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Kilmaley win Clare cup at first attempt
Clare Champion, Friday December 4th 1981

Kilmaley 1-14, Tubber 3-1

Report by Séamus Hayes


A fitter and better organised Kilmaley side made history at Dr Daly Park, Tulla on Sunday when they won the Clare cup senior hurling title for the first time. It was a tremendous achievement, particularly when one realises that this is Kilmaley’s first year in the senior ranks and this will surely be a major boost for the club in 1982. Despite the poor conditions which prevailed, this game produced lots of good hurling and the small attendance certainly enjoyed the proceedings. Tubber, having reached the championship final in August and have reached the 1980 Clare cup final, when they lost to Sixmilebridge, were favourites to win this one. Kilmaley, to their credit, had prepared well for this game and, from the early stages, it was obvious they were determined to win the title. They haven’t had a competitive game for nearly two months and, considering that it only became clear a short while ago that Sunday’s game would be played this year, then they certainly deserve to be congratulated.
The winners had first use of the strong wind and this helped them to get the upper hand from an early stage. Seven minutes into the first half, full forward John Mungovan won possession from a P J Kennedy pass and fired an unstoppable shot to the net. With Séamus Fitzpatrick and Eugene McMahon controlling mid-field and the half forward trio of Gerry Pyne, Joe Griffey and Martin Meehan well on top, the winners went on to dominate and picked off some fine points from various angles. With Gerry Pyne, P J Kennedy, Martin Meehan, Joe Griffey, Séamus Fitzpatrick and John Mungovan all finding the target, the winners had increased their lead to 1-10 to 0-0 five minutes from the interval.
Then, Tubber struck for what was a rather easy goal when Enda O’Connor’s shot from a thirty metre free went all the way to the net. In fairness, however, the Tubber men should have opened their account earlier but Michael McGann failed to capitalise on a great opportunity after a great run by O’Connor. Kilrnaley struck back for P J Kennedy to point and this left the score at 1-11 to 1-0 at half time.

Due to Kilmaley’s dominance in the first half it was somewhat surprising to learn at the break that many of those present believed that Tubber would do enough in the second half to win. The north Clare side would have the aid of the strong breeze on the change over but it was obvious they would have to show a big improvement it they were to be in contention.
Within a minute of the restart Pat O’Connor pointed but Kilmaley quickly replied with a like score from John Mungovan. Seven minutes elapsed before the next score which was a Tubber goal and again it was a very soft score with Pat O’Connor’s shot from five metres going all the way to the net.
With Paddy Hill, Tommy Keane and Nod McGuane doing well in defence the winners refused to panic and, at the end of the final quarter, they increased their lead with a point from Martin Meehan. Nine minutes from time PJ Kennedy pointed from a free for Kilmaley and was unlucky when a similar effort a minute later went narrowly wide. The final score of the game came four minutes from time and it fell to Tubber. Enda O’Connor took a twenty-five metre free slightly to the right of the posts. His low shot was blocked by Kilmaley goalkeeper Michael Maher but the inrushing Michael O’Connor, who had switched from defence, drove the rebound to the net.
It was too late however and Kilmaley went on for a deserved win. They were the better team over the hour and controlled the play in key positions. Team captain Noel McGuane was always solid at frill back with Tommy Keane and Paddy Hill the right of the posts. His low shot was blocked by Kilmaley goalkeeper Michael Maher but the inrushing Michael O’Connor, who had switched from defence, drove the rebound to the net.
It was too late however and Kilmaley went on for a deserved win. They were the better team over the hour and controlled the play in key positions. Team captain Noel McGuane was always solid at frill back with Tommy Keane and Paddy Hill.



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