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Mary Immaculate, Lisdoonvarna players celebrate following their win over Ennistymon CBS in the Clare Colleges Senior Football final at Corofin. Photographs by John Kelly.

Clare title for Lisdoonvarna

Mary Immaculate College, Lisdoonvarna 3-9 Ennistymon CBS 2-9

North Clare neighbours and rivals Mary Immaculate College Lisdoonvarna and Ennistymon CBS produced a most entertaining hour’s football at a well appointed Corofin on Friday morning when they clashed in the final of the Clare colleges senior football championship.

[doptg id=”67″]When Pat Cosgrove sounded the final whistle, Mary Immaculate College were deservingly in front of their neighbours who went into the game as favourites.

Having hit 2-5 without reply in a fifteen minute spell in the opening half, Ennistymon CBS looked set to justify favouritism as they opened an eight point lead. However, the Lisdoonvarna outfit put in a strong finish to the half hitting 2-1 in the closing five minutes to trail by just the minimum with wind advantage to come.

Ennistymon will point to missed chances in the opening half as a reason for this loss and while it was certainly a factor, the winners were the better balanced side overall with six players sharing in their final tally. Just three of the Ennistymon team managed to get on the scoresheet with Keelan Sexton the only member of their forward division to score. Indeed Clare senior football panellists, Sexton and Darren Nagle scored all but a point of Ennistymon’s total on the day.

This was Sexton’s third game in as many days. He captained the Clare minors on Wednesday evening when they suffered a heartbreaking one point loss to Tipperary in the Munster semi-final while, on Thursday evening he played the first half in Clare’s senior challenge game with Dublin at Miltown. Nagle played for Clare on Thursday also.

Two Padraic Kelly points saw the Lisdoonvarna side take an early lead in the Clare final before Sexton opened Ennistymon’s account. They took the lead in the twelfth minute when Nagle broke through for a fine goal. Two Sexton frees at either side of a Simon Ralph point from play pushed Ennistymon five clear before Nagle struck for their second goal and things didn’t look good for the eventual winners.

A Joseph McGann goal gave the Lisdoonvarna school hope and they piled on the pressure which resulted in a Colm O’Brien point and an Alan Sweeney goal which came with the last action of the half to leave the score at 2-4 to 2-3 in favour of Ennistymon.

Just over a minute after the resumption of play Joseph McGann had the teams level and a minute later he struck again and his second goal gave the team a lead they would hold to the finish.

Ennistymon CBS cut the margin to the minimum three times in the second half but they never managed to get back on terms and Lisdoonvarna emerged a deserving winners helped by impressive performances from Cronan Howley, Killian Droney, James Howard, Alan Sweeney and Joseph McGann.

Adam and Simon Ralph, Keelan Sexton and Darren Nagle did best for Ennistymon CBS.

***After the game, Clare GAA officer Michael O’Neill presented the cup to the winning captain, Cronan Howley.

Mary Immaculate College, Lisdoonvarna;–Tristan O’Callaghan (St. Breckans); Simon Keane (Kilfenora), Evan Barrett (St. Breckans) Cathal Guerin (St. Breckans); Killian Droney, (Ml Cusacks), Cronan Howley (Kilfenora), Cian Garrihy (St. Breckans); James Howard (Ballyvaughan) 0-1, Jonah Culligan (Ballyvaughan); Colm O’Brien (St. Breckans) 0-1, Rohan Danaher (St. Breckans ) 0-1, Alan Sweeney (St. Breckans) 1-2; Ronan McCormack (Kilfenora), Joseph McGann (St. Breckans) 2-2 Padraic Kelly (St. Breckans) 0-2;

Subs—Aaron O’Brien (St. Breckans) for Guerin; Ryan Burke (St. Breckans) for Kelly;

Ennistymon CBS;–Aidan Collins (Corofin); Dean O’Loughlin (Corofin), Cathal Frawley (Ennistymon), Niall McCannon (Kilmurry-Ib); Killian O’Flaherty (Kilmurry-Ib), Adam Ralph (Ennistymon), Conor O’Loughlin (Corofin); Simon Ralph (Ennistymon) 0-1, Darren Nagle (Liscannor) 2-0; Ronan Murrphy (Kilmurry-Ib), Keelan Sexton (Kilmurry-Ib) 0-8, Sean Ryan (Ennistymon); Michael Davenport (Ennistymon), Sean Garrihy (Ennistymon), Shane Doyle (Ennistymon);

Sub—Cian Crowe (Ennistymon) for Murrihy;

Referee—Pat Cosgrove, Corofin;

By Seamus Hayes


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