*Conor Rynne, Conner Hegarty and Sean Rynne put the pressure on. Photograph: Chris Copley
INAGH/KILNAMONA have sealed their place in the U21A hurling final while Éire Óg will meet Broadford in the U21B decider.
Having already eliminated last year’s champions Scariff/Ogonnelloe, Inagh/Kilnamona’s credentials as favourites received a further boost after they withstood a strong Clarecastle comeback. Their final opponents won’t be known until next weekend.
Reigning U21B holders Broadford overcame Ballyea to ensure they will pit their title on the line in the final against Éire Óg who put Kilmaley to the sword, fresh from defeating rivals Banner the last day out.
Inagh/Kilnamona hold off Clarecastle fightback
A storming finish from Clarecastle which yielded six unanswered points wasn’t enough as they bowed out of the U21 A hurling championship to Inagh/Kilnamona, losing by the minimum margin at a well-appointed Whitegate on Sunday afternoon.
Helped by a goal from Ronan Mescall ten minutes before the break, favourites Inagh/Kilnamona looked to be on their way when they led 1-10 to 0-8 at the interval.
Clarecastle struck for a goal early in the second half from their top scorer Oisin Whelan and this brought them to within three points of the winners, 1-10 to 1-13.
Inagh/Kilnamona piled on the pressure and they hit the next four points to open a seven point gap.
The magpies stormed back with six unanswered points to move to within a point but Inagh/Kilnamona held on for victory.
The loss of Sean Rynne to injury in the final quarter was a blow to the winners who will be keeping their fingers crossed that he will be fit in time for the final.
Inagh/Kilnamona: Jack O’Connor; Colm Kearney, Shane Woods, James Cullinan; Conor Rynne, James Hegarty (0-1), Eoghan Foudy (0-1); Sean Rynne (0-2), Jamie Wynne (0-1); Keith Barry (0-1), Conner Hegarty (0-5), Jack Mescall; Josh Guyler (0-2), Cathal Ryan (0-1), Ronan Mescall (1-2).
Subs: Robbie Dowling for C. Kearney; Fred Hegarty (0-1) for S. Rynne (inj) Ricky Wynne for K. Barry; Gearoid Barry for J Mescall.
Clarecastle: Cian Broderick; Niall Brigdale, Aaron Hayes, Barry Morrissey; Conor Griffin, Cian Galvin (0-3), Sam Browne; Conor Whelan, Evan O’Connell; Rory O’Connell (0-3), Conor Halpin (0-1), Evan Price (0-2); Oisin Whelan (1-5), James O’Doherty (0-3), Scott Brack;
Subs: Paul O’Connell for E. O’Connell; Jack O’Donoghue for S. Brack
Referee: Kevin Corry (Sixmilebridge)
Goals vital as Éire Óg eliminate Kilmaley
Éire Óg 3-9
Goals win games and Éire Óg struck for three when they defeated neighbours Kilmaley in the first of the under 21 B hurling semi-finals, a game which took place at Clareabbey on Saturday.
Full forward Luca Cleary struck for two of those goals inside the opening quarter while Eoin Guilfoyle scored the third shortly before half time helping the Ennis side to a 3-3 to 0-8 half time lead.
The second half was a more even affair but Kilmaley failed to get through for a goal and the town side, despite the absence of inter county man Oran Cahill held on for victory.
Scorers Éire Óg: Luca Cleary (2-1); Conor Perrill (0-5); Eoin Guifoyle (1-1); Michael Heneghan, Jarlath Collins (0-1) each
Scorers Kilmaley: Colm Killeen (0-8); Cian Neylon (0-3); Joseph Casey, James Fitpatrick (0-2) each
Éire Óg; Darragh Stack; Sam Power, Fionnán Treacy. Luke Pyne; Robert Loftus, Jarlath Collins, Cillian Moroney; Jack Lynch, Conor Perrill; Eoin Guilfoyle Michael Heneghan, Andrew McElwee; Marco Cleary, Luca Cleary, James O’Dwyer;
Subs; Michael Foley for McElwee; Harry Kavanagh for Moroney; David O’Sullivan for O’Dwyer;
Kilmaley; Ryan Murphy; Evan O’Haire, Diarmuid Cahill, Luke McMahon; Tomas Clancy, Joseph Casey, Jack Warren; Thomas McGuire, Colm Carmody; James Fitzpatrick, Evan Cahill, Sean Ronan; Dylan Keane-Hayes, Colm Killeen, Cian Neylon
Subs: Aaron Clohessy for O’Haire; Daire Culligan for Keane-Hayes; Mark Connellan for Neylon; Luke Griffin for Warren; Neylon for Connellan;
Referee: Gus Callaghan (Feakle)
O’Farrell lands the winner for Broadford
This semi-final at Meelick was the proverbial game of two halves. Ballyea had the better of the opening half at the end of which they led 0-12 to 0-4 having played with the aid of the wind.
Broadford, who had started impressively going into an 0-3 to 0-1 lead, fought back strongly in the second half but the game was in injury time before Niall O’Farrell sent over what proved to be the winning point.
O’Farrell was outstanding for the winners, landing 0-11 of their tally. Most of these scores came from placed balls with many from difficult angles.
Oisin Kavanagh contributed 0-3 while Eoghan Gunning, playing at centre forward, was another to impress for the East Clare side.
The Kirby brothers were amongst the scorers for Ballyea.
Broadford: Peter O’Farrell; T.J. Dillon, David Boland, Cathal O’Sullivan; Sam Cooper, Conor O’Donnell, Mark Gunning; Gearoid Vaughan, Niall O’Farrell; Alan O’Brien, Eoin Gunning, Denis Fahy; James Quinn-Tuite, Cormac O’Brien, Oisin Kavanagh;
Subs: Jake Slattery for C. O’Brien; Paul McNamara for Fahy;
Ballyea: Oisin Griffin; Evan Flynn, Brian Longe, Niall Carigg; Darragh Moylan, Darragh Coote, David Meaney; Killian Gavin, Kieran McDonald; Eoghan Gavin, Cian Kirby, Diarmuid O’Neill; Fiachra Kirby, Ciaran Connolly, Luke, Minogue;
Subs: Paddy Sweeney for Minogue; Brian McNamara for Connolly; David Costelloe for O’Neill; Eoin Kennedy for Flynn
Referee: Jarlath Donnellan (Wolfe Tones)
All set for C final
Ennistymon and Cratloe will contest the U21 C hurling final which will take place this Saturday. Both had easy semi-final victories with Ennistymon scoring a 2-19 to 1-6 win over Corofin/Ruan while Cratloe were 4-14 to 0-10 winners over Whitegate.