Munster Club SFC Final – Kilmurry-Ibrickane v Kerins O’Rahilly

Kilmurry-Ibrickane (Clare) defeated Kerins O’Rahilly (Kerry) by 0-7 to 0-6 in the AIB Munster GAA Football Senior Club Championship Final on Sunday in the Gaelic Grounds Limerick.

Match Report

Kilmurry-Ibrickane win dramatic Munster final

From the web site

Kilmurry-Ibrickane won their second Munster title in the most dramatic circumstances imaginable at the Gaelic Grounds on Sunday afternoon.

AIB Munster GAA Football Senior Final: Kerins O’Rahillys (Kerry) 0-6 Kilmurry-Ibrickane (Clare) 0-7

The sides were level on 0-6 apiece deep into injury time, when substitute Evan Talty landed a free from 35 yards to seal the win for the west Clare club. However, the outcome might have been very different had the Tralee outfit not had a goal disallowed moments earlier. David Moran, who returned from Australia after an unsuccessful trial with St Kilda during the week, saw his free from 45 yards hold up in the wind before Rahillys’ top scorer, Declan Quill, punched the ball to the back of the net for what looked like the winning goal. However, referee Maurice Condon consulted with his umpires and adjudged that Quill was in the square when the free was struck and the goal was disallowed. That left the sides level at 0-6 apiece with two minutes of added time still to be played. It left just enough time for Talty to break the Kerry champions’ hearts with his superb long-range effort.

Rahillys were not helped by the sending off of centre-forward John O’Connor five minutes after the break for a second yellow card offence. O’Connor was lucky not to have seen red for an earlier incident which was brought to the referee’s attention by the umpire. Although it was a low-scoring game, those in attendance at the Gaelic Grounds were royally entertained. Much of the excitement – the unbelievable ending aside – came in the first quarter, when Rahillys opened up a 0-3 to 0-0 lead before Kilmurry-Ibrickane hit back to level after 17 minutes. Moran was amongst the early scorers from play for the men from Strand Road, while Quill was as accurate as ever from placed balls. However, a strong rally from Kilmurry-Ibrickane and a fine point by Stephen Maloney saw them level the game at 0-4 apiece at half-time. Fourteen minutes of the second half passed before the next score of the game, Quill knocking over another free for Rahillys. Following O’Connor’s sending off, Kilmurry-Ibrickane began to take control, with wing-back Shane Hickey landing a wind-assisted point from 50 yards, before midfielder Paul O’Connor fisted the ball over the bar to give them the lead. Quill, however, levelled the game again with minutes to go, before the Clare champions won the game in a dramatic finish that will live long in the memory.


Dramatic Kilmurry-Ibrickane win

Kilmurry-Ibrickane 0-7, Kerins O’Rahillys 0-6

By Jim O’Sullivan of the Irish Examiner newspaper

Monday, December 07, 2009

JUBILATION for West Clare side Kilmurry-Ibrickane after a second title success in yesterday’s AIB Munster Club SFC final at the Gaelic Grounds. But it was utter desolation for a Kerins O’Rahillys side denied what would have a winning goal by an umpire’s call in the 61st minute and then hit with the sucker punch of conceding a winning score immediately after the ball was kicked out. It was a cruel blow for the Kerry club champions, all the more so when Declan Quill was adamant that his ‘goal’ should have stood – pointing out that he was outside the square when he connected with a David Moran free. Putting up brave resistance after going a man down six minutes into the second-half, the manner of their defeat replicated what happened to them in last year’s county championship decider when they were beaten by an injury-time penalty.

Controversy aside, it was noteworthy that apart from a promising opening period and much improved play after having half-forward John O’Connor when receiving two yellow cards in a three-minute period, it was Kilmurry-Ibrickane who gave the more convincing display. Indeed, while unhappy with the free-count, O’Rahilly’s selector Mark Fitzgerald said that an interval wide count of nine lost them the chance of making a winning debut. Kilmurry made the more confident start and despite playing against a strong wind, created several scoring opportunities before John O’Connor kicked the game’s opening score from a fifth-minute free for O’Rahillys. David Moran (play) and Declan Quill (free) had added scores and for a while they looked like establishing a grip. However, while the returning David Moran (who was in Australia for the semi-final game) was deployed at full-forward, the supply of ball to him was limited. And, while he did manage a second score from play, his influence wasn’t what it might have been. However, in acknowledging that overall, their team play was not over-impressive and few individuals other than Barry John Keane at centre-forward were strong on the ball in the opening 20 minutes, it would have to be pointed out that the strength of the Kilmurry-Ibrickane challenge was a major factor.

Deploying a short-passing game and offering continuous support for the man in possession, they benefited from the consistency of a full-back trio which had excelled in their semi-final win over Stradbally. Additionally, Shane Hickey was heavily involved at wing-back and Peter O’Dwyer’s work-rate – and in particular his mobility – countered much of what the O’Rahilly’s captain Micheal Quirke achieved against him. Further forward, they had more to offer than the opposition. Centre-forward Ian McInerney was fairly reliable from the few scoreable frees he faced up, while Odran O’Dwyer made a contribution in the full-forward line, where some of the best work was done by Michael O’Dwyer.

It was McInerney who opened their account in the ninth minute and Kilmurry were to score three more points without reply in the next 11 minutes. In contrast, O’Rahillys were being frustrated by an inability to even get close to maximising scoring opportunities, with brothers Morgan and Barry O’Shea effective at the heart of the defence, Giles O’Grady prominent after going from wing-back to half-forward and midfielder Gavin Duffy very much to the forefront. Keane wasn’t on the ball often enough to do real damage and the same applied to Declan Quill and Barry-John Walsh, in the face of excellent covering from the inside backs. Their poor finishing was reflected in the fact that they waited until injury time before Moran got their first score in 24 minutes to leave the teams tied at 0-4 each.

It was much the same story over the course of the third quarter, which was mainly notable for the fact of O’Connor being sent off, first being carded following an off-the-ball incident and then disciplined after the referee seemed to indicate as a foot tackle. Interestingly, in between the two censures, he saw a fisted effort go wide off the upright and Quill, similarly, wasn’t on target with a close-in free. But, to their credit, they were in front – through a Quill free won by David Moran – only to see the excellent Shane Hickey level scores for the third time two minutes later. Again, Quill came to their rescue with another pointed free in the 56th minute, after wing-forward Stephen Moloney set up midfielder Paul O’Connor for a well deserved lead score. After a great Kilmurry move ended with Noel Downes kicking wide, it appeared that the game was heading for a draw until the drama of Quill’s disallowed goal for O’Rahillys – which quickly turned into a nightmare when substitute Evan Talty kicked over the winning point after a move involving McInerney and Downes.

Scorers for Kilmurry-Ibrickane: I. McInerney 0-3 (0-2 frees); S. Moloney, P. O’Connor, S. Hickey and E. Talty 0-1 each.

Kerins O’Rahillys: D. Quill 0-3 (0-2 frees); D. Moran 0-2; J. O’Connor 0-1.

KILMURRY-IBRICKANE: D. O’Brien; M. McMahon, M. Killeen, D. Hickey; S. Hickey, E. Coughlan (capt,), D. Callinan; P. O’Connor, P. O’Dwyer; M. Hogan, I. McInerney, S. Moloney; J. Daly, O. O’Dwyer, M. O’Dwyer.

Subs: E. Talty for Hogan (41st minute); N. Downes for O. O’Dwyer (48th); P. O’Dwyer for Moloney (54th); M. McCarthy for Daly (60th).

KERINS O’RAHILLY’S: D. Hennessy; P. Begley, M. O’Shea, B. O’Shea; G. O’Grady, B. Moran, R. O’Callaghan; G. Duffy, M. Quirke (capt.); J. O’Connor, B.J. Keane, T. O’Sullivan; B.J. Walsh, D. Moran; D. Quill.

Referee: Maurice Condon (Waterford).

Attendance: 2,412


Talty keeps head after ‘goal’ storm

Monday December 07 2009

It’s best to deal with the manner in which this Munster club football final was lost before accounting for how it was won. One minute into injury-time, 14-man Kerins O’Rahillys, facing into a strengthening gale that blew hard down through Limerick’s Gaelic Grounds, won a free about 30 metres out which David Moran, just back from Australia, elected to take. That in itself was a surprise as his striking all afternoon hadn’t been crisp and Declan Quill had already landed three points from frees. Still, it was a kick that favoured a right-footer and Moran stood up to it knowing that a point would probably win his club their first ever provincial title. The kick hung in the wind, however, and hovered above the square, almost coming to a standstill in mid-air before dropping vertically for Quill to get a fist to it and punch a goal, almost out of nothing.

A quick exchange of glances between referee Maurice Condon and both his umpires soon pinpricked the celebrations as Quill was adjudged to have been in the square when the ball flew into Kilmurry/Ibrickane ‘airspace’. In this opinion, at first glance, it looked like a goal though perhaps the replay will reveal otherwise. Naturally, the Kerins O’Rahillys players were livid, a feeling only compounded some seconds later when Kilmurry substitute Evan Talty nonchalantly kicked the winner from which there was certainly no comeback. Ignoring a possible foul on Barry John Keane at the other end, Condon then brought the match to an immediate conclusion, sparking more fury from the Kerry club champions.

At least two officials and the same number of supporters confronted Condon as he made his way off the field and if it wasn’t for the vigilance and protective instincts of Micheal Quirke who escorted the Waterford official, in the presence of local stewards, off the field the situation could have turned nasty. Quirke was on the wrong side of the decision but he had the presence of mind and leadership to do what he did and avert further conflict, something he should be commended for. For Quill, the anger couldn’t be contained and he was certain the score should have stood as he recounted his footwork in the build-up. “It was a goal, straight and simple. I waited outside the square. I thought the ball was going over the bar then when I saw it hanging up short, I went for it. And then I was inside the square,” he reflected. Ironically, the decision came just 24 hours after the GAA announced that experimental playing rules will be used during the forthcoming leagues, one of which is thought to be a modification of the square -ball rule.

Kerins O’Rahillys will despair at the turn of events. Almost 12 months ago, they lost the Kerry championship final replay to a last-minute Mid Kerry penalty when they led by two points. Now the dose was being doubled. As much as they will lay the blame at the officials’ door, they should make themselves more accountable for their failure to have any impact when the wind favoured them in the first half.

Kilmurry/Ibrickane had managed to stay in touch and keep parity, 0-4 each, as they turned to take advantage of the wind that blew out towards the city end. That rearguard action was critical to the Atlantic seaboard club’s success. “We lost it in the first half,” acknowledged the Tralee side’s captain Quirke afterwards. “We played heroically down to 14 men in that second half against an experienced, battle-hardened team. We kicked too many wides (nine in that first half) and that’s the bottom line.” He was philosophical about the defeat and was willing to be optimistic even minutes after the final whistle. “They are a seriously experienced side at this level and we are not. We’re a young side at this level. We just came up short. That’s life, that’s the way it goes. “It’s the second kick in the stomach we’re after taking as a team,” reflected the midfielder.  “I was away during the week and I was reading Ronan O’Gara’s autobiography and he talks about losing Heineken Cup finals. They lost two and came back to win two. So who knows maybe we can do something next year.”

Kilmurry were as battle-hardened as their opponents suggested and once again their defence was magnificent, superbly marshalled by captain and centre-back Enda Coughlan. In three Munster club championship games, they have conceded just 17 points, a serious reflection of how they defend. It looked grim for them early on when they trailed by three points inside eight minutes, a significant lead in such testing conditions. One of those trio of points was scored by Moran who started at full-forward but gradually made his way out to provide plenty of energy around midfield for the Strand Road outfit. Kilmurry hung in however and midway through the half they were level as Coughlan and Declan Callinan made the opening for Stephen Moloney to score the equalising point (0-3 each). They had the temerity to then take the lead through a Johnny Daly free as O’Rahillys repeatedly got turned over in possession and only a well-worked Moran point from a quick Quill free spared them some blushes as half-time approached.

The second half was robust, manly and, most of the time, honest. The Tralee side lost John O’Connor to two yellow cards in quick succession on 36 minutes but it only served to strengthen their resolve. Kilmurry half-back Shane Hickey fired over a superb point on the three-quarter mark to level it again at 0-5 each after a Quill free had given the Kerry side a slim cushion. It looked to be heading for a draw, then a Kerins O’Rahillys win but Kilmurry manager Michael McDermott sensed fate was at play after their defeat in last year’s final to Dromcollogher-Broadford. “It took us 12 months to get back here and we knew we would be in a battle. But we knew we had to put them under pressure out the field to stop the quality ball going in,” figured McDermott. Getting breaks like that disallowed goal was as much as they deserved. “Last year we came here to a Munster final and the breaks didn’t go for us all. When your day is in, it’s in. I always say fate plays a huge part in everything. It’s a wonderful achievement for a west Clare club to win two titles in a decade.” No one could disagree with that.

Scorers — Kilmurry/Ibrickane: I McInerney 0-2 (0-2f), P O’Connor, S Hickey, J Daly, E Talty, S Moloney all 0-1 each. Kerins O’Rahillys: D Quill 0-3( 0-3f), D Moran 0-2, J O’Connor 0-1 (0-1f).

Kilmurry/Ibrickane — D O’Brien; D Hickey, M Killeen, M McMahon; S Hickey, E Coughlan, D Callinan; P O’Connor, P O’Dwyer; M Hogan, I McInerney, S Moloney; M O’Dwyer, O O’Dwyer, J Daly. Subs: E Talty for Hogan (41), N Downes for O O’Dwyer (48), P O’Dwyer for Moloney (54), M McCarthy for Daly (60),

Kerins O’Rahillys — D Hennessy; P Begley, M O’Shea, B O’Shea; G O’Grady, B Moran, R O’Callaghan; G Duffy, M Quirke; J O’Connor, B J Keane, T O’Sullivan; B J Walsh, D Moran, D Quill.

Ref — M Condon (Waterford)

Match Preview

Ostensibly, this is a David versus Goliath clash, but scratch the surface a little and the outcome of this encounter may not be as straightforward as many are predicting. Clare kingpins Kilmurry-Ibrickane have won the Munster title as recently as 2004, while Kerins O’Rahilly have never appeared in a provincial final before, despite the abundance of talent at the Strand Road club. Rahillys claimed their first county title since 2002 this year, before disposing of Clanakilty (Cork) and Moyle Rovers (Tipperary) in the previous rounds.

All the talk this week has been of the unexpected return of David Moran from an unsuccessful trial at AFL outfit St Kilda. The midfielder is expected to slot straight back into the side. His return led to a collective sigh of relief at the club this week. “It’s a huge boost,’’ said Rahillys trainer and selector Mark Fitzgerald. “All along, David has been an integral part of the team. We were obviously sad to lose him, but at the same time we wished him the best in his new venture. Whatever happened, happened. We are absolutely delighted to have him back.’’ Tommy Walsh, the star of the Kingdom’s All-Ireland campaign this year, will be a big loss as he pursues a professional career in the oval ball code. Walsh and Moran both played against Clonakilty, but they were sorely missed in the stuttering semi-final win over Moyle. “Tommy was the focal point in the attack in the Clonakilty game. The strategy was to try and get the ball into him as quickly as we could. While we have David back, we’re still undecided as to what way we are going to go with the team,’’ Fitzgerald added in an interview with the Irish Examiner.

Moran’s older brother, Brian, remains a doubtful starter with an injury, while there are also concerns over Giles O’Grady, with the management likely to delay the team selection until Sunday morning to give the pair every chance of starting. Declan Quill, Rahillys’ top scorer with 1-6 in the competition, is due back from his honeymoon today (Friday) and is expected to once again share the scoring burden with Barry John Walsh. While Kilmurry-Ibrickane may not have any star players off chasing dreams Down Under, they have slipped quietly and into the final. They were particularly impressive in beating Dromcollogher-Broadford (Limerick) 0-11 to 0-5, gaining sweet revenge for their agonising loss in the 2008 Munster final. The experience gained in that defeat should be of great benefit to the Banner flag bearers going into this game and they certainly will not be intimidated by the Kerry champions. It is their fourth final appearance in total and with classy operators like Odran O’Dwyer in their attack, they will be expecting to book a place in next year’s All-Ireland semi-finals.

Paths to the final

Kerins O’Rahillys 1-11 Clonakilty (Cork) 0-10

Kerins O’Rahillys 1-8 Moyle Rovers (Tipperary) 0-9

Kilmurry-Ibrickane 0-11 Dromcollogher-Broadford (Limerick) 0-5

Kilmurry-Ibrickane 0-9 Stradbally (Waterford) 0-6