Cratloe (@1.53) vs Ennistymon (@2.87)
21-09-2019

Our Prediction:

Cratloe will win

Cratloe – Ennistymon Match Prediction | 21-09-2019 09:00

The tie of the round comes from the group of the championship as two of the chief contenders for the title are pitted together. For Clondegad, their end came at the quarter-finals with Cratloe bowing out in the last four. Theres something in common from 2018 for these sides as both fell to the eventual champions in the knockout stages.

Match-ups will be critical and it remains to be seen who Ennistymon detail to match-up with Tubridy. The return of Colm Dillon to the fold is a positive for West Clare side, with Eoghan Tubridy and Shane Ryan also likely to cause problems for the Ennistymon back six. Ennistymons defensive plan will have to include a way to stop the county star having that kind of influence and it might even require having an extra defender to sit in front of him. The North Clare men have plenty attacking options too with Ross ODoherty, Joey Rouine and the evergreen Dowling more than capable of doing the damage on the scoreboard. On the other hand, Doonbeg will be looking at how to stop Cillian Rouines impact on the game with the former minor captain demonstrating brilliant ball-carrying ability across the league campaign. Similarly for Doonbeg, the marking job on Cillian Rouine will be a key one. Ennistymons defence will need to be disciplined in the tackle with Tubridy poised to punish any indiscretion in the scoring zone.

Roll Of Honour[edit]

The Cusack Park factor could also come into play and to that end, Cratloe may have more pace to their side to cause the damage. It really is a difficult one to call. It will all boil down to what plan Collins comes up with to deal with Gary Brennan and how Cratloe set up to deal with that threat. This one will have a real championship feel to it because whoever loses will be in the last chance saloon to save their season. This one will not be decided until the closing stages, but the greater balance in the Cratloe attack might just make the difference. On form, Clondegad are the obvious pick but Cratloe have consistently proven they are a championship team.

They have consistently bucked the trend of league and championship form, so much so that when they were first crowned champions in 2013, they were plying their trade in the league division they now find themselves in. Clondegad just came up short in their bid to win a first Cusack Cup title, while Cratloe were relegated to Division Three. That experience of getting themselves right for championship will have kicked in over the last few weeks and Colm Collins will have his charges primed for this one. That stat must be tempered with the fact that the when Cratloe line out for this game, it could well be an entirely different starting 15 from any of those league games. To say the form lines in terms of the league campaign are varied would be an understatement.

This is a great opportunity for Kilmihil to test where they are ahead of showdowns with Kilrush and Naomh Eoin-OCurrys, but all known form points to the champions picking up the points here. With Miltown likely to top the group, the race for the second qualification spot from the group will be key and scoring difference could well come into play.

Clare SHC Quarter Final Previews: Cratloe v Clonlara

The outcome was eventually decided by a fortuitous goal a few minutes before the end. It proved to be the final score of the game and it sent Ennistymon through tothe final for the second year in succession.While the goal was fortunate, it would have been hard luck on the North Clare side had they not taken something from a tie that saw both sides enjoy periods of dominance.The title-holders went into the game boosted by the availability of Cathal McInerney, who lined out at corner-forward having had a cast removed from his hand earlier in the week.The winners certainly had the better of the opening exchanges and took an early lead through two David Davenport points before Enda Boyce came forward from defence to score the title-holders first point in the 11th minute.A minute later, Cratloe knew they were in a battle after Brian Houlihan finished off an excellent move involving Aidan Slattery, Danny Rouine and Sean McConigley, when he punched the ball to the net.The goal drew an immediate response from Cratloe, who hit back with a brace of pointed frees from Liam Markham. The teams were more evenly matched from here to the half-time whistle, when the score stood at 1-3 to 0-5 in the winners favour.There appeared to be more urgency in Cratloes play after half-time and they created a good goal chance in the opening minute but Conor McGrath lost possession at a vital time. Danny Rouine put the winners back in front at the start of the final quarter but within a minute, Conor McGrath tied up the game again when he pointed after a great break by Sean Collins.Ten minutes from time, a Paudge Collins break resulted in a 20m free, which Cathal McInerney converted. David Davenport had an Ennistymon point in the sixth minute but two minutes later Cratloe were in front for the first time when Cathal McInerney finished a good move to the net. It seemed to catch Cratloe goalie Jamie Joyce off guard. Ennistymon trailed by a point when Michael McDonagh won possession and after making good ground, his left-footed effort looked to be going over the bar but dipped and struck the upright. The lead was short-lived as David Davenport hit the equaliser two minutes later.From here to the finish, a draw appeared the likely outcome. The ball came off the upright and hit Joyce on the back and crossed the goal line.

They have also got the man who led them to that intermediate title back in their corner as David OBrien takes up the reins once more. On that day, Miltown were comfortable winners and their curve has been on the upward trajectory ever since. 2015 and 2018 saw them crowned champions with the core of that team being with them throughout that journey. It is a sign of far each club has risen that this senior championship opening round is a repeat of the 2013 intermediate final. Kilmihil eventually got over the line after consistently contesting for intermediate honours, and built on that last year by consolidating their senior status. Club legend Mark OConnell is the man on the line and along with former international rules star Odran ODwyer they will have Kilmihil well primed for this test.

Sean Rouine, Cian Shannon, Sean McConigley and Cillian Rouine will revel in the space and that could well nullify the more psychical element that the likes of Paraic Aherne and Colm Dillon will bring for Doonbeg. The venue for this one could be a defining factor. The expanses of Cusack Park might just suit a more youthful Ennistymon who have a team loaded with pace. Ennistymon will look to run the channels and make the space for the inside line, and their return to Cusack Park should be a fruitful one.

List Of Finals[edit]

In gauging how this one plays out, it remains to be seen how Ennistymon will bounce back from the disappointment. Doonbegs league form was also positive and they finished off the job with victory over Kildysart on a day when the class of David Tubridy shone through as they picked up the Garry Cup title. That bore out in the Cusack Cup where a home-semi final was secured but the manner of the defeat that day to Clondegad will be of concern. The initial signs are positive in that stalwarts like Joe Dowling and Laurence Healy are still manning their posts and providing the leadership to the young guns.

The Naomh Eoin contingent will have had a bye in the opening round but with the likes of Sean Haugh and Thomas Clancy being key men for the new group team, it is an obvious concern. That is magnified by the fact that the local derby element for OCurrys will be critical against Kilkee and with plenty hits going in, the question has to be asked as to how players will react to having to face into arguably an even bigger test the following day at senior level. It is a big demand on players to go week on week for championship games, but facing into two in the space of 24 hours is a mammoth one. With both teams also preparing for the intermediate championship, their time together under the watch of new manager Joe Garry has been limited in comparison with their senior counterparts and their togetherness will be tested in the heat of championship.

That will be the furthest things from the minds this weekend though where two crucial championship points are on offer. With three teams in the group, it means whoever comes out on top here will be in a strong position to reach the last eight and that is the real prize on offer. There was something of a warm up for this tie in recent weeks as they played out a 1-9 to 1-9 draw in the OGorman Cup semi-final, with uncertainty still surrounding the future of that replay.