Kilrush 1-8 St Joseph’s 0-6
Although they still have plenty of scope for improvement, Kilrush have qualified for the semi-final of the Clare senior football championship for the first time since 2003. They will meet Kilkee on Saturday week for a place in next month’s county final. In normal circumstances a Kilrush v Kilkee tie has potential for plenty of incident but the fact that the clubs met in the 2003 decider adds further attraction to their impending meeting.
Kilrush were significantly better than Miltown in last Saturday’s quarter-final in Cooraclare. Miltown only managed a single score from open play and Joe Curtin’s early second half score was his team’s only point of the half.
With Chris Dixon tying down Dessie Molohan, who was a peripheral figure throughout the hour, Miltown offered hardly any attacking threat. The gamble of playing Kevin Burke at full forward didn’t work as his movement or runs never troubled Kilrush full back Martin Griffin.
Despite not scoring from play, Miltown trailed by just two points, 1-4 to 0-5, at half-time.
Molohan and Eoin Curtin scored their first half total from dead balls.
Rory O’Connor, who was Kilrush’s liveliest forward, buried the winner’s goal in the third minute of the opening half. A surging Chris Dixon run from corner-back, culminated with a high diagonal ball to Jim Young at full-forward. O’Connor pounced on the break before slotting home.
This policy paid off for Kilrush several times as Miltown struggled in the air in their full back line.
Miltown goalkeeper Conor O’Loughlin saved well from Young in the 12th minute. Another break off Young placed Peadar McMahon for Kilrush’s first point before McMahon pointed a free, won by Young.
In the closing minutes of the first half Kilrush tacked on two points from O’Connor, with thanks to a Paddy Clancy pass and Brendan Crowley, who benefited from yet another break off Jim Young.
The winners outscored Miltown by 0-4 to 0-1 in the second half.
McMahon tapped over the first of Kilrush’s second half total after Young was fouled, before adding another after O’Connor won a free.
Brendan Crowley kicked his second score from play after Donal O’Sullivan won a Miltown kickout, while Con O’Brien fired over an excellent point, attacking from wing-back, two minutes from full-time.
Tony Burke was solid in goals for Kilrush, while Dixon again excelled at corner-back. Paddy Clancy delivered a high work rate in the middle of the field, while O’Connor, Crowley and especially Jim Young were the pick of the Kilrush attack.
On reflection they will need much more of an input from their half forward line, which improved after half time but was not much of a factor before that.
Kilrush were not happy with referee Michael Talty’s display. A few tight calls did go against the town team, including a disallowed goal after Peadar McMahon had a free given against him for pushing. McMahon had already been yellow carded but was just black carded after questioning the decision.
However Kilrush were awarded 22 of the 49 frees given.
Kilrush: Tony Burke, Chris Dixon, Martin Griffin, Danny Lynch, Con O’Brien, John Hayes, Matthew Moloney; Donal O’Sullivan, Paddy Clancy; Padjoe McGrath, Brendan Crowley, Alan Daly, Rory O’Connor, Peadar McMahon, Jim Young.
Subs: Stephen Sweeney for Padjoe McGrath (injured), Eoghan O’Kelly for Paddy Clancy, Eoin Fitzgerald for Rory O’Connor, Cathal Lyons for Stephen Sweeney (injured).
Scorers: Peadar McMahon 0-4, (0-3f), Rory O’Connor 1-1, Brendan Crowley 0-2, Con O’Brien 0-1
Wides: 12 Frees won: 22 45s: 1
Yellow cards: Peadar McMahon
“The performance wasn’t good enough but we were very happy with the result. We’ve a massive game the next day against Kilkee. We’ll have to improve an awful lot to even stay with them. They are in their fourth successive semi-final and we’ve a very young team.” Aidan Daly-Kilrush manager
Miltown: Conor O’Loughlin, Enda Malone, Graham Kelly, Enda O’Gorman, Brian Curtin, Gordon Kelly, Michael Hehir; Cathal Lafferty, Michael Neylon; David Talty, Seán O’Connell, Eoin Curtin, Dessie Molohan, Kevin Burke, Seánie Malone.
Subs: Michael Barry for Michael Neylon, Joe Curtin for David Talty, Michael Neylon for Seán O’Connell.
Scorers: Dessie Molohan 0-4, (0-3f, 1 ’45), Joe Curtin 0-1, Eoin Curtin 0-1f
Wides: 8 Frees won: 27 45s: 1
Yellow cards: Dessie Molohan, Graham Kelly
“The bottom line is we just didn’t turn up on the day and didn’t perform. Maybe they were unfamiliar to this situation. It’ll be someone else’s problem next year.” James Healy, Miltown manager
Referee: Michael Talty (Miltown).