*Photograph: Gerard O’Neill.
O’Callaghans Mills contest a first Clare SHC final since 1993 on Sunday and once again they will face off with dear neighbours Sixmilebridge in the county decider.
Experienced was heralded as a key factor when Sixmilebridge overcame the Mills on a scoreline of 3-08 2-06 as Bridge captain John Chaplin completed a rare feat by leading his club to senior glory for the second successive season, an achievement previously matched by Tull Considine in the late 1920s.
Chaplin a two time All-Ireland winner with Clare in the 1990s collected Sixmilebridge’s third goal on a day when Flan Quilligan and Eamon Healy himself a former Mills player also raised green flags.
At a stage when the Mills reduced the deficit to four points in the third quarter, Davy Fitzgerald would pull off an outstanding reflex save to deny PJ ‘Fingers’ O’Connell a goal. The moment would serve a double purpose, it inspired Sixmilebridge further while it took some wind out of the sails of their opponents.
Fitzgerald is of course coach to the current Bridge side while a then panellist Martin Conlon is part of the coaching ticket with Keith Walker another unused substitute part of their backroom team.
Mike Deasy captained the Mills in the 93 final, now residing in Sixmilebridge, he is also part of their backroom team and his son Conor is expected to be handed a starting jersey this weekend. Donal Cooney lined out at midfield for the Fireballs and he will assume a sideline role on Sunday as a selector to East Clare side.
Sixmilebridge: Davy Fitzgerald; Michael O’Halloran, John O’Connell, Noel O’Gorman, Kevin McInerney, Sean Stack, Ian Mulready; Noel Earley, Christy Chaplin; John Chaplin, Flan Quilligan, Pat Morey; Eamon Healy, Gerry McInerney, Eoin Quaine.
Subs: Kieran O’Shea for O’Gorman, Danny Chaplin for Quilligan, Flan Quilligan for Healy
O’Callaghans Mills: Peter Carmody; James O’Halloran, Sean Hehir, Martin Fleming; Ger Canny, Ger Moroney, Mike Deasy; Dermot Moroney, Donal Cooney; Pat Donlon, PJ O’Connell, Tim Canny; Brian Madden, Brendan McNamara, Brendan Noonan.
Subs: Flan Marsh for D Moroney, Aidan Moroney for Marsh,