They surrendered a match-winning advantage in the closing quarter and eventually settled for a replay at the same venue next Sunday.
The Nire came back from the dead to earn a second bite at the cherry in a nail-biting finish to an exciting final, but no Stradbally fan could deny them their hard-earned reprieve.
A goal to the good at the interval, 1-2 to 0-2, when their inspirational captain Ger Power brilliantly rattled the Nire net with the penultimate kick of the first-half, the champions eased five points clear by the 42nd minute.
The Nire summoned fresh reserves, and in a closing quarter which they almost totally dominated and held Stradbally scoreless, it was they who came closest to the winning post.
Alan Lawlor proved to be the Nire’s saviour, fitting too because he was their only scorer over the hour.
: Stradbally: G. Power (1-1); N. Curran (0-2); M. Walsh, S. Cunningham (0-1) each. Nire: A. Lawlor (0-8, 0-7 frees).
: E. Cunningham; E. Cummins, K. Coffey, T. Walsh; O. Costelloe, T. Costelloe, D. Doyle; G. Walsh, J. Hearne; J. Coffey, G. Power, S. Cunningham; N. Curran, M. Walsh, S. Lannon.
: M. Doocey; J. Walsh, D. Ryan, M. Byrne; L. Lawlor, A. O'Gorman, L. Walsh; A. Ryan, M. Walsh; A. Lawlor, S. Walsh, C. Power; B. Wall, P. Walsh, J. Moore. Subs: T. O'Gorman for A. O'Gorman (inj); G. Walsh for A. Ryan (inj).
: S. Flynn (Fenor).
FULL forward Johnny Daly showed marvellous composure in pointing two injury time frees to give Kilmurry Ibrickane a thrilling victory over Éire Óg in yesterday’s Clare SFC final replay at Cusack Park.
The losers staged a remarkable recovery, overturning a seven point deficit to draw level on the hour. But their indiscipline in the four minutes of added time meant the Quilty side collected their fifth title, their first since 2002.
The champions showed a marked improvement from the drawn tie and displayed determination which Éire Óg couldn’t match. Despite surrendering a sizeable lead, they remained calm in the final minutes, forcing their opponents into conceding frees within Daly’s range.
: Kilmurry: J. Daly 0-5 (0-2 frees); E. Coughlan 1-0; M. O’Dwyer 0-2; M. O’Connor 0-1. Éire Óg: B. Ryan, E. Glynn (0-1 free) 0-2 each; M. Whelan, C. Shannon, P. Cosgrove, S. O’Meara (free), B. Fitzpatrick 0-1 each.
: D. O’Brien; B. Moloney, J. O’Connor, E. Talty; D. Callanan, V. Talty, O. O’Dwyer; P. O’Dwyer, M. Cahill; P. O’Dwyer, E. Coughlan, S. Hickey; M. Hogan, J. Daly, M. O’Dwyer.
: M. O’Connor S. Hickey; B. O’Neill for M. Hogan; M. Hogan for E. Talty.
: J. Hanrahan; A. Malone, B. Malone, M. O’Regan; D. Lyne, T. McNamara, M. Kelly; S. Daniels, P. Cosgrove; C. Shannon, E. Coughlan, M. Whelan; E. Glynn, S. O’Meara, D. Monaghan. Subs. N. Hogan for Lyne; P. Fitzpatrick for Whelan.
: D. Timmons.