Football – Munster Senior Semi-Final
Kerry 1-17 Clare 1-13
At Cusack Park, Ennis
CLARE’S hopes of a first championship victory over Kerry in Cusack Park in 65 years perished on Sunday afternoon when the 36 times All-Ireland champions greater forward craft got them over the line in the second half.
Hope floated for Clare after a great first half display saw them lead by 1-8 to 1-7, but on the turnover it was Kerry who cranked up their game in a big way to help them run out comfortable four-point winners.
It was Kerry’s big names that eventually tilted the balance in their favour, with Declan O’Sullivan and Bryan Sheehan grabbing crucial second half scores, while the threat posed by Paul Geaney all through the contest was also decisive as they eventually over-powered Clare.
Clare were nothing if not brave, with their first half performance when they bounced back from the concession of a eighth minute goal to corner-back Paul Murphy being magnificent as they put it up to the bluebloods in a big way.
A brilliant goal on 18 minutes, created by dual star Padraic Collins and finished by Shane McGrath really ignited the Clare challenge as they took the game to a Kerry team that included six championship debutants in its ranks.
That goal helped Clare into a 1-5 to 1-2 lead and though they shipped the next three scores to Declan O’Sullivan, Paul Geaney and Anthony Maher, they still showed great fortitude to carve out a 1-8 to 1-7 interval lead thanks to two late points from David Tubridy.
However, cometh the second half it was Kerry that produced the goods, outscoring Clare by double scores – 0-10 to 0-5 to ease home to a final date against Cork in two weeks time.
Three points inside the first seven minutes helped Kerry into a 1-10 to 1-8 – thereafter they were never headed as they controlled matters in the second half.
Paul Geaney’s sixth point of the game moved them five clear entering the last ten minutes and was added to by Barry John Keane before a late rally yielded points from Eoin Cleary and David Tubridy when it was goals they needed to pull the game out of the fire.
Joe Hayes (Lissycasey), Dean Ryan (Éire Óg), Kevin Harnett (Meelick), Martin McMahon (Kilmurry Ibrickane), Shane Hickey (Kilmurry Ibrickane), Gordon Kelly (St Joseph’s Miltown), Ciaran Russell (Éire Óg), Gary Brennan (Clondegad), Shane Brennan (Clondegad) (0-1), Sean Collins (Cratloe) (0-1), Padraic Collins (Cratloe), Shane McGrath (Thomas Davis) (1-2), Martin O’Leary (Kilmihil) (0-1f), David Tubridy (Doonbeg) (0-4, 2f), Enda Coughlan (Kilmurry Ibrickane) (0-2). Subs Jamie Malone (Corofin) for Hickey B/C, Rory Donnelly (Cooraclare) (0-1) for O’Leary, Shane McNelis (Kildysart) for Harnett, Cathal O’Connor (Coolmeen) for Shane Brennan, Eoin Cleary (St Joseph’s Miltown) (0-1) for Coughlan,
Brian Kelly (Killarney Legion), Paul Murphy (Rathmore) (1-0), Marc Ó Sé (An Ghaeltacht), Shane Enright (Tarbert), Peter Crowley (Laune Rangers), Killian Young (Renard), Fionn Fitzgerald (Dr Crokes) Capt., Anthony Maher (Duagh) (0-1), David Moran (Kerins O’Rahillys), Darran O’Sullivan (Glenbeigh/Glencar), Bryan Sheehan (St Mary’s Caherciveen) (0-4, 1f), Michael Geaney (Dingle) (0-1), Stephen O’Brien (Kenmare) (0-2), Declan O’Sullivan (Dromid Pearses) (0-2, 1f) Paul Geaney (Dingle) (0-6). Subs Aidan O’Mahony (Rathmore) for Moran, Donncha Walsh (Cromane) for Darran O’Sullivan, Jonathon Lyne (Killarney Legion) for Michael Geaney, Barry John Keane (Kerins O’Rahillys (0-1) for O’Brien, Kieran Donaghy (Austin Stacks) for Paul Geaney, Pa Kilkenny (Glenbeigh-Glencar) for Fitzgerald.
David Gough (Meath)