Kilmurry-Ibrickane 1-12 Cratloe 0-12

The team of the last two decades commenced a new one in similar determined fashion as Kilmurry-Ibrickane bounced back from last year's final reverse to wrestle back the Clare senior football honours in Cusack Park, Ennis on Saturday afternoon.

Despite it being a remarkable 12th championship clash between the teams in just 11 seasons, the Bricks superior experience and winning know-how dictated matters for the majority to close out their 16th ever Jack Daly Cup triumph. 

Mark Killeen's ninth-minute goal  was significant at the time but also proved decisive in the end - the full-back managed to get on the end of a flowing counter-attack move to cooly finish and wipe out their opponent's brighter start.

2013 and '14 champions Cratloe, who had been beaten by Kilmurry-Ibrickane in their last final appearance in 2016 after a replay and also suffered defeat in the last two hurling deciders, began with intent this time around with three of the first four points.

Conal O'Hanlon, Podge Collins and Diarmuid Ryan's early scores were undone by Killeen's goal and it was the spark that the Bricks required to quickly move through the gears and seize full control.

A five-point unanswered rally, led by braces from the ever-impressive Keelan Sexton and Noel Downes, cemented a seven point turnaround on the 2016 and '17 winners' way to a 1-6 to 0-5 interval lead.

It was an all-too familiar position for Kilmurry-Ibrickane who, thanks to Sexton's heroics would stretch their cushion to six by the two-thirds mark before Cratloe finally rediscovered their groove.

At the turn of the final quarter, Conal O'Hanlon's back post flick to the net was ruled out for a square ball but did seem to motivate Cratloe to new heights.

Led by the Collins brothers, Sean and Podge, they kicked four points without reply, two from O'Hanlon frees, to cut the deficit to just two, entering the last ten minutes at 1-09 to 0-10.

That was as good as it would get, however, as without an elusive Cratloe goal, the 'Bricks expertly soaked up any pressure to pounce on the counter. It resulted in three of the last five points, fittingly implemented by first-time winner Daniel Walsh (2) and Michael Hogan, who completed his ninth county success.

Captain Hogan, along with late replacements Enda Coughlan and Michael O'Dwyer, have been involved in all nine crowns since 2002. There's no substitute for experience it seems.

Kilmurry Ibrickane: David Sexton; Shane Hickey, Mark Killeen (1-00), Darren Hickey; Diarmuid King, Ciaran Morrissey (0-01), Darragh Sexton; Daniel Walsh (0-02), Aidan McCarthy; Michael Hogan (0-01), Dermot Coughlan, Andrew Shannon (0-01); Keelan Sexton (0-05, 0-02f), Noel Downes (0-02), Martin McMahon

Subs: Daryn Callinan for Downes (50), Enda Coughlan for Hogan (57), Michael O'Dwyer for D. Coughlan (59)

Cratloe: Pierce DeLoughrey; David Collins, Sean Chaplin, Michael Brennan; Liam Markham (0-01), Sean Collins (0-01), Martin 'Oige' Murphy; Diarmuid Ryan (0-01), Conal O'Hanlon (0-03, 0-03f); Shane Neville, Podge Collins (0-02), Shane Gleeson; Cathal McInerney (0-04, 0-04f), Conor McGrath, Rian Considine

Subs: Enda Boyce for Chaplin (HT), Billy Sheehan for Considine (40), Killian Phair for Neville (41)

Referee: Niall Quinn (St Joseph's Miltown)