*Colm Flynn holds onto possession. Photograph: Gerard O’Neill

SIXMILEBRIDGE’s second string have advanced to the Clare IHC final for the first time since 2008 after causing a massive upset against last year’s beaten finalists Tulla.

Sixmilebridge 2-19
Tulla 2-14
Venue: Clarecastle

It wasn’t the result that many pundits had predicted but there will be few disputing the merit of Sixmilebridge’s victory over Tulla in the first of the TUS intermediate hurling championship semi-finals played before a big attendance at Clarecastle this Saturday afternoon.

Early second half goals from Sean Lynch and Cathaoir Agnew played a key role in their victory on a day when they scored the last four points of the game to win by that margin.

Forced to line out without their two most experienced players, David McInrney and Daragh Corry, due to injury served as a huge blow to Tulla and while both were introduced in the final quarter, the Bridge had the upperhand in key areas at this time.

The winners had the opening two points of the game and approaching the end of the opening quarter they led 0-5 to 0-2.

Tulla got a lucky break at the midpoint of the half when a delivery from wing back Padraic Mulconroy slipped through the hand of Sixmilebridge goalie Colm Fitzgerald for the game’s opening goal which gave them a two point lead. The winners hit back with three in a row to retake the lead but Tulla finished the half strongly and led 1-8 to 0-9 at the break.

Points were exchanged at the start of the new half but then the winners struck for those two goals and they quickly opened a seven point advantage.

Sean Withycombe hit back with three points for Tulla, two from frees, before Sixmilebridge did likewise and they led 2-14 to 1-12 with seven minutes remaining.

Two pointed frees by Tulla brought it back to a goal with three minutes remaining.

A Daragh Corry effort on goal was well saved by Colm Fitzgerald but Conor Murphy was following up and he finished the ball to the net to level the tie with three minutes of normal time remaining.

An additional five minutes were signalled following a long stoppage at the start of the final quarter after a number of players and substitutes were involved in a melee, sparked off by when a Sixmilebridge water carrier came onto the pitch and had an altercation with a Tulla player.

The winners dominated that extra period, hitting five unanswered points for a merited win

Scorers Sixmilebridge; Sean Lynch (1-6, 0-2 f); Cathaoir Agnew (1-0); Alan Mulready, Jack Corry (0-3) each;Luke O’Halloran (1 free), Luke Keogh 0-2 each; Christy Carey Colm Flynn Evan McInerney (0-1) each

Scorers Tulla: Sean Withycombe (0-9, 8f) Conor Murphy (1-3); Padaic Mulconryt (1-0), Ronan Molloy, Jimmy O’Gorman (0-1) each

Sixmilebridge;
1: Colm Fitzgerald

5: Oisin Breen
3: Aidan Quilligan
4: Cillian Custy;

8: Christy Carey
6: EvanMcInerney
7: Dara Fitzgerald

17: Cathaoir Agnew
9: Colm Flynn

10: Luke O’Halloran
11: Adam Bfeen
12: Luke Keogh

13: Kevin Lynch
14: Alan Mulready
15: Sean Lynch

Subs:
18: Jack Corry for O’Halloran (43)
19: Christy Griffin for A. Breen (47)
20: Ronan Tuohy for Keogh (50)

Tulla;
1: Dan Vaughan

2: Kevan Conlon
3: Fergal Kearney
4: Dara Ryan

5: Fionn Ryan
6: Tony Leyden
7: Padraic Mulconroy

8: Dan Withycombe
9: Ronan Molloy

18: Jimmy O’Gorman
10: Seanie Withycombe
12: Willie Halpin

13: Conor Murphy
14: Niall Bolton
15: David Meehan

Subs:
17: Michael Ryan for Hapin (35)
27: Daragh Corry for O’Gorman (38)
19: Paul Lynch for Kearney (48)
11: David McInerney for Bolton (48)
20: Colm McInerney for D Withycombe (53)

Referee: John Bugler (Whitegate)

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