O’Donovan holds his nerve (again)

Clonlara 3-11

Kilmaley 0-20

Clare SHC

Cusack Park

Kilmaley and Clonlara must meet again after an exciting draw in Saturday’s Clare SHC semi-final at Cusack Park, Ennis.

Two years ago, in the All-Ireland final at Croke Park, Domhnall O’Donovan fired over an injury time point to send Clare and Cork to a replay and on Saturday evening, he landed another sensational late equaliser to keep Clonlara in the hunt for county championship honours.

Kilmaley enjoyed the better start and led 0-5 to 0-2 after the opening quarter - but crucially they also struck seven wides in that period.

But then Clonlara clicked into gear with Darach Honan setting up O’Donovan for the game’s opening goal. Three minutes later Honan was again the provider, with Nicky O’Connell applying the finish to open a three points lead. Seeking a first title since 2004, Kilmaley were hugely reliant on free-taker Cian Moloney and his efforts meant the sides were level (0-10 to 2-4) at the break.

Brian Cahill fired Kilmaley ahead within ten seconds of the restart before points by Colm Galvin and Cathal O’Connell restored Clonlara’s lead.

Back came Kilmaley as efforts from Michael O’Neill, Cian Moloney (a free) and sub Sean Kennedy had them back ahead by the 39th minute.

Clonlara went in search of a goal and were rewarded when Nick O’Connell found Colm Galvin in space and the 2013 All-Ireland winner fired him his side’s third for a 3-6 to 0-14 lead.

At the other end Kilmaley’s Eamon Bracken had a great goal chance to snatch victory but was denied by a diving save from Ger O’Connell.

Incredibly there was still a rush of scores to come in injury time, first by Moloney, then the equaliser by Bracken and what appeared to be the winner from Padraic McNamara to put Kilmaley back in front.

However there was one last act of drama to come with that man O’Donovan’ popping over the equaliser to ensure a second day out for both sides.

Scorers for Clonlara:

D O’Donovan (1-1) N O’Connell (1-0), C Galvin (1-0), M O’Loughlin (0-3) 1 f, 1 ’65, C O’Connell (0-3), I Galvin (0-2), D Honan (0-1).

Scorers fo Kilmaley:

C Moloney (0-10) 8 f’s, D McMahon & A McGuane (0-2) each, M O’Malley, B Cahill, M O’Neill, S Kennedy, E Bracken, P McNamara (0-1) each.


G O’Connell, S O’Brien, G Kennedy, C Fennessy, N Ryan, J Conlon, O O’Brien, D O’Donovan, C Galvin, P O’Hara, C O’Donovan, C O’Connell, M O’Loughlin, N O’Connell, D Honan.


I Galvin for O’Hara (half-time), P O’Loughlin for M O’Loughlin (53).


B O’Loughlin, E Enright, C McMahon, S Talty, A McGuane, A Markham, J Clohessy, B Cahill, M O’Malley, E Bracken, M O’Neill, D Keane, P McNamara, C Moloney, D McMahon.


S Kennedy for Talty (half-time).


A Heagney (Corofin)


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