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Crusheen took the first step towards saving their senior status for 2022 when they recorded a hard earned two point win over O’Callaghans Mills.

Crusheen 1-19
O’Callaghans Mills 1-17
Venue: Clonlara

Lining out with former club and county captain Gerry O’Grady in the team at full forward, they fought back from an early deficit and held the lead throughout the second half.

Ongoing injuries forced O’Grady to retire from senior hurling a few years back but he has been hugely influential in leading the club to the junior championship final this season and this led to his return to the senior side.

Boosted by an early goal from Sean Cotter, the Mills led 1-4 to 0-6 at the first waterbreak but when the half time whistle sounded Crusheen had edged a point ahead with the score at 0-11 to 1-7.

Helped by a goal from a long range free from Ciaran O’Doherty, the winners pushed five points clear in the third quarter at the end of which they were 1-15 to 1-10 clear.

The Mills piled on the pressure and fought back to within a point of their opponents but try as they did they failed to get back on terms on a day when Jacob Loughnane was in sparkling form from placed balls accounting for 0-13 of his side’s total.

With seven players featuring on their scorers list, Crusheen held the edge which proved crucial in getting them overs the line. Conor O’Donnell was his side’s top scorer with 0-7, five from frees, to his credit. Jamie Fitzgibbon contributed 0-5 from play as Crusheen put themselves in a strong position to avoid the drop to intermediate level.

O’Donnell, Fitzgibbon, Donal Tohy, Eanna McMahon Cian Dillon and John Brigdale until injured were prominent for Crusheen.

Scorers Crusheen: C O’Donnell (0-7 5f), J Fitzgibbon (0-5), C O’Doherty (1-2), B Horner (0-2), C Mullins (0-1), G O’Grady (0-1), A Tuohy (0-1).

Scorers O’Callaghans Mills: J Loughnane (0-13), S Cotter (1-2), G Cooney (0-1), A Fawl (0-1).

Crusheen; Donal Tuohy; Tadhg Deane, Ciaran O’Doherty, Eanna McMahon; John Brigdale, Cian Dillon, Cathal Dillon; Cilléin Mullins, Oisin O’Donnell; Conor O’Donnell, Jamie Fitzgibbon, Fergus Kennedy; Diarmuid Mullins, Gerry O’Grady, Breffni Horner.

Subs: Luke Kettaalar for D Mullins, Luke Hayes for Brigdale (inj); Mark Perrill for Cathal Dillon; Murrough McMahon for Kennedy (inj.) Alan Tuohy for O’Grady.

O’Callaghans Mills: Killian Nugent; Ciaran Cooney, Conor Cooney, Gerry Cooney; Patrick Donnellan, Aidan O’Gorman, Sean O’Gorman; Conor Henry, Cormac Murphy; Jacob Loughnane, Gary Cooney, Aidan Fawl; Colm Cleary, Sean Cotter, Colin Crehan.

Subs: Conor Cooney (Ermhill) for Cleary; Michael McGrath for A. Fawl.

Referee: Wayne King (St Josephs Doora/Barefield)

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