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*Domhnall McMahon gets away from Kevin Lynch. Photograph: Burren Eye Photography

The quarter finalists in the 2021 Clare intermediate hurling championship have been confirmed following an exciting series of round three games at the weekend.

Despite final round victories, Parteen and Killanena won’t be involved, losing out on score difference.

There were shock defeats for Tulla and St. Josephs Doora/Barefield, two of the clubs shortlisted to win the title while Tubber, last year’s beaten finalists, have bounced right back into contention thanks to a merited win over Sixmilebridge

Last year’s finalists Tubber bounce back

Tubber 2-12
Sixmilebridge 1-11
Venue: Clareabbey

Tubber bounced back into contention for intermediate championship honours when they overcame hitherto unbeaten Sixmilebridge on Saturday evening.

Having suffered a surprise defeat to Killanena in the opening round, Tubber weent into Saturday’s game knowing that anything other than victory would leave them depending on other results if they were to qualify.

As things turned out they have ended the group stage on the same points as both Sixmilebridge and Killanena which means that scoring difference will determine the placings and this sees Killanena lose out as Sixmilebridge top the group with Tubber in second place.

Sean Lynch tries to get his hands on the sliotar as Lorcan O’Grady closes in. Burren Eye Photography

Points were exchanged twice in the opening minutes before Tubber landed three in a row and they increased their lead to four by the mid point of the half.

The game’s opening goal came in the twentieth minute when Clive Earley struck and this score helped the winners to a six point interval lead when the score was 1-9 to 0-6.

The ‘Bridge made a great start to the second half and a Sean Lynch point was followed by a goal from David O’Connor in the eighth minute.

Tubber responded impressively and Blaine Earley struck for his team’s second goal within a minute, converting a penalty, and this proved to be a huge score in this tie.

Two Sixmilebridg points followed to leave a goal between the teams as the end of the third quarter approached.

An overall sharper Tubber side responded with three in a row as they powered on to victory. Ronan Monahan, Mark Earley, Domhnall McMahon and the Earley brothers Clive and Blaine were prominent throughout for the winners in a tie which produced some very good hurling on a well appointed pitch.

Tubber: Ronan Taaffe; Joey Droney, James Howard, Declan Ryan; Mark Earley, Pappy Taaffe, John Fawle; Ronan Monahan (0-4), Lorcan O’Grady; Cathal Droney, Domhnall McMahon (0-3), Aidan McNamara; Clive Earley (1-0), Aidan Forde, Blaine Earley (1-4);

Subs: Jonah Culligan (0-1) for A. McNamara; Justin McMahon for Forde; Shane O’Connor for Fawle

Sixmilebridge: Colm Fitzgerald; Adam Breen, Leon Kelly, Jordan Downes; Cillian Custy, Kevin Lynch, Danny Morey; Cathaoir Agnew, Luke Keogh, Sean Lynch (0-8 5f, 3’65s), Cathal Lynch (0-1), Sean MacNamara (0-1); Jack Corry, David O Connor (1-0), Paul Corry (0-1)

Subs Stephen Mulready for Jack Corry; Aidan Quilligan for Danny Morey (inj)

Referee: Johnny Healy (Smith O’Briens)

Killanena bow out despite victory

Killanena 2-15
Inagh-Kilnamona 1-12
Venue: Gurteen

Despite scoring a six point win over Inagh-Kilnamona in their final group game on Saturday, Killanena have bowed out of the intermediate championship, losing out on score difference to Sixmilebridge and Tubber.

The East Clare outfit went into the game fancied to progress to the quarter finals having shocked a fancied Tubber in the opening round.

Goals from Gearoid Keane and Micheal Smyth helped Killanena to this latest victory on a day when Keith Smyth top scored with 0-7 to his credit, three coming from open play.

Killanena: Colm Moloney, Seamus Keane, Cathal Noonan, Jason Keehan; Tobias O Mara, Sean Glynn, Shane Broderick; Ian McNamara, Micheal Smyth; Todd Kelsey, Martin Glynn, Gearoid Keane; Keith Smyth, Mark Flaherty, Darren McMahon.

Subs: Donal Moloney for S. Glynn (inj), Darren Keehan for D. McMahon; Evan McNamara for Kelsey

Inagh/Kilnamona: Joe Gallagher; Mark Barry, Colm Pilkington, Donnacadh Ryan; Padraig Devitt, Milo Keane, Liam Hehir; Tomas Kelly, Eoin Fitzgerald; Shane Vaughan, Paul O’Looney, Ronan Mescall; Keith Barry, Barry Keating, Jamesy McConigley;

Subs: John Keane for Mescall; Niall Glynn for McConigley; Jack O’Connor for O’Looney (inj).

Referee: Kevin Corry (Sixmilebridge)

Smith O’Briens go top with Gough’s brace

Smith O’Briens 2-16
Tulla 0-19
Venue: Whitegate

This top of the table clash in group 2 proved to be quite a lively affair at Whitegate on Sunday afternoon.

Reduced to fourteen men early in the second half proved costly for Tulla who lost the experienced defender Sean Torpey to a second yellow card.

A point separated the sides at half time with the winners, who had an early goal from Mike Gough, in front.

Tulla levelled early in the second half but soon after this Torpey’s dismissal came and this resulted in a number of changes to the Tulla line up which included the move of David McInerney from attack to centre back.

Exchanges were relatively even and scores were exchanged regularly until near the end when Mike Gough struck for his and the Killaloe side’s second goal which proved decisive.

Sean Withycombe top scored on the day for Tulla with 0-10 to his credit while Tommy Reddan registered a similar tally for the winners, both men scoring 0-9 from frees.

Smith O’Briens: Mark McInerney; Evan Connolly, Cian Nolan, Mark Stritch; Dwayne Sheedy, Cathal Stritch, Eddie Bourke; Mark O’Halloran, Micheal Ryan, Keith Stritch (0-1); Mike Gough (2-1), Mikey O’Shea (0-1); David O’Shea (0-2), John Cusack(0-1), Tommy Reddan(0-10, 9f)

Subs: Jason Monahan for Micheal Ryan; Pa Aherne for Monahan; Kevin Walsh for Cusack; Caimin Quigley for K. Stritch

Tulla: Daniel Vaughan; Kevin Conlon, Paul Lynch, Liam McInerney; Padraic Mulconroy, Sean Torpey, Jimmy O’Gorman; David Meehan, Ronan Molloy (0-2); Dan Whitycombe (0-1), David McInerney (0-3), Darragh Corry (0-1); Conor Murphy (0-1), William Halpin, Sean Withycombe (0-10, 9f).

Subs: Shane Hunt for Mulconry; Andrew Conheady for Halpin; Cathal Dinan for R. Molloy; Niall Bolton (0-1) for Dan Withycombe.

Referee: Chris Maguire (Wolfe Tones)

Spoils shared between Cratloe & Mills

Cratloe 2-14
O’Callaghans Mills 3-11
Venue: Fr Murphy Memorial Park, Newmarket-on-Fergus

A share of the spoils resulted when Cratloe and O’Callaghans Mills clashed on Sunday. Both were already out of contention for a place in the quarter finals but the battle was on to avoid being in the relegation play off.

Because of an inferior score difference, Cratloe have finished last in the group and must now battle to avoid relegation.

Reduced to fourteen men before the end of the opening quarter didn’t help Cratloe on a day when they picked up two further yellow cards after the final whistle.

They were under pressure from when full forward Jack Danagher saw red but they matched their opponents throughout and were a little unlucky not to have been ahead going into the closing stages.

Following the final whistle referee Johnny Healy issued red cards to centre back Jamie Costigan and goalkeeper James Hickey.

Sean Murphy with two and Jamie Keane were the goalscorers for the Mills while Sean Gallagher found the net from a penalty for Cratloe

Cratloe: James Hickey; Dominick Costigsn, Jack Manley, Sean Ryan; Eoin Costigan, Jamie Costigan, Gordon O’Neill; Kevin Danagher, Pa Carey; Sean Gallagher, Barry Gleeson, Ross Van Der Dussen; Luke Neylon, Jack Danagher, Donal Organ;

Sub: Michael Danagher for Organ

O’Callaghans Mills; Mark Pewter; Rory McNamara, Keith Donlon, Darren Cooney; Michael McMahon, Kevin O’Callaghan, Niall McNamara; John Cooney, Christy Philpott; Cathal Lenihan, Barry Heffernan, Eoin McInerney; Jamie Keane, Sean Murphy, Shane Crehan

Sub: James McNamara for S. Crehan

Referee: Johnny Healy (Smith O’Briens)

Strong finish sees Corofin back in contention

Corofin 1-22
St. Josephs Doora/Barefield 3-14
Venue: Cusack Park

Travelling to this championship tie, Corofin knew that a win for them was essential if they were to remain in the race for the title.

St. Josephs had the assistance of a strong wind in the opening half at the end of which just a point separated the teams with the Doora/Barefield men leading 1-9 to 0-11. The goal came from a penalty converted by Alan O’Neill who converted following a foul on Cian Barron.

Conor Tierney scored both both of his sides goals in the second half, the second coming after a defensive error by Corofin who had Ronnie Meere on goalkeeping duties as both Darren Malone and Liam Corbett were ruled out due to injury. Meere produced a great save before half time as did Paul Madden in the St. Josephs goal.

Corofin’s fitness levels played a key part in this victory as they held the upperhand in the final quarter.

Gearoid Cahill top scored with 0-12 for his side while his brother Diarmuid hit 1-3. Damian Ryan converted three long range frees which played a key part in the victory.

Corofin: Ronnie Meere; Mark O’Loughlin, Cian O’Dea, Shay Malone; Damian O’Loughlin, Fionn Clancy, Damian Ryan; Michael Kelly, Cillian McGroary; Killian O’Connor, Shane O’Brien, Gearoid Kelly; Diarmuid Cahill, Kevin Keane, Gearoid Cahill

Sub: Eoin Davoran for K. O’Connor

St. Josephs Doora/Barefield; Paul Madden; Brian Clancy, Adam Mungovan, Joey Keane; Alan O’Neill, Darragh O’Shea, Donal O’Halloran; Brian Guilfoyle, Mossy Hehir; Cathal Ruane, Tom Hannan, Eoin Hanrahan; Conor Tierney, Aaron Landy, Cian Barron;

Subs: Kevin Meaney for Clancy; Eoin Talty for Hanrahan (inj)

Referee: Kevin Corry (Sixmilebridge)

Victory not enough for Parteen

Parteen 1-13
Clonlara 1-10
Venue: Shannon

Parteen returned to winning ways at Shannon on Sunday when they accounted for their neighbours Clonlara but they bowed out of the title race on score difference, finishing behind St. Josephs Doora/Barefield and Corofin in the group.

At the end of an evenly fought first half the sides were level at 1-5 each, the goals coming from Brian McLeish for Clonlara and Evan Fitzgerald.

The winners edged ahead in the second half but they struggled to dominate against Clonlara who have finished bottom in the group and will now go into the relegation play off.

Parteen; Alan Murnane; Jason Smith, Eanna Mulvihill, Kevin McGleenon; Paul McDonald, Dara Mc Dermott, Tom Collins; Gavin Rackard, Daniel Cooney; Jack Kirwan, Philip Lavin, Evan Fitzgerald; Michael McEvoy, Gearoid Reddy, Nathan Fox.

Subs: Oisin Hickey for McGleenon; Joe O’Connor for McEvoy; Eoin Phelan for Rackard. Shane Fox for Phil Lavin

Clonlara: Seimi Gully; Michael Clancy, Mick Stritch, Patrick Conlon; Sean Begley, Ger Powell, Jack Hackett; Tommy Lynch, James Hastings; Brian McLeish, Fionan O’Brien, Louis McCormack; Micheal Stritch, Sean Moriarty, Daniel Moloney;

Subs: Ciaran Downey for S. Begley (inj); Tom Power for McCormack; Aaron Dillon for F. O’Brien.

Referee: Jarlath Donnellan (Wolfe Tones)

Ruan seal top spot in group

Ruan 2-23
Newmarket 2-9
Venue: Gurteen

Ruan made it three wins from as many outings with a deserved victory over Newmarket on Sunday.

A blistering opening quarter which saw Ruan amass 1-8 without reply built up an advantage that Newmarket-on-Fergus were always going to struggle to claw back.

Killian Ryan clears his lines under pressure from James Liddy.

With the aid of the elements, a sharp front eight and a half-back line that let little to nothing past, it was the actions of the five-time champions during this spell that won them the game.

Similar to their opening round defeat to Bodyke, it was loose marking that saw Newmarket concede goals with both of them arriving in the opening half via the hurleys of Robin Mounsey and Patrick O’Halloran, both of whom were left with only netminder Padraic Guilfoyle to beat.

Although it took the Blues until the twenty first minute to register a score via their reliable free-taker, James ‘Jellies’ Power, they grew into the game and outscored their opponents 1-3 to 0-3 in the second quarter, Cathal Hayes raiding for the green flag to leave it 2-10 1-03 at half-time.

Newmarket struck the first two scores on the resumption but Ruan replied with three white flags. Long-range efforts from ex Clare U20 hurlers Robin Mounsey and Shane Punch would keep their account ticking over as they ran out deserving winners.

Robin Mounsey offloads possession.

Aspects of their display would see Ruan’s status as a side capable of having a big say in this year’s championship heighten. Their hurling was sharp allied with their movement off the ball and a return of 2-14 from play among six different scorers underlines their collective strength. Their half-back line of Conall Ó hÁiniféin, Ashley Brohan and Colm Rice were solid throughout with Robin Mounsey, Mark Corry and Mikey Lyons also catching the eye for the Niall O’Connor managed side.

Reflections from the Blues camp will point to a very slow start as a major disappointment. They will feel they didn’t do themselves justice in this outing but battled to the end. Mark Delaney, Power and Sol Frost did well for John Guilfoyle’s charges.

Ruan:  Cian O’Donoghue; Jason Power, Mikey Lyons, Killian Ryan; Conall Ó hÁiniféin, Ashley Brohan, Colm Rice; Robin Mounsey (1-5), Darragh McInerney (0-2); Ryan Power (0-2), Shane Punch (0-7 6f), Mark Corry (0-3); Jack McDonagh, Darragh Roughan, Patrick O’Halloran (1-1).

Subs: Garry Bell for J Power (50), Shane Ryan for Roughan (50), Anthony Keegan for Ryan (53), Barry Heagney for McInerney (55), Michael Barrow for Punch (57).

Newmarket-on-Fergus: Padraic Guilfoyle; Alan O’Flanagan, Mark Delaney, Sol Frost; Kieran McMahon, James Freeman, Cian Foley; Cathal Finucane, Martin Frawley; Shane Lynch, Noel Frawley (0-1), James Liddy (1-0); David McNamara, Cathal Hayes (1-0), James Power (0-8 6f).

Subs: Darren Duggan for McNamara (22), Jamie Power for Hayes (44), Seadhna Liddy for Finucane (52), Oisin McInerney for O’Flanagan (54).

Referee: Fearghal Gray (Feakle)

Bodyke in control

Bodyke 3-22
Clarecstle 0-9
Venue: Hamilton Park, Kilkishen

Bodyke made sure of their place in the quarter finals with a comfortable win over Clarecastle on Saturday evening.

One of the highlight of this victory was the contribution of 0-8, from wing back Seanie Doyle with five of those points coming from play.

Centre forward Paddy Fitzgerald was the team’s top scorer with 1-9 to his credit in a tie which the East Clare side dominated. The other goalscorers were Peter Flower and Fionn Slattery.

Eight players shared in the winner’s impressive final tally, including all three half backs.

Bodyke: Seamus Quigley; Eanna Doyle, Willie Fitzgerald, Tiernan Slattery; Kevin Drost, Cian Minogue, Seanie Doyle; Cathal Doyle, Tommy Minogue; Sean Browne, Paddy Fitzgerald Cathal McKenna; Peter Flower, Fionn Slattery, Jamie O’Donnell.

Subs: Ian Murray for Flower; Cormac Treacy dfor T. Slattery; Gavin Moroney for Drost; Oisin Slattery for F. Slattery

Clarecastle; Jonathan Griffey; Alec Cassley, Mark Russell, Filip Wiechcinski; Patrick Maxwell, Cian Donnelly, Barry Morrissey; Harry Ward, Joe Barry; Briain Lynch, Dara Holland, Mark O’Loughlin; Dylan Broderick, Conor Whelan, Ronan Garvey;

Subs: Eoin Dinan for Garvey; Garath Guinnane for Barry; Dara Dara Dolan for Lynch; Evan Dolan for O’Loughlin.

Referee: Kieran Liddane (Sixmilebridge)

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