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A historic hat-trick was created on Saturday as the Minor Football Championships concluded in dramatic fashion around the county.

Ennistymon expertly carved out back-to-back Minor Division 1 crowns for the very first time in the club’s history when holding off Kilrush/Killimer by 0-8 to 0-5 in Hennessy Memorial Park. Never behind at any stage, Ennistymon were the more clinical side throughout, even when the West Clare amalgamation managed to regain parity at the start of the second period at 0-4 to 0-4.

However, the leadership of joint-captains Brian McNamara and Eanna Rouine along with a brilliant display from the relentless Sean Rynne ensured that Ennistymon would rebuild with four unanswered points. Rynne, who had also soared to the man-of-the-match honours in the Minor A Hurling Final with Inagh-Kilnamona, was one of seven dual Minor hurling and football winners, five of whom played on both days.

Kilrush/Killimer inevitably rallied, despite losing county minor captain Dylan O’Brien to a leg injury but an elusive goal never arrived as realistically, they will rue their missed opportunities in the opening period despite strong displays from Conor Fennell and Sean Canny.

In terms of history, that feat was surpassed in Cooraclare earlier that afternoon as Banner cemented a first ever Minor Football Championship title with a 0-13 to 1-7 Division 2 derby victory over Éire Óg.

Steered by the ever-impressive Sean McMahon who finished with a cool ten point haul, Banner led from start to finish and even held a five points cushion by the break at 0-8 to 0-3.

Éire Óg’s comeback hopes, fronted by some excellent scores from Andrew McElwee, still came up short to a McMahon-inspired Banner who actually powered 0-11 to 0-5 clear by the turn of the final quarter. So despite a Fionnan Treacy goal in the 50th minute, Banner’s defence held firm thanks in the main to Ronan Kilroy and Justin McGrath.

An afternoon of breakthroughs continued in Clareabbey when Clarecastle deservedly garnered the Minor Division 3 honours for the first time with a 1-9 to 0-7 victory over Cratloe.

Having not fielded at minor football level in recent seasons, it was triumphant return for the Magpies in bridging a 21 year gap to their last minor football championship silverware of any kind.

James Doherty’s assuredness from frees (seven in all) allied to the settling boost of a Niall Óg Tuohy goal just before the water break aided Clarecastle’s challenge despite the best efforts of Cratloe trio Danny Duane, Keelan O’Donoghue and Jake Higgins.

In contrast, a grandstand finish complete with goals from Fiachra Kirby And Ciaran Connolly helped Clondegad to a dramatic minimum 2-4 to 0-9 victory over hosts Kilmurry Ibrickane in the Minor Division 1 Shield decider on Saturday morning.

In the final underage hurling final of 2021, Sean Guilfoyle’s brilliant 16 point haul helped Wolfe Tones to finally see off home side Crusheen/Tubber after extra-time to claim the Under 14C Shield in Tubber on Monday night.

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