Senior Football Championship Semi-Final
Ennistymon 2-6 Kilmurry Ibrickane 0-11
Ennistymon’s record breaking season continued with a determined and controlled performance in which they dethroned reigning champions Kilmurry Ibrickane and thus earned a first County Final appearance on Sunday 28 October.
On a day where the wet conditions were a significant factor, a game that ebbed and flowed concluded with seven minutes of injury time and saw Ennistymon win by the minimum margin.
A promising start from Ennistymon saw scores from Joe Dowling (two) and Willie Murphy and this had the sides level on 15 minutes. Then Kilmurry took control by kicking the next four scores, with Mark McCarthy prominent and the early loss of Keith King at midfield didn’t seem to hinder them.
However the tide turned when Joe Dowling’s effort from 35 yards out incredibly dipped in under the crossbar. That goal was followed by a Sean O’Driscoll free and a Michael Leigh point to allow Ennistymon take a one point lead in at the break.
As the teams retired to the dressing rooms, the rain hammered down making conditions even trickier in the second half.
The end-to-end nature of the game continued after the break. An early second half goal chance for Sean McConigley was denied by the post. However there was no such issue five minutes later when Cian Shannon’s bursting run was saved by keeper Ian McInerney and McConigley buried the rebound.
Michael Leigh kicked another point immediately after the goal and Ennistymon led 2-6 to 0-8 on 40 minutes. Incredibly that was Ennistymon’s last score of the game as they had to withstand an opposition onslaught.
This included a hard working and dogged defensive effort and an excellent save from Noel Sexton to keep out a goal chance. A McInerney free on 60 minutes closed the gap to a point and a nail-biting conclusion, where seven minutes of injury time were played, followed and also saw Cathal Malone departing when he was shown a black card, having had an earlier yellow card.
However at the end of it all Ennistymon held on to earn a well-deserved place in the biggest day in the Clare football calendar.