After a doughty, defensive, first half display, after which they led 0-6 to 0-4, the men from the west opened up in the second period, to carve through a disappointing Cratloe outfit.
Killmurry manager Aidan Moloney remarked after the game: “Whereas we had a bit of a wind in the first half, it was minimal and I don’t think it affected the game much. I think our backs really had shut the game down. It took us a while to get the hang of things but as the game went on we kept possession better and there’s no doubt we got the scores as a reward.”
In the opening half, defences dominated and scores were at a premium. Early points by Keelan Sexton and Michael Hogan got Kilmurry off to a good start and they were never lead at any point. David Collins was potentially Cratloe’s most dangerous forward but he was well marshalled by Kilmurry defender Darren Hickey. In that opening period, the southeast Clare side could only muster a single point from play, from wing-back Martin Ógie Murphy, a testament to the vigilance of the Kilmurry defensive unit.
After half time, the 2012 champions pushed on and within ten minutes of the restart had notched 1-2 without reply. Martin McMahon grabbed the game’s first goal on 39 and moments later a Mark McCarthy point put the ‘Bricks’ 1-8 to 0-4 in front.
Their attack, lead by the impressive Keelan Sexton, exerted pressure and picked off some good scores and when veteran sub Johnny Daly was pulled down in possession in injury-time, Sexton duly dispatched the resultant penalty to the Cratloe net.
Colm Collins, the Cratloe manager, was a dejected figure: “There’s no question, Kilmurry were by far the better team on the day. We didn’t show up, we didn’t play well and there’s no doubt about it, Kilmurry deserved the win.”
K Sexton (1-4, 1 free, 1-0 pen); M McMahon (1-0); I McInerney (frees), S Hickey, M McCarthy (0-2 each); P O’Dwyer, M O’Dwyer, M Hogan (0-1 each)
C McInerney (0-4, 3 frees); M Murphy (0-1); S Collins (0-1 free)
I McInerney, M McMahon, D Hickey, M Kileen, D Sexton, C Morissey, D Callinan, M McCarthy, K King, M O’Dwyer, S Hickey, M Hogan,
K Sexton, P O’Dwyer, E Coughlan.
N Downes for Callinan (42), N Hickey for Downes inj. (48), E Talty for Morissey (56), J Daly for M O’Dwyer (69).
P DeLoughrey (Capt.),S Chaplin, B Duggan, L Markham, M Ógie Murphy, M Hawes, E Boyce, C Ryan, J Galvin, A McFaddan, S Collins, S Gleeson, C McInerney, P Collins, D Collins.
C Cooney for McFaddan inj., (13), S McHugh for Gleeson (41).
P Cosgrove (Corofin)