*Gaelscoil Mhichíl Ciosóg’s Division 1 camogie champions. 

There was excitement on the double as the Cumann na mBunscol Hurling and Camogie Finals drew to a thrilling conclusion in Cusack Park on Thursday afternoon.

Gaelscoil Mhichíl Ciosóg bridged a six year gap to complete a prestigious Division 1 Hurling and Camogie double after tremendous battles with Sixmilebridge and Clarecastle respectively.

Despite leading from start to finish in the hurling decider, thanks in the main to a seven point haul from chief marksman Jamie Ó Riain, the Gaelscoil were only the minimum in front by the final minute, a nervy position that was finally eased by the last four points through James Ó Greacháin, Liam Ó Conghaile, Ó Riain and the impressive Faruk Bashua to run out 0-13 to 1-5 victors.

Spinal defenders Sean Óg Ó Beacháin and Praise Jolaosho were also pivotal in keeping Sixmilebridge ay bay throughout as Jamie Ó Riain’s unerring freetaking ensured a 0-6 to 0-1 interval cushion.

Sixmilebridge were much improved for the new half but despite the best efforts of Liam Flannery and Noel Duggan along with a foaled free through Liam Mulready, their backlash came too late to produce a late turnaround.

It was a similar pattern in the Division 1 camogie decider after first half goals from Aisling Ní Cheallaigh and Croidhia Ní Aisi put the Gaescoil in the driving seat by the break at 2-2 to 0-2.

However, in a repeat pairing from 2022, defending champions Clarecastle inevitably hit back on the resumption, led by Chroia Casey and the determined Biborka Bench whose goal right before the final water break slashed the arrears to just two at 2-2 to 1-3.

Gaelscoil Mhichíl Ciosóg captain Croia Ní Chrocráin inspired her side to victory though as along with Cait Nic Fhlannachadha and Aisling Ní Cheallaigh, they managed to weather the late Magpie storm to exact full revenge by 2-3 to 1-4.

While the Gaelscoil were celebrating on the double, unfortunately for Sixmilebridge National School it was the exact opposite as their camogie side were also second best to a Clodagh O’Hagan powered Kilkishen/O’Callaghan’s Mills side in the Division 2 Camogie Final.

O’Hagan’s remarkable 6-4 total was worth the admission fee alone as she broke the ‘Bridge’s hearts repeatedly despite being double marked for the majority in a 6-5 to 1-2 triumph.

Amazingly that wasn’t the highest personal tally of the day as another famous double, this time in Division 6 at the beginning of the day for Clooney National School was highlighted by an unprecedented 8-4 haul for Joshua O’Halloran.

Even more significant was the fact that every single score of that handsome contribution was required as they only edged out Bridgetown by a single point after extra-time in what was the contest of the week.

In what was essentially a brilliant duel between the unstoppable O’Halloran and Conor McMahon who accounted for 2-8, the sided couldn’t be separated at 4-8 to 5-5 and therefore an additional ten minutes was required. Outstanding goalkeeping from Cian Howard and Dara Brohan were just as impressive as the goalscoring feats as Bridgetown actually carved out an eight point lead in extra-time only to be floored by 3-1 from the devastating O’Halloran to prevail by 8-6 to 6-11.

The camogie version immediately afterwards between the same pair was a little more straight-forward as goals from the Harrison sisters Sophie (2) and Heather helped their side to a 5-5 to 2-6 win.

Speaking of doubles, having been beaten in last year’s final, Dromindoora/Flagmount were doubly determined to redress the balance and captured the Division 5 Hurling crown in style with a commanding 5-12 to to 0-5 victory over Connolly.

Captain Simon Pereira led by example with a fantastic display of athleticism to raid for 1-8 while a Jamie Woods hat-trick of goals capped off a memorable day for the North East Clare side.

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If you’re here, you care about County Clare. So do we. Did you rely on us for Covid-19 updates, follow our election coverage, or visit The Clare Echo every week for breaking news and sport? The Clare Echo invests in local journalism and we want to safeguard its future in our county. By becoming a subscriber you are supporting what we do, will receive access to all our premium articles and a better experience, while helping us improve our offering to you. Subscribe to clareecho.ie and get the first six months for just €3 a month (less than 75c per week), and thereafter €8 per month. Cancel anytime, limited time offer. T&Cs Apply. www.clareecho.ie.

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