*Sean O’Loughlin fields the ball from Barry Fitzpatrick. Photograph: Gerard O’Neill
Clonlara and Kilmaley will contest the final of the Clare Cup at Cusack Park next weekend.
They secured their passages to the final when defeating Crusheen and Sixmilebridge respectively in Friday’s semi-finals.
A strong third quarter in which they outscored their opponents 1-6 to 0-2 proved decisive for Clonlara as they pushed aside the challenge of Crusheen
Kilmaley had to come from a goal down at the half way point to secure victory over Sixmilebridge. Incidentally, Kilmaley suffered just one loss in their nine game run to the semi-finals and that was to Clonlara whom they now face in the decider
O’Connell leads the way again
Venue: Fr Murphy Memorial Park, Newmarket-on-Fergus
Ten points from Cathal O’Connell helped steer Clonlara to a comfortable win over Crusheen.
In a tie in which the winners were never behind, the sides exchanged points in the opening minutes before a Paraic O’Loughlin effort gave the winners a lead they would hold throughout.
With points from Michael Stritch, O’Connell, Cormac O’Donovan, Aidan Moriarty and Mícheál O’Loughlin the winners were 0-7 to 0-3 in front as the first quarter drew to a close
A long delivery out of the Crusheen defence caused problems for Clonlara and Jamie Fitzgibbon got the vital touch to flick the ball past Séimí Gully in the Clonlara goal before a long range free from Crusheen goalie Donal Tuohy levelled the tie at 0-7 to 1-4.
That goal sparked a strong response from Clonlara and they quickly fired over four unanswered points to lead at the break, 0-11 to 1-5.
Jamie Fitzgibbon landed the opening score of the new half to brine Crusheen to within two points of their opponents but, again, Clonlara responded impressively with six points to a lone reply.
Daniel Moloney marked his introduction to the game by firing home Clonlara’s goal eighteen minutes into the half and after this there was no way back for Crusheen.
Impressive for the winners on the evening were Dylan McMahon, Colm O’Meara, Cathal O’Connell, Michael Stritch and Cormac O’Donovan.
Cian Dillon, Eanna McMahon and Jamie Fitzgibbon did best for Crusheen
Clonlara: Séimí Gully; Tommy Walsh, Jathan McMahon, Garath Kennedy; Michael Clancy, Dylan McMahon (0-1), Colm O’Meara (0-1); Cathal O’Connell (0-10, 6 frees), Aidan Moriarty (0-2); Sean Begley, Kieran Galvin (0-1), Micheal O’Loughlin (0-1); Michael Stritch (0-2), Paraic O’Loughlin (0-2), Cormac O’Donovan (0-1);
Subs; Paul McNamara for Walsh; Colm Galvin for M. O’Loughlin; Ger Powell for Begley; Daniel Moloney (1-0) for K. Galvin; Michael White for G. Kennedy
Crusheen; Donal Tuohy (0-2); Mark Perill, Cian Dillon, Gavin O’Brien; Cathal Dillon (0-1), Eanna McMahon, Diarmuid Mullins (0-1); Tadhg Deane, Cillein Mullins; Conor O’Donnell, Jamie Fitzgibbon (1-2), Oisin O’Donnell; Aidan Tuohy, Fergus Kennedy (0-2), Murrough McMahon;
Subs: John Brigdale for C. O’Donnell; Pat Vaughan (0-1) for A. Tuohy
Referee: Niall Malone (Éire Óg)
Moloney’s goal turns tie in Kilmaley’s favour
A goal from Cian Moloney eight minutes from the end turned this semi-final in Kilmaley’s favour at Shannon on Friday evening.
Helped by a goal from Brian Corry, Sixmilebridge led at the break on a scoreline of 1-7 to 0-7 in a game between two evenly matched sides.
Indeed for much of the tie, extra time looked very much on the cards but Moloney’s goal gave Kilmaley the lead which they held to the final whistle.
Both sides were short a number of players who are expected to be in their starting line ups come championship.
With a few weeks to go to the championship Kilmaley will be concerned about an injury suffered by Bradley Higgins who had to leave the action on an evening when Daire Keane and Martin O’Connor were amongst those missing due to injury
Kilmaley: Bryan O’Loughlin; Tommy Barry, Colin McGuane, Noel Casey; Bradley Higgins, Aidan McGuane, Sean Kennedy; Brian Cahill, Mikey O’Neill; Eanna McMahon, Mike O’Malley, Cian Moloney; Peter Ronan, Sean O’Loughlin, Gearoid O’Grady
Subs: Dara McMahon for Kennedy; Sean Ronan for P. Ronan; Joe Carmody for Higgins;
Sixmilebridge: Derek Fahy; Leon Kelly, Barry Fitzpatrick, Cathaoir Agnew; Noel Purcell, Caimin Morey, Pa Mulready; Brian Carey, Evan McInerney; Cathal Lynch, Conor Deasy, Luke O’Halloran; Brian Corry, Tiernan Agnew, Ronan Tuohy;
Subs: David Kennedy for McInerney; Aidan Quilligan for C. Agnew; Kevin Lynch for Deasy; Sean McNamara for Tuohy; Colm Flynn for T. Agnew
Referee: Rory McGann (Newmarket-on-Fergus)