecca Doohan, Sharon Sexton, Maeve Foley, Dympna O’Dwyer, Becky Mahon, Edel Lynch (capt), Ciara McCarthy, Karen Galvin, Chloe Moloney, Bernie McGuire, Leanne Meaney, Áine Cunningham, Teresa Morrissey, Eimear Lynch, Shauna Healy, Gabrielle McCarthy, Ciara Hickey, Fiona O’Neill and Karen Coughlan.
Miltown: Siobhán Talty, Helen Flanagan, Ciara Burke, Claire Curtin; Jean Talty, Katie Curtin, Laoise O’Malley, Sandra Malone, Tara Rynne, Marie Lenihan, Michelle McCaw (capt), Laura Rynne, Eimear Considine, Niamh Coyne and Sinéad Sexton.