Cratloe (@1.66) vs Kilmurry-Ibrickane (@2.62)
06-10-2019

Our Prediction:

Cratloe will win

Cratloe – Kilmurry-Ibrickane Match Prediction | 06-10-2019 10:30

This is a west Clare derby that is sure to generate huge interest and attract a large crowd to Kilkee as the peninsula joins forces for an assault on the Clare senior football championship. It is an exciting departure as the two clubs come together but as with every new venture, there is a real element of the unknown. That is compounded by the fact that both are still involved in their own right in the intermediate championship, and this weekend sees OCurrys take on their closest rivals Kilkee in the opening round.

Alan ONeill, the late replacement picked for his physique on the edge of the square, was pulled out the field. They pulled Kevin Dilleen from his sweeper role to pick up Johnny Daly who had been free to operate in a playmakers role. That run started with a flash. Run of the mill hand-passes became ordeals and their kick passing game ceased. It was deplorable. Panic grew within the St Josephs camp. Niall Hickey, Thomas OConnor and Peter ODwyer all fired over scores from long range within 90 seconds of each other. But their biggest regret will be their shooting.

2019 Clare SFC Round One Preview

Eoghan Donnellan will offer a ball-winning option while Paudge McMahons return to fitness is another boost. It could well mean sacrificing someone to sit around the half-back line to crowd the space, but you can rest assured that very few, if any, of Pierce DeLougherys kick-outs will be heading long. There are fascinating battles in store all over the field, with much of them centred around who will be designated for the danger men. Tony Kelly will also need watching on the inside line and it might take the pace of Liam Markham to stick with him on those mazy runs. Few will know the threat Gary Brennan poses better than his county manager and be under no illusions but that Colm Collins will have thought long and hard about how to try and lessen the impact of his captain.

In hindsight the draw benefited them as they learned the most, their defence limited Cratloe to six points two from play which is a fantastic achievement, they played with five forwards and all of them scored from play. After going four years without winning the Clare SFC Kilmurry Ibrickane were determined not to let this chance slip which they nearly did the first day.

But it mattered little. There was a period where we had a couple of bad wides and turned over the ball in their 21-yard line and that was four or five scores and would have brought it back to a two or three-point game, said Rafferty. If he hadnt raised the white flag, it would have matched the scoreline from last years rout. In the second half they showed glimpses of the team they can be and gave Kilmurry captain Martin McMahon reason in his victory speech to suggest they are the up and coming team of Clare football. The sole St Josephs score came in the final seconds of first-half injury time from Cathal OSullivan. The defence shut down Kilmurrys attack and they won the half 0-3 to 0-2. Long balls into ONeill reaped two scores for Cathal Duggan. It was game on then but we missed those chances and the game petered out after that.

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Kilmurry Ibrickane: Ian McInerney; Darren Hickey, Martin McMahon (1-00), Mark Killeen; Darragh Sexton, Enda Coughlan, Ciaran Morrissey, Declan Callinan; Mark McCarthy (0-02), Keith King; Michael Hogan (0-01), Shane Hickey (0-02), Michael ODwyer (0-01); Peter ODwyer (0-01), Keelan Sexton (1-04 1Pen, 1f). Subs: Noel Downes for Callinan (40), Niall Hickey for Downes (47) (Inj), Evan Talty for Morrissey (55), Thomas OConnor for McCarthy (57), Johnny Daly for M ODwyer (61).

The venue for this one could be a defining factor. Sean Rouine, Cian Shannon, Sean McConigley and Cillian Rouine will revel in the space and that could well nullify the more psychical element that the likes of Paraic Aherne and Colm Dillon will bring for Doonbeg. Ennistymon will look to run the channels and make the space for the inside line, and their return to Cusack Park should be a fruitful one. The expanses of Cusack Park might just suit a more youthful Ennistymon who have a team loaded with pace.

Matthew Moloney provides a steady hand in the centre-back position and with Darragh Bolton in good form at midfield, the Shams look like an outfit with real balance. Clare senior goalkeeper Stephen Ryan is plying his club trade at the other end of the field and was impressive in notching 1-3 from play. They will be eager to make an impact on their return to the senior championship and with former Kerry ladies manager Graham Shine steering the ship, they look like a team ready for the task. He will be ably assisted by fellow county man Gearoid OBrien while captain Stephen Sweeney is also leading the line along with Liam Madigan. Kilrush warmed up for this tie with victory over Shannon Gaels in the Division Three final and looked to be a team in good shape ahead of the championship.

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They also had a slow start to the Cusack Cup campaign but paid the price when finishing in the bottom two saw them drop down to the Garry Cup for 2020. Lissycasey also hit the crossbar in 2018 but in a more positive sense when they avoided the dreaded drop with victory over St Breckans in the relegation final. The Bricks hit the crossbar in their bid to reach a third successive championship final last year when falling to Ennistymon in their last four showdown, while a slow start to this years Cusack Cup saw their grip on the trophy finally come to an end after a run of seven straight victories.

To say the form lines in terms of the league campaign are varied would be an understatement. They have consistently bucked the trend of league and championship form, so much so that when they were first crowned champions in 2013, they were plying their trade in the league division they now find themselves in. That stat must be tempered with the fact that the when Cratloe line out for this game, it could well be an entirely different starting 15 from any of those league games. Clondegad just came up short in their bid to win a first Cusack Cup title, while Cratloe were relegated to Division Three. That experience of getting themselves right for championship will have kicked in over the last few weeks and Colm Collins will have his charges primed for this one.

Last year, Kilmurry blitzed Doora Barefield 0-17 to 0-5 in the final. This year they added the OGorman final by four points and the Cusack Cup by three, each at Dooras expense. The form guide told us we were in for a ground-breaking day. And there were the final records. Maybe it would be a historic day. There were tales of an ageing Kilmurry side that didnt have the same hunger. Not since 1898 had a Doora name been etched into a Clare SFC cup. The gap was narrowing.

@kibgaaclub

This year The Bricks turned a corner, players such as Declan Callinan and Mark Kileeen returned to the cause and everyone involved bought into the setup. Their bench was stronger than their counterparts while the management team in place is one of the strongest if not the strongest at club level in Clare. Keelan Sexton capped off a fine personal year by collecting the top scorer award, he was to the fore along with Darren Hickey, Enda Coughlan, Michael Hogan, Martin McMahon and Peter ODwyer. There was unity and camaraderie but most importantly a bond that wasnt going to be broken.

The objective is always to get to the quarter-final and it is now that the hard work starts, and there are no more second chances for us. We have plenty experience in the group and our lads have a good bit of work done now so hopefully that will stand to us. We have had no game for a month now and in one sense it has been a blessing because we have had a few injuries and we have had that time to try and clear them up. We had two good games with Lissycasey and Corofin and we got over them. That has been one of the positives of the break but that being said, a month without competitive football is a small bit of a concern. We have been trying to introduce a few younger lads into the team and we are hoping that blend of youth and experience will be right on the day, but it is probably still a work in progress he said.

In gauging how this one plays out, it remains to be seen how Ennistymon will bounce back from the disappointment. The initial signs are positive in that stalwarts like Joe Dowling and Laurence Healy are still manning their posts and providing the leadership to the young guns. That bore out in the Cusack Cup where a home-semi final was secured but the manner of the defeat that day to Clondegad will be of concern. Doonbegs league form was also positive and they finished off the job with victory over Kildysart on a day when the class of David Tubridy shone through as they picked up the Garry Cup title.