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Last minute appeal fails to stop U21 hurling draw taking place

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*Inagh/Kilnamona’s David Mescall. Photograph: Martin Connolly

Pairings have been confirmed for the Clare U21 Hurling Championship following Thursday evening’s draw in Clareabbey.

Fixtures are scheduled to take place on the weekend of March 6th/7th/8th. Thursday’s draw was deferred following a last minute appeal from Tulla to drop down to the B grade. The East Clare club did not raise any concerns with the County Board at their February meeting which took place on Tuesday, the 2017 Minor B champions yesterday sought a meeting with Board officials which took place prior to the draw.

As they explained their case, Tulla flagged that four members of their panel which won the Minor B were currently not part of the squad. The Clare Echo understands that all clubs competing in the U21 championship were issued an email by Tulla which outlined their reasons for wanting to drop down.

Club delegates of which there were three, who had gathered in Clareabbey for the draw were informed by Chairman Joe Cooney that they were only made aware of Tulla’s concern after the February meeting. Numerous clubs successfully altered the division they would be competing in by stating their case on Tuesday.

Board officials gave club delegates the option of postponing the draw altogether in order to convene a special County Board meeting so that Tulla could put their case to the clubs of the county. Stressing that they did not wish to delay the entire competition for everyone, Tulla then opted to remain in the A grade.

When the draw did take place, Tulla were paired with Sixmilebridge in the quarter-finals. The winners of this tie will face Inagh/Kilnamona in the last four, Inamona were Minor A winners three years ago defeating Kilmaley in the final.

Kilmaley are up against Clarecastle in the quarter-finals, the other fixture sees Clonlara battle off with St Josephs Doora/Barefield.

Thirteen teams are entered into the U21 B championship. Reigning champions Broadford have received a bye straight to the quarter-finals along with Cratloe and Newmarket-on-Fergus. The clash of Corofin/Ruan versus Crusheen/Tubber is earmarked as the pick of the games across all grades.

Scariff/Ogonnelloe were due to partake in the C championship but informed the County Board of their wish to withdraw this second string. Nine teams are competing for honours in the C.

Clare U21 A Hurling Championship –
Quarter-Finals:
Sixmilebridge v Tulla
St Josephs Doora/Barefield v Clonlara
Clarecastle v Kilmaley

Semi-Finals:
Inagh/Kilnamona v Sixmilebridge or Tulla
St Josephs Doora/Barefield or Clonlara v Clarecastle or Kimaley

Clare U21 B Hurling Championship
Round One:
Éire Óg v Clooney/Quin
Corofin/Ruan v Crusheen/Tubber
Scariff/Ogonnelloe v O’Callaghans Mills
Inagh/Kilnamona (2) v Bodyke
Wolfe Tones v Ballyea

Quarter-Finals:
Cratloe v Éire Óg or Clooney/Quin
Broadford v Wolfe Tones or Ballyea
Newmarket-on-Fergus v Corofin/Ruan or Crusheen/Tubber
Scariff/Ogonnelloe or O’Callaghans Mills v Inagh/Kilnamona (2) or Bodyke

Semi-Finals:
Scariff/Ogonnelloe or O’Callaghans Mills or Inagh/Kilnamona (2) or Bodyke v Newmarket-on-Fergus or Corofin/Ruan or Crusheen/Tubber
Broadford or Wolfe Tones or Ballyea v Cratloe or Éire Óg or Clooney/Quin

Clare U21 C Hurling Championship –
Round One:
Banner v Smith O’Briens

Quarter-Finals:
Sixmilebridge (2) v Whitegate
Feakle/Killanena v St Josephs Doora/Barefield (2)
Banner or Smith O’Briens v Ennistymon
Ballyea (2) v Parteen

Semi-Finals:
Ballyea (2) or Parteen v Feakle/Killanena or St Josephs Doora/Barefield (2)
Sixmilebridge (2) or Whitegate v Banner or Smith O’Briens or Ennistymon

Páraic McMahon is Head of News & Sport with The Clare Echo. The Newmarket-on-Fergus native also writes for national papers including The Irish Examiner, The Irish Independent and The Irish Times along with doing work for RTÉ, Today FM, TheJournal.ie and The42.ie. A graduate of Mary Immaculate College, Páraic was previously employed by The Clare Herald and Clare FM. If you have a story, tip or some feedback for him then send an email to - paraic@clareecho.ie

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