*Inagh/Kilnamona’s Conner Hegarty in full flight. Photograph: Gerard O’Neill
Desperately unlucky to lose by the minimum margin to Clonlara last time out, Whitegate followed up on that performance when sharing the spoils with an Inagh/Kilnamona outfit that went into this final group game in the senior hurling championship carrying the favourites tag.
Venue: Cusack Park, Ennis
Five points down at half time, the East Clare men dictated matters for much of the second half and they levelled the tie in the final minute of normal time.
It looked like it was going to be more heartache for Whitegate when Inagh/Kilnamona’s Aidan McCarthy shot his tenth point of the tie to edge the Mid Clare men back in front as the game went into the third minute of added time but straight from the puckout the underdogs won a free and Michael Hynes landed his seventh of the contest to give his side a merited draw.
Despite playing against the breeze, Whitegate were two points up after just one minute thanks to wing forwards Ciaran Keenan and Thomas Hogan. Inagh/Kilnamona came storming back and they landed six unanswered points in the next five minutes to take a lead they held to the interval when the score was 0-15 to 0-10.
Whitegate had the better of matters in the third quarter when they outscored their opponents, 0-7 to 0-4 leaving just two points between the teams at the second water break. When play resumed they added another point to leave the smallest of gaps in the game.
The winners responded with a brace from Aidan McCarthy and Keelan Guyler to lead by three going into the final five minutes. Three points in as many minutes from Michael Hynes (free) Ciaran Keenan and Paul Burke levelled the tie just before Andrew Fahey saw his long range effort from a free near the sideline drift narrowly wide of the target.
This was a tie which produced some excellent scores from both sides and Terence Fahy’s Whitegate were fully deserving of a share of the spoils.
Inagh/Kilnamona now turn their attentions to the quarter final where they will play either Cratloe or Ballyea while Whitegate will compete for the Ryan-Hannon trophy in the senior B championship,.
Kevin Hehir, Colin Shannon, David Fitzgerald, Conner Hegarty and Aidan McCarthy were prominent for the winners while Whitegate had impressive displays from Eoin Quirke, Ciaran Keenan and Thomas Hogan.
Scorers Inagh-Kilnamona: Aidan McCarthy (0-10, 7f) Connor Hegarty (0-4); David Fitzgerald, David \Mescall (0-2) each) Cian McInerney, Gerry Coote, Evan McNamara, Keelan Guyler (0-1) each
Scorers Whitegate: Michael Hynes (0-7, 6f) Ciaran Keenan, Thomas Hogan (0-4) each, Andrew Fahy (frees), Paul Burke (0-2) each; Thomas Holland, Conor McDermott, Colm Madden (0-1) each
1: Patrick Kelly
2: Colin Shannon
10: Kevin Hehir
3: Cathal McConigley
5: Seamus Foudy
6: Jason McCarthy
9: David Fitzgerald
8: Darren Cullinan
7: Cian McInerney
15: David Mescall
11: Conner Hegarty
12: Gerry Coote
13: Evan McNamara
14: Aidan McCarthy
4: Niall Mullins
29: Josh Guyler for Coote (43)
17: Conor Tierney for McInerney (46)
18: Keelan Guyler for E McNamara (52)
1: Andrew Fahey
2: Tomas Quirke
3: Eoin Quirke
4: Dylan White
5: Brendan Bugler
6: Colm Madden
7: Ian Fahy
11: Conor McDermott
9: Michael Hynes
10: Thomas Hogan
21: Thomas Holland
12: Ciaran Keenan
13: Paul Burke
14: Ronan Hayes
15: Paddy Burke
17: Danny Hynes for Holland (50)
18: Ciaran Quinn for C Madden (56) (Inj)
19: John Bugler for White (61) (Inj)
Referee: Kevin Corry (Sixmilebridge)