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*Feakle’s Oisin Donnellan. Photograph: Sport Action Photography

Feakle secured a first Clare Cup title in over three decades with a memorable nine point win over Kilmaley.

Clare Cup Division 1A Round 5
Feakle 2-17
Kilmaley 1-11

With their fate very much in their own hands, Feakle were never going to pass up such a golden opportunity to win back the Clare Cup for the first time since 1988. However, determination aside, it was the serendipitous manner of how they did so that will live long in the memory as knowing that they needed as handsome a victory as possible, they took full advantage of the first quarter dismissal of Mikey O’Malley to make their dreams come true in Kilmaley on Friday evening.

With Shane McGrath expectedly steering the ship with a double figure haul, a paltry 0-3 to 0-2 first quarter advantage was bolstered by a Raymond Bane goal on the restart albeit that Daire Keane kept 14 man Kilmaley firmly in touch to only trail by 1-6 to 0-7 by the break.

That major would remain the divider until Kilmaley responded in kind on the restart through Gearoid O’Grady, only to see their comeback hopes dashed in the next passage of play when Oisin Donnellan found the net at the other end.

It was the defining moment as the home side never recovered whereas Feakle only grew in stature and on the scoreboard to complete a fairytale win by nine and most significantly a slender three point advantage on score difference from joint-leaders Cratloe to secure some much-needed early silverware.
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Feakle: Stevie Moloney; Ger Hanrahan, Evan McMahon, James Noonan; Killian Bane, Eoin Tuohy, Adam Hogan; Shane McGrath, Con Smyth; Martin Daly, Oisin Donnellan, Enda Noonan; Steven Conway, Raymond Bane, Oisin Clune
Subs: Gary Guilfoyle, Fiachra Donnellan, Colin Nelson, Austin McMahon

Kilmaley: Bryan O’Loughlin; Tommy Barry, Colin McGuane, Brian Cahill; Aidan Griffey, Aidan McGuane, Sean Kennedy; Mikey O’Neill, Daire Keane (0-6); Eanna McMahon, Mikey O’Malley, Tom O Rourke; Peter Ronan, Sean O Loughlin, Gearoid O’Grady
Subs: Aidan Kennedy, Cian Moloney, Noel Casey, Joe Carmody

Referee: Jim Hickey (Cratloe)

Cratloe hold the edge over Sixmilebridge

Cratloe 1-18
Sixmilebridge 1-16

Cratloe kept up their end of the bargain by rolling with the punches to edge the Garneyside derby honours but it would be the only spoils the home side would ultimately receive on Friday evening.

Cratloe’s six point second half turnaround ensured that Feakle had to win by seven or more to win the Clare Cup in Kilmaley, a feat that PJ Kelleher’s Feakle side actually surpassed, much to the deflation of a sizeable attendance in Cratloe.

Well, half of them at least as there was plenty of interest in this ideal pre-championship clash that could have gone either way and was level on no fewer than eleven occasions over a gripping hour.

The Morey’s, brothers Caimin and Alex along with raiding wing-back cousin Seadna accounted for 11 of Sixmilebridge’s total while the inspirational Conor McGrath, despite being man-marked throughout, was aided by Rian Considine as the sides would go blow-for-blow eight times by the 26th minute. Late points from defenders Caimin and Seadna Morey edged the visitors 0-13 to 0-11 in front by the break while Jason Loughnane and Jamie Shanahan duly stretched that cushion to four on the restart, only to be met by a strong home resistance that outscored their neighbours by 1-7 to 1-1 for the remainder.

1-4 without reply capped off by an opportunist goal for the persistent Daithi Colllins saw Cratloe soar into the ascendancy, only to be grounded within two minutes when Sean MacNamara regained parity with a placed finish at 1-15 apiece.

A draw seemed inevitable but with potential silverware on the line, McGrath and Considine inched Cratloe over the line.

Cratloe: Gearoid Ryan; Shane O’Leary, Liam Markham, David Collins; Aaron Costigan, Damien Browne, Sean Collins; Enda Boyce, Daithi Collins; Mark O’Brien, Rian Considine, Luke Healy; Shane Neville, Mikey Hawes, Conor McGrath
Subs: Martin ‘Oige’ Murphy for O’Brien, Pakie O’Gorman for Daithi Collins (inj)

Sixmilebridge: Derek Fahy; Evan McInerney, Noel Purcell, Christy Clancy; Seadna Morey, Caimin Morey, Leon Kelly; Luke Keogh, Jason Loughnane; Alan Mulready, Jamie Shanahan, Sean MacNamara; Alex Morey, Brian Corry, Paul Corry
Subs: Jack Corry for Mulready (inj), Conor Deasy for P. Corry

Referee: Jarlath Donnellan (Wolfe Tones)

Clonlara hold off Clooney/Quin

Clonlara 1-13
Clooney-Quin 0-15

It was Clonlara that received the perfect pre-championship jolt after eventually holding off resurgent hosts Clooney-Quin on Thursday evening.

Leading for the majority, the visitors would power seven clear by the 30th minute, helped by a flicked Cilian Fennessy goal before the full-forward had to succumb to injury. Despite a determined second half backlash from Clooney-Quin through freetaker Darragh Keogh to finally reel in their opponents entering the final ten minutes, Clonlara still deservedly shaded the honours, fittingly through their captain and scorer-in-chief Micheál O’Loughlin.

Clonlara: Cillian O’Brien; Garrett Kennedy, Paul McNamara, Colm O’Meara; Ger Powell, Paraic O’Loughlin, Michael Clancy; Jathan McMahon, Sean Begley; Micheál O’Loughlin, David Fitzgerald, Conor Bourke; Micheál Stritch, Cillian Fennessy, Kieran Galvin
Subs: Bryan McLeish for Fennessy (inj), Daniel Moloney for Stritch, Sean Moriarty for Fitzgerald

Clooney-Quin: Keith Hogan; John Conneally, Shane McNamara, Ruaidhri McNamara; Mike McNamara, Conor Harrison, Paul Clune; Eanna Barry, Alan Culligan; Eoghan O’Brien, Mikey Corry, Darragh Keogh; Dylan Cunningham, Fergal Lynch, Eoin Guilfoyle
Subs: Ronan O’Donnell for Cunningham, Luke Harrison for Corry

Referee: Fearghal Gray (Feakle)

Powerful third quarter from Broadford

Broadford 3-17
Inagh-Kilnamona 1-18

A powerful third quarter ensured that Broadford’s return to the top flight finished on a high in Inagh on Friday evening.
The home side were a little more experimental but it was only in the second period that Broadford established full control when building upon a 0-11 to 0-08 interval advantage with goals from Oisin Kavanagh, Mark Moloney and Cathal Chaplin to soar 11 clear by the turn of the final quarter.

Inagh-Kilnamona did get a boost from their bench through Clare Under 20’s Conner Hegarty and Keelan Guyler, with the former raiding for 1-2 but it could only slash the final margin to five.

Broadford: Cian O’Brien; Jack Dillon, Darragh Whelan, Cian Mulqueen; Paddy Donnellan, Darren Chaplin, Paurig Taylor; Diarmuid Moloney, Jack O’Brien; Cathal Chaplin, Cian Cremins, Diarmuid O’Brien; Mark Moloney, Shane Taylor, Oisin Kavanagh
Subs: James Vaughan, Conor Phelan, Paul Moloney, Eoin O’Brien

Inagh-Kilnamona: Pa Kelly; Cathal McConigley, Sean Mahony, Eoin Fitzgerald; Seamus Foudy, Darren Cullinan, Liam Hehir; Keith Barry, Colin Shannon; Shane Vaughan, Milo Keane, Kevin Hehir; Conor Tierney, David Mescall, Gerry Coote
Subs: Paul O’Looney, Shane McInerney, Conner Hegarty, Keelan Guyler, Thomas Barry

Referee: Niall Malone (Éire Óg)

Victory for Crusheen in Phoney War

Crusheen 4-11
Ballyea 0-13 

With Crusheen and Ballyea set to clash again in Round 2 of the championship, there was a veritable phoney war in Crusheen on Sunday afternoon that was only lit up by four timely home goals.

Breffni Horner’s third minute strike helped the home side to a 1-6 to 0-5 interval lead over a Ballyea side that lost chief marksman Niall Deasy to injury. In what seemed an increasingly one sided affair, Cian Dillon added a second goal on the restart on his side’s way to a seven point lead by the two-thirds mark. Ballyea did finally respond, predominantly through Mossy Gavin placed balls to cut the arrears to four by the turn of the final quarter.

However, Crusheen again resumed with goals, this time a quick fire brace from Tadhg Deane and Breffni Horner to cement the final points.

Crusheen: Donal Tuohy; John Brigdale, Ciaran O’Doherty, Luke Hayes; Ross Hayes, Tadhg Dean, Fergus Kennedy; Cian Dillon, Murrough McMahon; Diarmuid Mullins, Cilléin Mullins, Luke Ketelaar; Oisin O’Donnell, Jamie Fitzgibbon, Breffni Horner
Subs: Alan Brigdale for J. Brigdale (inj), Conor O’Donnell, Alan Tuohy, Niall Kearney, Gavin O’Brien

Ballyea: Barry Coote; Joe Neylon, Peter Casey, Matthew Reidy; Mark Crowe, Cian Meaney, Stephen Casey; Pearse Lillis, Liam Crowe; Niall Deasy, Mossy Gavin, Cillian Brennan; Aaron Griffin, Aonghus Keane, Eoghan Donnellan
Subs: Daniel Kelly for Deasy (inj), Diarmuid O’Neill, Eoghan Gavin, Sean Meaney, Evan Wall

Referee: Jim Hickey (Cratloe)

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