McInerney point rescues replay for gutsy Cratloe at the death
Cratloe 1-9 Kilmurry Ibrickane 0-12 Clare SFC Final
Cratloe's Cathal McInerney slotted over a point deep into injury-time to send this Ennis encounter to a replay, after a final which saw the two sides embroiled in an ugly half-time tunnel skirmish.
Kilmurry-Ibrickane were probably the stronger side in the second period but they let it slip at the end, in front of 4,450 spectators.
A rather unsavoury fight broke out at the half-time whistle as both sides headed to the tunnel and when the teams re-emerged to begin the second half, referee Rory Hickey called Kilmurry substitute John Sexton from his seat in the stand, to issue him with a red card for his involvement in the incident.
But that one incident aside, it was not a dirty game and was played in an exemplary manner by both sides.
Cratloe opened the scoring from a McInerney free after two minutes, while Keelan Sexton grabbed the west Clare outfit's opener from the left wing, three minutes later.
Over the hour, the teams were level on eight occasions, indicating the tight nature of the game.
The only goal of the afternoon arrived on 19 minutes when Cratloe corner-forward David Collins, who was playing alongside his brothers Podge and Sean, hand-passed to McInerney, who drilled to the Kilmurry net from close range.
The goal gave the south-east Clare side a 1-3 to 0-4 advantage in a nip-and-tuck game. But the men from the west of the county rallied and a trio of points in as many minutes from Mark McCarthy, Shane Hickey and Enda Coughlan helped them to an 0-8 to 1-4 lead at the interval.
Kilmurry kicked on after the break and Sexton, their danger man up front, put them two ahead after the re-start. But a resolute Cratloe stayed close to their heels for the remainder of the half.
Sexton spurned a goal chance, shooting inches wide in the 35th minute, but the all-important levelling score, two minutes into injury time, was as a result of a trip on Cratloe mid-fielder John Galvin, in front of the goal.
SCORERS - Cratloe: C McInerney 1-4 (4fs), C Ryan, P Collins, S Collins, D Collins and S Gleeson 0-1 each. Kilmurry Ibrickane: K Sexton 0-5 (2fs), I McInerney 0-2 (1f, 1 '45) S Hickey, M McCarthy, M Hogan, E Coughlan, N Downes (0-1) each.
Cratloe - P DeLoughrey; S Chaplin, B Duggan, M Hawes; M Murphy, A McFaddan, L Markham; C Ryan, J Galvin; S McHugh, S Collins, C Cooney; C McInerney, P Collins, D Collins. Subs: E Boyce for McFaddan inj (18), S Hynan for Cooney inj (37).
Kilmurry Ibrickane - I McInerney; M Killeen, D Hickey, C Morrissey; S Hickey, M McMahon, D Sexton; M McCarthy, K King; N Hickey, M O'Dwyer, M Hogan; D Callinan, E Coughlan, K Sexton. Subs: N Downes for N Hickey (38), S Moloney for Hogan (47), P'ODwyer for McCarthy (54).
REF - R Hickey (Éire Óg).