Cratloe’s experience proved too much for a new look young Crusheen side in this senior hurling championship first round tie at Cusack Park this Saturday evening.

Cratloe 3-16
Crusheen 1-15
Venue: Cusack Park, Ennis

That the Cratloe men deserved their victory, Crusheen can take heart from the battling qualities of their young side, many of whom were playing senior championship for the first time.

Eleven players shared in Cratloe’s impressive tally on a day when Rian Considine and Shane O’Leary were absent due to injury

A Shane Neville goal in the tenth minute helped Cratloe to hold a two point lead at half time when the score was 1-7 to 0-8.

Not for the first time the leadership qualities of Conor McGrath played a key role in Cratloe’s victory. He finished the game with a tally of 1-4 and he helped set up many scores for his team mates as he caused a lot of problems for Crusheen

The sides exchanged points early in the second half but then in a seven minute spell before the end of the third quarter the South Clare side hit 1-3 without reply which pushed their advantage to eight points and sent them on their way to this opening round merited victory.

It was 2-12 to 0-11 to the winners at the three quarter stage and whatever hopes Crusheen had of rallying were dealt a big blow a minute after the second water break as Shane Neville struck for his second goal of the evening after being put clear by McGrath.

Crusheen’s response was impressive as they struck for four unanswered points but three in a row for Cratloe killed that Crusheen rally. Crusheen battled to the end and Conor O’Donnell fired home their goal a minute into injury time.

Ross Hayes, Donal Tuohy, Fergus Kennedy, Oisin and Conor O’Donnell and Eanna McMahon got through a lot of good work for Crusheen but Cratloe were deserving winners on a day when Liam Markham, Damian Browne, Enda Boyce, Shane Neville and Conor McGrath were to the fore.

Scorers Cratloe: Shane Neville (2-2), Conor McGrath (1-4, 0-3f)), Enda Boyce (0-2), Michael Hawes, Shane Gleeson, Podge Collins, Cathal McInerney, Luke Healy, Damian Browne (free), Jack McInerney, Diarmuid Ryan (0-1) each

Scorers Crusheen: Ross Hayes (0-7, 6f) Conor O’Donnell (1-1), Oisin O’Donnell (0-3); Murrough McMahon (0-2)Jamie Fitzgibbon, Breffni Horner (0-1) each

Cratloe:
1: Gearoid Ryan

17: Martin ‘Oige’ Murphy
3: Liam Markham
4: David Collins

5: Diarmuid Ryan
6: Damian Browne
7: Aaron Costigan

8: Enda Boyce
9: Daithi Collins

10: Shane Gleeson
15: Conor McGrath
13: Shane Neville

18: Cathal McInerney
19: Podge Collins
14: Michael Hawes

Subs
12: Luke Healy for Gleeson(40)
22: Jack McInerneey for P. Collins (45)
20: Sean Collins for Hawes (47)
25: Sean Chaplin for Daithi Collins (55)
23: Pakie O’Gorman for Neville (50)

Crusheen:
1: Donal Tuohy

2: Luke Hayes
3: Éanna McMahon
4: John Brigdale

8: Tadhg Deane
6: Cian Dillon
5: Ross Hayes

15: Conor O’Donnell
7: Fergus Kennedy

10: Diarmuid Mullins
9: Oisin O’Donnell
11: Cilléin Mullins

6: Jamie Fitzgibbon
18: Murrough McMahon
14: Breffni Horner

Subs:
17: Gavin O’Brien for Brigdale (45)
13: Luke Ketelaar for M. McMahon (47)

Referee: Rory McGann (Newmarket-on-Fergus)

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