Clare SFC: Eire Óg 2-15 Kilrush 1-6
A dominant second-half from Eire Óg saw them win the battle of the towns as they easily accounted for Kilrush in this Clare SFC opener.
Kilrush failed to score for almost half an hour of the contest as Paul Madden’s outfit laid down intentions of their championship ambitions with Gavin Cooney firing 1-9 for the winners.
Eire Óg were on top in the early stages as they reeled off 0-4 without reply in answer to Liam Madigan’s opener. A trio from Cooney along with one from Conal O’hAinifein saw them take a deserved lead, with the platform being built on midfield dominance from Ciaran Russell and Darren O’Neill. Kilrush were struggling to win their own kickout early on, but Stephen Ryan’s distribution was much improved in the closing stages of the half.
The first big moment of the half came just after the water break when Kilrush punished a loose clearance by Ciaran Russell. Gearoid O’Brien intercepted before playing through Liam Madigan, but his run was unceremoniously halted by Einne O’Connor who sent to the sinbin and a penalty awarded. Madigan slotted past Barry Ryan in the Eire Óg goal, and Kilrush led 1-3 to 0-3.
Jamie Griffin extended that lead soon after, but Kilrush failed to build on that momentum when playing against the 14 men. Points from Darren O’Neill, Aidan McGrath and two from Gavin Cooney put the Townies back into the lead just before the break, as they led 0-8 to 1-4. O’Neill’s point was a questionable one, with a mark being awarded by referee Ferghal Gray despite the initial delivery appearing to have come from within the 45m line.
By the time the next waterbreak arrived, the result was beyond doubt as Eire Óg reeled off 1-4 without reply, capped off with Philip Talty’s goal. Gavin Cooney sent over three unanswered scores along with a fine effort from Mark McInerney and as the final quarter was in sight, they were 1-12 to 1-4 clear.
Cooney added another before Billy Clancy notched a first score for Kilrush since the 24th minute, but O’Neill was quick to reply. Kilrush moved goalkeeper Stephen Ryan to the edge of the other square late on to try and salvage late scores but they did not materialise.
Cooney’s goal late on was the icing on the cake as Eire Óg ran out convincing winners.
Eire Óg: Barry Ryan; Niall McMahon, Einne O’Connor, Cathal Darcy; Aidan McGrath, Conal O’hAinifein, Conor O’Halloran; Ciaran Russell, Darren O’Neill; Ronan Lanigan, Ikem Igweru, Liam Corry; Philip Talty, Gavin Cooney, Mark McInerney.
Subs: Tadgh Connellan for Lanigan, David McNamara for Corry, Shane Daniels for Talty, Michael Moloney for Russell.
Scorers: Gavin Cooney (1-9, 4f), Philip Talty (1-0), Mark McInerney (0-2), Darren O’Neill (0-2), Aidan McGrath and Conal O hAinifein (0-1 each).
Kilrush: Stephen Ryan; Sean Purtill, Fiachra Crowley, Micheal Shannon; Niall Brennan, Callum Bond, Conor Bolton; Gearoid O’Brien, Mark Shannon; Dean Neary, Jamie Griffin, Keith Crowley; Ross Phelan, Billy Clancy, Liam Madigan.
Subs: Ray Glynn for Brennan, Neil Culllinan for Phelan, Filip Rzymek for Griffin
Scorers: Liam Madigan (1-3, 1-0 pen), Jamie Griffin, Gearoid O’Brien and Billy Clancy (0-1 each)