Forde and Vaughan inspire the champions

CHAMPIONS Crusheen booked a date against Sixmilebridge in the Clare SHC final following an impressive semi-final display at Cusack Park, Ennis yesterday.

Two early second-half goals ended Kilmaley’s dream on a day when the Crusheen defence provided the foundation for victory. Cian Dillon was inspirational at centre-back while his brother Cathal and Ciarán O’Doherty kept the Kilmaley attack under wraps for long spells.

Kilmaley’s Dáire Keane opened the scoring after two minutes and the sides were level on four occasions before the break. But the champions hit a purple patch in the final stages and led by three points (0-9 to 0-6) at the interval.

Crusheen upped the gears on the restart. A Cian Dillon delivery fell to captain Gerry O’Grady who flicked the ball to Fergus Kennedy. The corner-forward made no mistake from close range and fired his team 1-9 to 0-7 in front.

Minutes later Jamie Fitzgibbon had Crusheen’s second goal and with it Kilmaley’s challenge evaporated.

In form, veteran David Forde added some inspirational points as Crusheen continued to turn the screw.

The All-Ireland medallist from 1997 hit five points over the hour and further fine scores from colleagues Paddy Vaughan and Gearóid O’Donnell completed the rout.

Scorers for Crusheen: P Vaughan 0-6 (0-4f, 0-1 ‘65), D Forde 0-5, F Kennedy 1-1, J Fitzgibbon 1-0, G O’Donnell, P Meaney, Cian Dillon 0-1 each.

Scorers for Kilmaley: K Kennedy 0-6 (0-5f), C Lynch, M O’Neill (0-2) each, D Keane, J Clohessy, C Neylon (0-1) each.

CRUSHEEN: D Tuohy; J Brigdale, Cronan Dillon, A Brigdale; C O’Doherty, Cian Dillon, Cathal Dillon; P Vaughan, J Meaney; G O’Donnell, J Fitzgibbon, D Forde; P Meaney, G O’Grady (c), F Kennedy.

Sub: C O’Donnell for P Meaney (47).

KILMALEY: K Dillon; M O’Connor, A Cahill, C McGuane; N Casey, A Markham (c) C McMahon; K Kennedy, C Lynch; D Keane, D McMahon, B McMahon; N McGuane, S Hurley, C Neylon.

Subs: M O’Neill for B McMahon inj. (14), E Enright for N McGuane (39), C Clancy for Neylon (41), J Cabey for Hurley (51), J Clohessy for Casey (53).

Referee: R Hickey (Éire Óg, Ennis)

More in this section

Join us for a special evening of Cheltenham chat on Friday March 12 at 6.30pm with racing legend and Irish Examiner columnist Ruby Walsh, Irish Examiner racing correspondent Tommy Lyons, and former champion jockey and tv presenter Mick Fitzgerald, author of Better than Sex.

Sport
Newsletter

Latest news from the world of sport, along with the best in opinion from our outstanding team of sports writers

Sign up
Home Delivery
logo-ie

HOME DELIVERY SERVICE

Have the Irish Examiner delivered to your door. No delivery charge. Just pay the cover price.