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Coughlan shocked at first minute red card

Kilmurry Ibrickane captain Enda Coughlan was the primary beneficiary of Brian Mulligan’s first-minute sending off. The All-Ireland finalists’ centre-back became the loose man and he took immediate advantage, rampaging up field and kicking an inspirational third-minute point.
“It was a hard call to make for the ref, very early on in the game,” Coughlan said of Mulligan’s red card.
“It was a high tackle but if it got a yellow card you wouldn’t have heard too many roaring on our behalf. When he walked it was a bit of a shock to all of us,” he acknowledged.
The county and Munster championship-winning captain felt that Kilmurry learned from their own indiscipline in the 2005 All-Ireland semi-final. They had two men dismissed that day in Ballinasloe, when they lost to Ballina.
“We know how they feel. We lost our discipline in 2005 and we lost the game. We learned from that. They, unfortunately, lost their discipline today,” he said.
Kilmurry’s 1-4 to 0-3 quarter-final win over Tír Chonaill Gaels capped a memorable social weekend for the club supporters in London, even if the football wasn’t inspiring. Still, it helped to sharpen Kilmurry for Portlaoise.
“Definitely. It got the cobwebs out. But look at the surface here and look at the surface in London. There’s a big difference,” Coughlan noted.
It was a surface that the Kilmurry attackers thrived in. 
“A lot of forwards have been getting a lot of criticism all year. They still outscored every other team they’ve played. We’re marking them at training every night. We know they have quality and that’s why maybe our backs are defending as well because you’re up against a good-quality forward in training every night,” the Clare inter-county man noted.
The Declan Callinan factor was a huge motivation for Kilmurry. They were resolute in their resolve to win for their suspended wing-back.
“He has given his life to Kilmurry. He’s been there for 10 or 12 years now. These video things, I don’t know how they work but unfortunately he got caught and missed today. But thankfully, we’re after giving him another day out and he’ll be back raring to go the next day,” Coughlan commented.
Part of him was disbelieving that Kilmurry had qualified for the All-Ireland final but when Coughlan thought about it, he wasn’t that surprised.
“It’s an unbelievable feeling but we believed in ourselves all week. A lot of people didn’t give us a chance but when you’ve a group of players like these boys, they don’t care who’s put up in front of them, they’ll give it their best. As I said all along, you need a bit of luck. But maybe we’re not always lucky, maybe there was an element of good football in it too,” he said.
Now that they’re in Croke Park though, Kilmurry wants it all.
“There’s no point in getting to finals if you don’t win them. It’s going to be great getting to Croke Park but there’s no point in going up there and losing. We’ll get a look at our opponents next week. But we’re there now and thankfully we’re going to Dublin,” the Kilmurry Ibrickane number six concluded.

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