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Miltown crash out of Munster club

Clonmel Commercials 1-13 Miltown, St Josephs 0-3

Miltown St Josephs’ dream of contesting this season’s Munster senior club football championship final was well and truly shattered at Clonmel Sportsfield on Sunday afternoon.

Despite playing against a strong wind, the home side dominated the opening half and were well on their way to the final where they will play Nemo Rangers from Cork, by half time at which stage the winners were 0-8 to 0-1 in front with the assistance of the wind to come.

From the throw in, the home side let it be known that they would not be easily beaten as they had two points on the board before the game had reached the tenth minute. By this time the visitors were forced into their first change with Colin Hehir called in to replace the injured Damian Lafferty.

It was 0-8 to 0-0 before Miltown opened their account with what was their only score of the half, an Eoin Cleary point.

For the second half, the Clare champions introduced Graham Kelly and his drive certainly inspired the visitors to a more determined display. They had the better of matters in the first ten minutes of the half but all they could manage was a point from full back Seanie Malone.

Then, in the space of a minute, their hopes of victory took a massive blow as Clonmel landed a Seamus Kennedy point before inter county man Michael Quinlivan struck for the game’s only goal, the first time that the Miltown defence was breached in the championship this season.

Quinlivan was black carded at the turn of the final quarter but the home side had control of the tie and while Miltown battled to the end, there can be no disputing the end result, which concluded a most disappointing weekend for Clare teams in provincial action

On Saturday, intermediate champions Corofin suffered a hammering from St Mary’s of Kerry while the Munster camogie final was also very disappointing for Clare champions, Newmarket, who went under to favourites Milford on a scoreline of 5-18 to 1-9. This game was played at Ballyagran less than 24 hours after the original fixture was cancelled at Kilmallock.

Clare’s only hopes of provincial honours now rest with Wolfe Tones who play the intermediate hurling final against Newcestown from Cork next Sunday at a neutral venue to be confirmed and Coolmeen who meet Modeligo from Waterford in the Munster junior fooball semi-final next Saturday in Cooraclare.

 Seamus Hayes

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