In the Senior Championship Kilmihil got off to a good start when they beat Kilrush in the first round.
Final Score: Kilmihil 0-11 Kilrush 2-1
“Unbeaten in four glorious championship years, Clare Football king-pins, Kilrush Shamrocks, made a most inauspicious debut in their quest for a five-in-a-row achievement, when they had to bow the knee to a Kilmihil side, that took no cognisance of their opponent’s reputation, in a thrilling first round tie, at Doonbeg on Sunday. This was a thrill-a-minute game, hard and uncompromising, and the large crowd delighted in the determined exchanges, that saw no quarter asked or given. Sheer hunger for victory, and an urgency about their play, that made it seem as though this were a Final, rather than a first round tie, hall-marked Kilmihil’s performance. They were completely on top in the first half, so much so that the Champions failed to raise a flag. They turned over 6 points to the good.
A feature of Kilmihil’s play was the way in which they combined for their scores. No fewer than 9 players scored – all the forwards, the two mid-fielders, and substitute Francis Cussen, and of the 11 points scored, only 1 came from a placed ball. In the first half they dominated play entirely, but should have been ahead by far more than 6 points. It took them time to get their shooting straight, but once they clicked, the scores came, and Kilrush could do nothing about it. Martin Murphy’s performance in defence, was never less than thrustful and whole hearted. His colleagues seemed to derive inspiration from him, and fellow defenders, Stan Lineen, Sean Murphy and Pat Garry, succeeded in snuffing out the challenge of the Kilrush attack. The U21 pair, Noel Normoyle and Michael Keating, worked unceasingly at mid-field, and set up attack after attack, while inside, John Moran, Declan Mc Namara and Michael Garvey were quick to snap up opportunities, and convert them to good effect. Sub Francis Cussen made an auspicious start, when he was introduced mid-way through the second half. Having placed Declan Mc Namara for a point he followed up with 1 himself.”
Scorers: Michael Lineen and Michael Garvey 0-2 each, John Moran, Noel Normoyle, Pat Daly, Gerard Johnston, Francis Cussen, Michael Keating and Declan Mc Namara 0-1 each.
Team: Joe Kelly, Teddy Murphy, Stan Lineen, John Callinan, Martin Murphy, Sean Murphy, Pat Garry, Noel Normoyle, Michael Keating, Pat Daly, John Moran, Declan Mc Namara, Michael Lineen, Michael Garvey and Gerard Johnston.
Subs. Francis Cussen for Pat Daly and Colm Collins for Gerard Johnston.
In July 1979 Kilmihil secured a place in the Senior Championship Semi-Final with a victory over Shannon Gaels.
Score: Kilmihil 1-11 Shannon Gaels 1-4
“Kilmihil were on top throughout, and there was a marked contrast in the approach of both forward lines. Kilmihil picked off their points intelligently, through the good offices of Michael Lineen and Michael Garvey, while the Gaels seemed intent on high lobs into the goalmouth, along with short passing movements, which more often than not were intercepted. The Kilmihil half-back line was extremely sound throughout, with Sean Murphy in the centre especially effective. Stan Lineen, Martin Murphy and Teddy Murphy frustrated the efforts of the Gael’s forwards division, on numerous occasions. Noel Normoyle shared the mid-field honours with Declan Casey, who really played his heart out for the Gaels. Michael Garvey’s industry in attack, was rewarded with three well taken points, and Michael Lineen, John Moran and Francis Cussen all contributed handsomely to Kilmihil’s victory”
Scorers: Michael Lineen 0-4, Gerard Johnston 1-0, Michael Garvey 0-3, Francis Cussen 0-2, Declan Mc Namara and Martin Murphy 0-1 each.
Team: Kevin O’Halloran, Stan Lineen, Teddy Murphy, John Callinan, Martin Murphy, Sean Murphy, Pat Garry, Noel Normoyle, Michael Keating, Declan Mc Namara, John Moran, Michael Lineen, Francis Cussen, Michael Garvey and Gerard Johnston.
Subs. Michael O’Leary for John Callinan, Pat Daly for Declan Mc Namara, Colm Collins for Gerard Johnston.
In 1979, first round losers got a second chance and thus Kilrush who’s pride was dented by a rampant Kilmihil team in the first round, got back into the Championship through the losers group. Kilrush were out for revenge when they met Kilmihil for the second time in the Semi-Final in August at Miltown Malbay. Beating Kilrush in the Senior Championship is always an achievement, attempting to do it twice in one year is quite another matter and as Kilmihil contemplated this task the tension levels in the dressing room were high prior to the game. This nervous tension effected the performance of the team and in a closely fought contest Kilrush emerged victorious by 1 point.
Final score: Kilrush 1-6 Kilmihil 0-8
Kilmihil had 6 players on the County U21 team in 1979, Michael & Stan Lineen, John Moran, Michael Keating, Pat Garry & Noel Normoyle.