St. Joseph's Milltown Malbay 0-14 Ennistymon 0-08

St Joseph's Miltown secured their second Clare Senior Football title in four years in Cusack Park, Ennis this afternoon after a storming second half display saw them finally ease clear of final debutants Ennistymon.

Level at 0-04 to 0-04 approaching half-time, the 2015 champions were by far the more efficient when outscoring the North Clare side by 0-10 to 0-04 for the remainder to run out convincing victors in front of an attendance of 5,533.

A five point haul from county senior Eoin Cleary proved a real guiding force for Miltown on his way to the championship top-scorer award following a handsome tally of 36 points in five matches while Kieran Malone, Darragh McDonagh and Cormac Murray were others to tack on crucial second half scores in contrast to a more wasteful Ennistymon.

Belying any initial nerves in their first senior decider, Ennistymon set the early pace but failed to demonstrate their dominance on the scoreboard, with six first half wides and a spurned goal chance for Joey Rouine, whose point blank effort was saved by the legs of goalkeeper Sean O'Brien, denting their early enthusiasm.

Rouine did get them off the mark after only 90 seconds while a brace of Joe Dowling points nudged the underdogs back in front after an Eoin Cleary equaliser but that 0-3 to 0-1 advantage by the eleventh minute was as good as it got for a profligate Ennistymon.

Instead, a more composed St Joseph's Miltown patiently played their way back into contention through points from Kieran Malone and Cormac Murray while Eoin Cleary also answered a third Dowling point before the West Clare side finally hit the front.

Late points from Colin Hehir and Cleary would ensure a 0-6 to 0-4 half-time cushion that may have seemed flattering at the time but was more than justified on the restart as St Joseph's re-emerged with three more unanswered points through McDonagh (2) and Murray to move five clear by the turn of the final quarter.

Down the other end, Ennistymon's woes would be compounded when Michael Leigh struck agonisingly wide of the left post albeit that they did finally break their 30 minute barren period with a 40 metre free from substitute Aaron McNulty in the 46th minute.

Miltown duly responded with three of the next four points, two from the unerring boot of Eoin Cleary by the 55th minute to open up a double scores 0-12 to 0-06 advantage. 

Ennistymon craved a goal but despite carved out two more opportunities, Sean McConigley would see a goalbound shot saved on the line by Brian Curtin before David Fitzgerald's ground shot was repelled by goalkeeper O'Brien to typify their frustrating afternoon.

A more experienced St Joseph's Miltown would have no such issues as Malone and substitute Eoin Curtin matched anything that Ennistymon could throw at them to reclaim the Jack Daly Cup for the 14th time in their history to a chorus of 'Lovely Old Miltown'.

St Joseph's Miltown: Sean O'Brien; Aidan McGuane, Enda O'Gorman, Eoin O'Brien; Colin Hehir (0-01), Gordon Kelly (Captain), Jamesie O'Connor; Oisin Looney, Conor Cleary; Kevin Keavey, Brian Curtin, Kieran Malone (0-03); Eoin Cleary (0-05, 0-02f), Darragh McDonagh (0-02), Cormac Murray (0-02)

Subs: Eoin Curtin (0-01) for Keavey (40), Euan Reidy for O'Connor (51), Sean Malone for Murray (61), Seanie Malone for McGuane (63)

Ennistymon: Noel Sexton; Laurence Healy, Sean O'Driscoll (Captain), Adam Ralph; Kevin Hehir, Enda Ralph, Sean Rouine; Cathal Malone, David Fitzgerald; Michael Leigh, Michael McDonagh, Willie Murphy; Joe Dowling (0-05, 0-02f), Sean McConigley, Joey Rouine (0-01)

Subs: Aaron McNulty (0-02, 0-01f) for J. Rouine (39), Cian Shannon for Leigh (45), Ross O'Doherty for McDonagh (55), Michael Houlihan for S. Rouine (60, inj)

Referee: Jim Hickey (Cratloe)