1976 was a very busy year for the Club.
The U12’s were beaten in the Semi-Final by Eire Og and the U14’s were also beaten at the Semi-Final stage by St. Bridget’s.
The U16 team went all the way and won the Championship.
In the Minor Championship Kilmihil beat Kilrush 0-9 to 0-8 in the first round on 23rd April at Doonbeg.
Scorers: John Moran 0-3, Michael Lineen 0-3, Michael Conway, Bernard Keane & Colm Collins 0-1 each.
The second round was played on 2nd July at Doonbeg and they beat Miltown Malbay 3-6 to 2-2.
Scorers: John Callinan 2-0, Kevin Killeen 1-0, Michael Lineen 0-4, John Moran & Colm Collins 0-1 each.
They were beaten in the Semi-Final by Michael Cusack’s 2-8 to 1-4.
Team: Tom Hayes, John Earls, Gerard Johnston (Capt.), Gerard Deloughery, Stan Lineen, Pat Garry, Michael Kelly, Noel Normoyle, John Moran, Michael Lineen, Michael Keating, John Callinan, Bernard Keane, Michael Conway & Colm Collins.
The U21 team were beaten in the quarter final by St. Michael’s. Best for Kilmihil were John Moran, Brendan Normoyle, Noel Normoyle, Pat Daly and Michael Garvey.
In the Preliminary round of the Senior Football Championship in 1976 Kilmihil got off to a good start by defeating St. Patrick’s (an amalgamation of 5 clubs, Coolmeen, Clarecastle, Clondegad, Kildysart & Lissycasey) by 2-13 to 2-3.
“The basis for this large win was at centre-field, where brilliant pair Joe Kelly and Batt Crowley, were unbeatable, despite playing against several St. Patrick’s pairings.
The Kilmihil half-back line of Declan Mc Namara, Sean & Martin Murphy was outstanding. Michael Johnston & Pat Daly were the pick of the Kilmihil attack.”
Team: Gerard Johnston, Kevin O’Halloran, Teddy Murphy, Thomas Mc Mahon, Declan Mc Namara, Sean Murphy, Martin Murphy, Batt Crowley, Joe Kelly, Michael Johnston, Francis Cussen, John Moran, Noel Lorigan, Michael Garvey & Pat Daly.
In the first round of the Senior Championship, Kilmihil defeated St. Michael’s by 1-9 to 0-3.
“Sean Murphy was impregnable at centre-back for the winners, and he was ably assisted by the rest of the back-line, especially Declan Mc Namara, Martin Murphy and Thomas Mc Mahon at left half-back. Joe Kelly and particularly Batt Crowley, were impressive at mid-field for Kilmihil. John Moran proved troublesome for Ennistymon in the Kilmihil attack, while Pat Daly also played well for the winners at corner-forward.”
In the quarter-final Kilmihil met Doonbeg and the game ended in a draw, the score being: Kilmihil 1-4 Doonbeg 0-7 Kilmihil were the better team in this encounter but gifted Doonbeg a simple goal to bring them back into the game. Kilmihil missed a number of close in scoring opportunities and Doonbeg fought back to force a replay.
The replay took place on 8th August 1976 and for once Kilmihil got the better of Doonbeg in a replay. The final score was: Kilmihil 1-4 Doonbeg 0-3
“After many gruelling defeats in recent years, Kilmihil footballers have finally been favoured by Lady Luck. In a tough and highly physical Senior Championship Quarter-Final re-play, at Kilrush on Sunday, they issued marching orders to Doonbeg, by virtue of a 4 point lead, at the end of a low scoring game.”
Scorers: Noel Lorigan 1-0, Joe Mc Namara 0-2, Joe Kelly & Pat Daly 0-1 each.
Team: Gerard Johnston, Kevin O’Halloran, Teddy Murphy, Thomas Mc Mahon, Declan Mc Namara, Sean Murphy, Martin Murphy, Batt Crowley, Joe Kelly, Michael O’Leary, Francis Cussen, John Moran, Noel Lorigan, Joe Mc Namara & Pat Daly.
Subs: Brendan Normoyle for Pat Daly and Noel Normoyle for Batt Crowley.
The Senior Championship Semi-Final was played in Doonbeg on 14th August, between Kilmihil and St. Joseph’s, Miltown Malbay.
Final Score: Kilmihil 2-6 St. Joseph’s 1-4
“Once again, the Kilmihil defence, backed up with great experience, showed that they are undoubtedly the strongest in the county at the moment. The three Murphy brothers, Teddy, Sean & Martin, teamed up well with Kevin O’Halloran and Thomas Mc Mahon, to repel the Miltown attacks, and to defend their new goalie, Brendan Normoyle, who was replacing their regular goalie, Gerard Johnston, who was ill. But in defence too, Declan Mc Namara played a true Captain’s part, and when Miltown were visibly letting go the challenge, he drove the point home, with deep forays into the opposition’s defence. Batt Crowley gave a much improved display at mid-field, with Joe Kelly also contributing to his sides victory. The Kilmihil half-forward line
was never reluctant to take on the Miltown defence, but still it was not until the 9th minute that they succeeded in establishing a breach. It was then that Francis Normoyle gained possession, and deciding that Cussen was in a better position, he passed the ball, and Cussen obliged with the opening point of the game. Cussen stole the limelight for the second score of the game, also a point, in the 14th minute. After getting a heavy tackle on the side-line, he cut across, and with a right footed kick, he sent the ball between the uprights. We had to wait 10 minutes for the next score, this time a goal for Kilmihil. This score must have done a lot to demoralise the Miltown men, particularly with corner-back J.J. Burke facilitating Kilmihil, by deflecting the ball to the net, despite playing a good game otherwise.
After the resumption, Kilmihil were again first to strike, with a point in the 5th minute, by John Moran, after a pass from Pat Daly. Daly was on the mark himself, 1 minute later, with a point from a free, to put 6 points between the sides”
Further points from Noel Lorigan and Pat Daly and a goal by Michael Johnston gave Kilmihil a 5 point win.
Team: Brendan Normoyle, Kevin O’Halloran, Teddy Murphy, Thomas Mc Mahon, Declan Mc Namara, Sean Murphy, Martin Murphy, Batt Crowley, Joe Kelly, John Moran, Francis Normoyle, Francis Cussen, Noel Lorigan, Joe Mc Namara & Pat Daly.
Subs: Michael Johnston for Noel Lorigan and Noel Normoyle for Joe Mc Namara.
The Senior Football Final was played on 28th August at Miltown Malbay between Kilmihil and Kilrush.
“The saga of disappointments, which Kilmihil has had to bear in recent years, was continued at the Hennessy Memorial Park, Miltown Malbay, on Sunday last, when they were defeated by Kilrush Shamrocks, in the Clare Senior Football Championship. Tears welled in the eyes of Kilmihil supporters and players, as the final whistle sounded another defeat for a club, which has been beaten in 5 Senior Finals, two of which went to replays, since 1958.
The game got off to a blistering start with a goal for Kilrush after 4 minutes but Kilmihil responded with a point from Francis Cussen and this was followed by a goal by John Moran to give Kilmihil a 1 point lead. Kilrush came back to level matters before Pat Daly gave Kilmihil the lead once again. Points were exchanged again and just before half time Seanie Moloney took a pass from his brother Anthony and he shot to the net to give Kilrush a 2 point lead at half time. With the momentum on their side Kilrush increased their lead with 2 further points. Noel Normoyle was introduced and made an immediate impact in scoring a point. Kilrush responded with a point and Kilmihil’s hopes were raised when Michael Johnston got through to score a goal. With 8 minutes to go Francis Cussen equalised but Kilmihil failed to take several chances whereas Kilrush managed to score twice in that period. Kilmihil tried for a match winning goal in the dying minutes, but on all occasions the ball was knocked down by, or hit off fellow forwards.
“Sean Murphy, at centre-back for the losers, was unbeatable. From the throw-in to the last second of the game, he tried relentlessly to put his team on top, and his performance will be remembered as the high-light of the game.”
Sean was awarded “Man-of-the Match” for his display.
Scorers: John Moran 1-0, Michael Johnston 1-0, Pat Daly 0-3, Francis Cussen 0-1, Noel Normoyle 0-1.
Team: Gerard Johnston, Kevin O’Halloran, Teddy Murphy, Thomas Mc Mahon, Declan Mc Namara, Sean Murphy, Martin Murphy, Batt Crowley, Joe Kelly, John Moran, Francis Normoyle, Michael Johnston, Joe Mc Namara & Pat Daly.
Subs: Noel Normoyle for Batt Crowley and Noel Lorigan for Pat Daly.
The Semi-Final of the Cusack Cup was played on 3rd October 1976 however after the disappointment of losing the County Final Kilmihil had lost their form and were easily beaten by their old rivals Doonbeg on the score of 1-11 to 1-5.
The Park was officially opened in 1959 and basically nothing further was done until 1975 when the Park Development Committee was formed.
An Investors Club was formed to raise finance to carry out the much needed drainage work on the field. In 1976 the Club purchased 2 acres of land, the car park was developed, an embankment was formed where the covered stand is today, the field was fenced all round and four dressing rooms were constructed. The construction of the dressing rooms was done by voluntary labour and in this regard the players made a major contribution.
In this day and age dressing rooms and hot showers are taken for granted but not all clubs had such facilities in the 1970’s and it was common practice to tog out by the ditch or at the back of the car in those days.