Nire’s Campaign Sunk by Clare Champions

Munster Senior Club Football Semi-Final

The Nire 0-09
St Joseph’s Miltown Malbay 2-11

Brian Flannery Reports

The Nire’s season drew to a disappointing conclusion with a comprehensive defeat to St. Joseph’s Miltown Malbay in the Munster Club Senior Football Semi-Final played at Fraher Field on Sunday last.
Having beaten Limerick champions Adare by nine points in the previous round, expectations were high for The Nire who went into this game as strong favourites.

The Nire's Jamie Barron tussles with St Josephs’ Gordon Kelly during last Sunday’s Munster Club Senior Football Semi-Final at Fraher Field on Sunday last. 		| Photos: Sean Byrne

The Nire's Jamie Barron tussles with St Josephs’ Gordon Kelly during last Sunday’s Munster Club Senior Football Semi-Final at Fraher Field on Sunday last. | Photos: Sean Byrne


Conditions were awful with constant driving rain and a biting cold breeze making expansive football difficult for both sides. However despite the conditions the Clare champions adapted best and warmed to the occasion in front of an attendance of 1,281.Miltown Malbay deservedly led by four points at the break but it was second half goals from Cormac Murray and substitute Sean Malone that confirmed their passage to the final.
While Tom Barron had the opening score of the game with a point it was the wind assisted St Joseph’s Miltown Malbay who dominated the opening period.

Conor Cleary and Oisin Looney controlled proceedings around centre-field with half-backs Gordon Kelly and Colin Hehir roaming forward at every opportunity causing all sorts of problems for a leaden footed Nire side. Eoin Cleary converted two frees with Kieran Malone and Colin Hehir also bisecting the posts to give Milton Malbay a clear advantage (0-04 to 0-01) after 10 minutes.

Far too often, The Nire turned over possession and some erratic kick-outs also put the Waterford representatives under unnecessary pressure.Conor Glesson, who had an early goal chance well saved by goalkeeper Sean O’Brien, finally got on the scoresheet with a well taken point to add to white flaggers from Shane Ryan and Jamie Barron to level the game by the 19th minute.Miltown Malbay upped the pace considerably and hit five points in succession before the break with a single point from Conor Glesson coming back in reply.The Clare men should have had better reward for their dominance but registered eight first-half wides while taking a 0-09 to 0-05 lead to the break.

The Nire's Tholom Guiry id tackled by St Josephs’ Gordon Kelly and Enda O'Gorman.

The Nire's Tholom Guiry id tackled by St Josephs’ Gordon Kelly and Enda O'Gorman.


The crucial opening goal arrived after 40 minutes when a long ball from the outstanding Conor Cleary was seized on by Cormac Murray after his marker slipped and the corner forward blasted the ball to net, 1-10 to 0-07.The Nire tried to get back into it with Jamie Barron scoring two good second half points but the goal they needed never arrived. Jamie Barron the former All-Star hurler came closest after 48 minutes when his rising shot was tipped over by goalkeeper Sean O’Brien. Meanwhile his brother Tom Barron had a strong claim for a penalty turned down by referee Padraig O’Sullivan.

With just 10 minutes remaining substitute Sean Malone had a second Miltown Malbay goal when he connected with a loose ball in front of The Nire goal. Malone’s ground strike easily beat a wrong-footed Diarmuid Murphy (2-10 to 0-09).The Clare side had Brian Curtin providing extra defensive cover, sweeping in front of his full-back line and never looked like relinquishing their hold on the game.Eoin Cleary landed a free in injury time for St Joseph’s to confirm a famous victory with a date versus Kerry champions Dr Crokes a week on Sunday for the men from the Banner to look forward to.

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