St Senan’s 4-11 Wolfe Tones 3-7
THE final scoreline shows a margin of seven points in the first of the Clare senior football championship quarter-finals played last Saturday in brilliant sunshine. However, it is not an accurate reflection of what was a very closely contested tie at Hennessy Park in Miltown.
The seasiders may just about have deserved their victory on a day when there were a couple of major talking points, not least the sending off of Frank Lohan with 17 minutes remaining.
Things had got a little heated a couple of minutes before this incident, which happened while referee Michael McGann was booking Wolfe Tones defender Chris Dunning.
Having consulted with his umpires, the Michael Cusack’s official showed a red card to Lohan, who was causing a lot of problems for the winner’s defence.
The decision drew an angry reaction from Wolfe Tones supporters and a couple made their views known to the match official as he made his way to the dressing room after the final whistle.
It looked to be all over for the Shannon men when Lohan was dismissed as they were five points down but they responded impressively.
The introduction of Declan O’Rourke proved a huge boost and helped them cause problems for the Kilkee defence. Points from Dunning and Kevin Cahill had the margin down to three with 10 minutes to go.
Then the game’s top scorer, Gary Leahy, broke through and crashed the ball to the corner of the net. He followed with a magnificent point and now the Shannon outfit looked to be in control and heading for a place in the semi-final.
But disaster struck with four minutes remaining. A misplaced clearance was picked up by Kilkee substitute Jack Fitzgerald. His weak left-footed effort ended up in the net after Wolfe Tones full-back Seán Brennan and goalkeeper Trevor O’Donnell got their calls mixed up. The score turned the game on its head and the seasiders piled on the pressure and added 1-2 to seal a flattering seven-point win.
The awarding of a penalty to the winners in the third minute was also a major talking point whichMichael O’Shea cooly converted to give his team the lead for the first time in the game.
The opening quarter produced four goals, two to either side. Four minutes after O’Shea’s penalty strike, Frank Lohan broke through for an excellent score.
Points from Michael O’Shea (free) and Micheál Keane had the winners back in front before Gary Leahy showed great persistence in breaking through a number of tackles to crash the ball into the net for the Shannon side’s second goal.
It was a short-lived lead as St Senan’s hit back for their second goal through Gearóid Lynch, who ran on to a Chris Williamson delivery to flick the ball past the advancing Trevor O’Donnell.
Kilkee had the better of the exchanges from here to the break and they added six points to a lone reply from the Shannon men to lead at the break, 2-8 to 2-2, after playing with the aid of a fresh wind.
Points were exchanged in the early minutes of the second half but then the Shannon men got a grip on proceedings.
An excellent point from Frank Lohan closed the gap before the dual star was dismissed. Stung by this reverse, the Shannon men piled on the pressure and struck for points from Chris Dunning and Kevin Cahill.
Nine minutes from time, Kilkee supporters went silent when Gary Leahy went past a number of defenders before dispatching the ball to the corner of the net. He followed with a superb point to put his side into the lead.
With defeat staring them in the face, Kilkee introduced Dara Kelly and his presence was to make a huge difference.
Fitzgerald’s goal came with five minutes remaining and from here to the finish, Kilkee controlled matters.
St Senan’s: Kevin Harte; Christy Kirwin, Brian Clancy, Thomas Galvin; Micheál Keane, David Russell, Patrick Hennessy; Kevin Larkin, Derek De Loughrey; Noel O’Shea, Michael O’Shea, Chris
Williamson; Gearóid Lynch, Barry Harte, Conor King.
Subs: Brendan Smith for Hennessy (half time); Jack Fitzgerald for Williamson (50 minutes); Dara Kelly for De Loughrey (52 minutes).
Scorers: Michael O’Shea (1-5), 1-0 penalty, 0-4 frees; Gearóid Lynch (2-0); Jack Fitzgerald (1-0); Micheál Keane, Conor King (0-2) each; Chris Williamson, Kevin Larkin (0-1) each.
Frees: 14; Wides: 5; 45s: 1
“We got a lucky goal near the end. We were lucky enough to have the extra man.” Kieran Marrinan, Kilkee
Wolfe Tones: Trevor O’Donnell; Alan Downes, Seán Brennan, Chris Dunning; Brendan Hughes, Brian O’Connell, Stephen McInerney; Johnnie Bridges, Patsy Keyes; Barry Murphy, Frank Lohan, Declan Collins; Terry Duggan, Gary Leahy, Kevin Cahill.
Subs: Daniel Gallery for Collins (half time); Eoin Danagher for McInerney (40 minutes); Declan O’Rourke for Murphy (46 minutes); Mark Regan for Duggan (56 minutes).
Scorers: Gary Leahy (2-3), 0-2 frees; Frank Lohan (1-1); Kevin Cahill (0-2); Chris Dunning (0-1).
Frees: 15; Wides: 5.
Bookings: Chris Dunning (42 minutes); Patsy Keyes (46 minutes).
Sent off: Frank Lohan 43 minutes.
“We made one mistake and were punished for it. It’s heartbreaking. The sending off was very harsh.” Brendan Reidy, Wolfe Tones
Referee: Michael McGann, Michael Cusack’s