Joseph’s need extra-time to see off Rathgormack

Joseph’s need extra-time to see off Rathgormack
Cormac Murray, St Joseph’s, tries to break past Rathgormack’s Conor Walsh in the Munster Club SFC semi-final yesterday. Rathgormack managed to force extra-time despite having Cathal Crouch sent off, but could not match St Joseph’s after being restored to 15 men. Picture: Eamon Ward.

Extra-time was needed to separate the sides in Miltown Malbay yesterday in what was a tense quarter-final of the Munster Club Senior Football Championship.

It took extra time in Miltown Malbay yesterday, to separate the sides in the quarter-final of the Munster club Senior football championship. Eventually local side St Joseph’s emerged victorious after 80 minutes of a highly competitive and entertaining contestYoung c, corner-forward Cormac Murray proving his class with by scoring a pair of valuable points in extra time.

But Rathgormac must be commended for their part in the game that kept the crowd of 1,816 on their toes right up until the final whistle.

In the opening half, Miltown got the scoring off to an early start with a right- footed point by Kieran Malone in the first minute. Cormac Murray was in for a goal chance moments later, but his shot was saved by keeper Padraig Hunt. Jason Curry landed Rathgormack’s first point of the day from a thirty metre 30m free after team captain Curry was fouled in possession.

The sides were level at three points apiece by the 13th minute with Eoin Cleary kicking two for Miltown while the Waterford champions benefitted from another pointed free by Curry and a fine effort from play by Robbie Flynn.

Kieran Malone, who was employed in a sweeper role in the opening half, kicked Joseph’s in front at the end of the first quarter. James Power and Curry, once more, overturned the lead before Eoin Cleary grabbed the game’s only goal for the hosts.

A long ball out of defence by Seanie Malone found Cleary and the ace marksman made no mistake from close range. Conor Murray pulled a point back for Rathgormack before the break, to leave Miltown 1-4 to 0-6 ahead at the whistle.

Kieran Malone, and Jason Curry from play, exchanged points early in the second half. Curry landed a big free in the 40th minute to tie things up before his side was reduced to 14 when defender Cathal Crouch was dismissed for a second yellow-card offence.

It was neck-and-neck from then until full time with Curry levelling matters close to full time the whistle with a free from about 35m out to send the tie into extra time.

Restored to 15 for the two 10-minute periods of extra time, it was expected that Rathgormack would have the edge, but instead it was Milton who took up the running.

Eoin Cleary and Cormac Murray (2) put three between them at half time in extra time and when Kierna Malone split the posts early in the second period, Miltown had one foot in the semi-finals. Jason Curry did pull back a score for the visitors but it was to be in vain, as the hosts claimed a three-point victory.

“It was a serious battle. For heart and commitment both teams left nothing on the pitch,” said St Joseph’s manager David O’Brien after the game.

“They gave it everything they had.”

When asked about not being able to put Rathgormack away when reduced to 14, O’Brien said:had this to say. “They (Rathgormack) do like to bring back people behind the ball, so it probably doesn’t make a lot of difference when you are down to 14. In extra time we got a couple of points and they had to press up. In fairness to Cormac (Murray), he won every single ball that went in to him today. He is his own toughest critic a lot of the time, but he was very good today.”

Rathgormack manager Ger Power the was reasonably upbeat moments after full time, saying: “We are very proud of the lads today. We’ve been very proud of them all year. They’ve made great progress over the last four years. We know we have a good bunch of lads. We know we are making progress, every game and every year.”

Scorers for St Joseph’s: E Cleary (1-5, 1f), K Malone (0-4), C Murray (0-2).

Scorers for Rathgormack: J Curry (0-7, 5f), C Murray (0-2), R Flynn (0-1).

ST JOSEPH’S: S O’Brien, E O’Gorman, S Malone, E O’Brien, G Curtin, Gordon Kelly (C), A McGuane; O Looney, C Cleary, M Murray, E Cleary, K Malone, B Curtin, E C Murray, Graham Kelly.

Subs: E Reidy for M Murray (h/t), E Curtin for Graham Kelly (40), M Murray for E Curtin inj. (53), J O’Connor for Gordon Kelly B/C (70), E Fox for Looney (78).

RATHGORMACK: P Hunt, C Crouch, C Walsh, L Connolly, W Hahessy, T Walsh, R Flynn, M Curry (Capt.) J Curry, J Power, S Curry, B Power, C Murray, J Gleeson, P Drohan.

Subs: John Kirwan for Drohan (h/t), R Cahill for Connolly (53), J Hickey for Flynn (70), R Flynn for T Walsh (77), James Kirwan for J Power (78).

Referee: D Murnane (Cork)

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