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Big names to the fore as Clare SHC commences

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*Cathal Malone netted a hat-trick for Sixmilebridge. Photograph: John Meyler

Seven games took place in the Clare senior hurling championship on Saturday marking the beginning of the 2019 campaign.

Despite raising four green flags, Whitegate still ended up on the losing side in their clash with Cratloe. Despite being reduced to fourteen men when Sean Collins was shown a straight red card, the 2014 double champions showed great resolve to record a 0-29 4-12 win. Terence Fahy’s East Clare side though they came out on the losing side will take a lot of positives from the game as they prepare for round two in a fortnight.

A Colm Galvin goal on fifty six minutes accompanied a strong Clonlara finish as they outscored O’Callaghans Mills 1-05 0-01 in the final ten minutes to secure a 1-18 1-10 victory. Cathal Tots O’Connell kept their account ticking throughout but was one of three players to receive a red card, the other two being from the Mills. Killian Nugent managed to save two penalties for last year’s semi-finalists but it wasn’t enough to stop Clonlara who will go from strength to strength.

Intermediate champions, Feakle consolidated their senior status for 2020 deservedly overcoming Newmarket-on-Fergus 2-12 1-13. Goals in either half, a Shane McGrath penalty and a Gary Guilfoyle rebounded effort sunk the Blues.

In the shock of the round, Clare Cup champions Kilmaley suffered a one point extra time defeat to Éire Óg. David Reidy’s last gasp 65 made it 1-18 0-20 in favour of the Townies. Playing with the aid of the breeze, a Shane O’Donnell goal gave the Ennis club a six point half-time lead. County panellist Michael O’Neill struck the equaliser late on to send the tie to extra time. The excitement continued and it would take the last puck to separate the sides. Éire Óg march on to the winners section while Kilmaley will be the team everyone is hoping to avoid in the losers group.

Inagh/Kilnamona bounced back from their defeat to Kilmaley last weekend impressively etching out a 1-24 1-10 win against Tulla. Jason McCarthy’s absence through suspension didn’t deter Fergal Hegarty’s men who proved too strong for the 2007 winners.

Cathal Malone scored a hat-trick with fellow Clare panellist Shane Golden hitting the back of the net in Sixmilebridge’s dominant 4-15 0-09 meeting with Clarecastle. As well as laying down a marker, Tim Crowe’s charges welcomed Jamie Shanahan back into the fold for his first competitive appearance of the year.

Extra time was also required in the anticipated clash of Ballyea and Clooney/Quin. Level seven times in normal time, Peter Duggan and Niall Deasy traded scores near the death to result in extra time. A blistering start to the second half where Duggan netted two goals in six minutes saw Clooney/Quin build up a seven point advantage but they would only add four further points as the county champions through a Tadhg Lynch goal, plus points from Deasy and Gary Brennan levelled matters. Captain Tony Kelly fired 1-02 in the first half of extra time as they took control with Niall Deasy converting a penalty on seventy six minutes to seal their 3-23 2-19 win.

Parteen defeated Bodyke 4-17 1-13 in the only Clare IHC clash of the day.

Páraic McMahon is Head of News & Sport with The Clare Echo. The Newmarket-on-Fergus native also writes for national papers including The Irish Examiner, The Irish Independent and The Irish Times along with doing work for RTÉ, Today FM, and A graduate of Mary Immaculate College, Páraic was previously employed by The Clare Herald and Clare FM. If you have a story, tip or some feedback for him then send an email to -

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