St Joseph’s end 25-year famine

St. Joseph’s, Miltown 0-13 Cooraclare 0-9: St. Joseph’s, Miltown bridged a 25 gap when capturing the Clare senior football championship title, defeating Cooraclare by four points at Cusack Park, Ennis yesterday.

Title holders for the 13th time, the men from Miltown Malbay exhibited a greater hunger throughout and were never led by a Cooraclare side, who were endeavouring to win a first county final since 1987.

St. Joseph’s led at the break by 0-8 to 0-6 at the end of an opening half that they dominated territorially and possession wise.

Miltown talisman Eoin Cleary opened the day’s account with a left footed point in the third minute. Further scores by Darragh McDonagh and man-of-the-match Kevin Keavey had them three points ahead after four minutes.

Inter-county man Rory Donnelly got Cooraclare off the mark with a point from play in the sixth, which was quickly followed by a Pearse Lillis effort to put the minimum between them.

Playing with Andrew O’Neill in a sweeper position, Cooraclare slowly got to grips with their opponents and were unlucky not goal on the quarter hour through Caoimhin Donnellan but for a timely intercept by Miltown’s Joe Curtin.

They did manage to being the deficit down to a single point (0-7 to 0-6) late in the half, before Eoin Cleary edged Joseph’s two in front with a pointed free moments before the interval.

After the break, Cooraclare who introduced 17-year-old Jack Morrissey into their attack, drew level after six minutes with points from Damien Burke and the impressive teenager.

Miltown were slow to find their range and had to wait until the 49th minute to open their account with an Eoin Cleary free. Joe Curtin, Kevin Keavey and Kieran Malone made it 0-12 to 0-8 by the 57th and when Cooraclare’s Pearse Lillis was show red for an off the ball incident, the Jack Daly Cup was on its way to Miltown. Donnelly and Cleary exchanged points as the game drifted into injury time with St. Joseph’s supporters rejoicing.

Scorers for St. Joseph’s:

E Cleary (0-4), 2 f’s, 1 pen, K Keavey (0-3), K Malone (0-2), J Curtin, E Curtin (f),D McDonagh, D Lafferty (0-1) each.

Scorers for Cooraclare:

R Donnelly (0-4) 3 f’s, P Lillis (0-2), T Downes, D Burke, J Morrissey (0-1) each.

ST. JOSEPH’S:

S O’Brien, E O’Brien, Seanie Malone, Gordon Kelly, D Lafferty, G Curtin, E O’Gorman, D McDonagh, J Meade, K Keavey, E Curtin, J Curtin, E Cleary, K Malone, B Curtin (Capt.).

Subs:

Graham Kelly for O’Gorman (39), C Hehir for Meade (49), I Sexton for G Curtin (55), Sean Malone for K Malone (60).

COORACLARE:

K Roche, D McMahon, T Donnellan, J Burke, P Lillis, F Lillis, C Marrinan (Capt.), J Downes, M Kelly, T Downes, D Burke, T Lillis, R Donnelly, C Donnellan, A O’Neill.

Subs:

S O’Donoghue for Kelly (23), J Morrissey for T Lillis (half-time), S Garry for J Dowens (44), M McMahon for C Donnellan (55), K Burke for Marrinan (59).

Referee:

J Hannan (Michael Cusacks)



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