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Intermediate Football Final

posted 9 Oct 2011, 14:11 by Unknown user   [ updated 9 Oct 2011, 14:14 by Denis Tuohy Agricultural Consultant ]

                                                                                        Clondegad 1-10   Kilmurry-Ibrickane 0-9

    Sunday, October 2 is a date that will be etched deep into the memory of Clondegad GAA people for as long as they are above ground. Intermediate final losses in ’04, ’06 and ’10 can now be parked and put down to, in this case, losing three to win one.

Clondegad didn’t light up Cooraclare with free-flowing football last Sunday but they remained calm when Kilmurry closed in on them as the clock ticked towards the hour mark.
Seven minutes from time, Odran O’Dwyer’s seventh point, his fifth from a free, put the squeeze on Clondegad. Now just 1-9 to 0-9 up, the remaining seven minutes would define this team. Four minutes later, Brian Carrigg, who departs for Australia again this week, used his left foot to loft over Clondegad’s 10th point. It put them four clear and you could sense the relief emanating from the packed stand. The closer Kilmurry got and as the end neared, Clondegad supporters lost their voice in the tension. It was only when Carrigg scored his second point, thanks to a Gary Brennan run after his brother Shane found him with a quick free, that their supporters could unwind. They were just three minutes from establishing themselves as a senior football club after years of toil and near misses.
The new intermediate champions had five points on the board inside 10 minutes. Gary Brennan scored both of their opening points, the first from play and the second after Podge McMahon was fouled.
Odran O’Dwyer’s third minute pointed free, after he had been impeded, was Kilmurry’s only score in the opening 10 minutes. Podge McMahon replied with a free, awarded for a foul on Carrigg, before Carrigg slotted over from play, largely thanks to a classy reverse pass from Tony Kelly.
Defensively, Clondegad corner-back Cormac Ryan cleaned up in the opening quarter as Kilmurry struggled to live with the speed of their opponents’ early play. 
A Shane Brennan intercept set up Tony Kelly for Clondegad’s fifth point in the 10th minute. Over the next 20 minutes they added just two, as Kilmurry retrieved some lost ground.
Adrian Murrihy fisted and kicked points for Kilmurry before half-time, while O’Dwyer added a second pointed free, won this time by Martin O’Connor.
Seven minutes from half-time, Podge McMahon slotted over one of the scores of the game from 45 yards out, while Gary Brennan kicked Clondegad’s seventh score after Tony Kelly had been dragged back. Three points up at half-time, 0-7 to 0-4, Clondegad had established a foothold but they knew Kilmurry had the belief and experience not to fold.
Another foul on Podge McMahon resulted in Brennan kicking the winners 0-8 to 0-4 ahead just three minutes into the second half.
At this stage, Kilmurry goalkeeper David Cleary sustained a head injury when bravely saving from Podge McMahon and he had to be substituted, with Darren Sexton replacing him between the posts.
Almost immediately, Sexton saved smartly from Tony Kelly at the expense of a 45’ after Eamon Dunne had spilled possession.
Another Gary Brennan free edged Clondegad 0-9 to 0-4 up before two Odran O’Dwyer points kept Kilmurry alive with exactly 15 minutes left. 
It was just then that Tony Kelly struck for the game’s decisive score. Clondegad impressively worked the ball upfield, culminating in Kelly stealing inside the Kilmurry defence and lashing the ball beyond Sexton. Now leading 1-9 to 0-6, Clondegad felt they were all but there. 
However, Kilmurry wouldn’t go away and three O’Dwyer points, one from play, reeled in Clondegad. They never got closer than three points though in the closing minutes and Carrigg’s score ensured the last couple of minutes were devoid of rampant tension.
Clondegad’s reaction to winning was marked by relief as much as euphoria. Under additional pressure because they were playing Kilmurry’s second team, Clondegad delivered a measured, mature performance, if not a sparkling one.
Their full-back line played solidly, with Paddy O’Connell battling manfully with Odran O’Dwyer, while both corner-backs held their own. The Clondegad half-back line launched several attacks and looked lively, with Kieran Browne particularly influential at centre-back. His distribution was crucial to Clondegad’s display.
Gary Brennan didn’t completely dictate but nonetheless kicked vital scores, as well as setting up a couple of important points. His brother, Shane, also had an excellent hour, working very hard. Tony Kelly showed his class in the half-forward line and buried his goal with aplomb. Elsewhere, Podge McMahon and Brian Carrigg scored four points between them, while McMahon was also fouled for two pointed frees. Both played important roles in Clondegad’s win, as did substitute Gearóid O’Connell.
Thomas Lernihan, Pat Sexton, Vinny Talty, Adrian Murrihy and Odran O’Dwyer were most impressive for Kilmurry, who fought to the end. Disappointed to lose, Kilmurry can reflect with pride on the fact their second team reached and competed with real gumption in the county intermediate final.
Clondegad will be back in action in six week’s time, when they play the Kerry intermediate champions away on November 13 in the Munster quarter-final.

Clondegad: Declan O’Loughlin; Flan Enright, Paddy O’Connell, Cormac Ryan; Francis Neylon, Kieran Browne, Conor Gavin; Cormac Murphy, Shane Brennan; Tony Kelly, Brian Carrigg, Francie O’Reilly; Podge McMahon, Gary Brennan, Pat Coffey. 
Subs: James Murphy for Cormac Murphy (26), Gearóid O’Connell for James Murphy (41), Eoghan Donnellan for Pat Coffey (41) and Paddy Breen for Eoghan Donnellan (60).
Scorers: Tony Kelly (1-1), Gary Brennan (0-5, 3f), Brian Carrigg (0-2) and Podge McMahon (0-2, 1f). 

Kilmurry Ibrickane: David Talty; Pat Sexton, John Sexton, Eamon Dunne; Mark Moloney, Thomas O’Connor, Thomas Lernihan; Gary Donnellan, Vinny Talty; Thomas Greene, Martin O’Connor, Colm Donnellan; Adrian Murrihy, Odran O’Dwyer, Aidan Moloney. 
Subs: Darren Sexton for David Talty (33, injured), Senan McCarthy for Martin O’Connor (39), Darragh Sexton for Aidan Moloney (40), Brian Callinan for Thomas Greene (42) and John McNamara for Gary Donnellan (56).
Scorers: Odran O’Dwyer (0-7, 5f) and Adrian Murrihy (0-2).

Referee: Rory Hickey (Éire Óg).