*Mark Rodgers. Photograph: Gerard O’Neill

A HAUL OF 4-12 from Mark Rodgers inspired Scariff to victory in the do or die East Clare relegation derby.

Scariff 4-22
Smith O’Briens 0-9
Venue: Dr Daly Park, Tulla

In the second relegation final of this hurling weekend it was an all East Clare affair with the derby meeting of friends and rivals Scariff and Smith O Briens.

In a dour struggle of a first thirty a moment of brilliance by Clare star Mark Rodgers lit up this contest. Leading 1-7 to 0-3, Fergus Madden picked up possession out on the left touchline before firing a precision laden cross field pass into Rodgers who collected with his first touch before dropping the shoulder, selling a dummy and rifling a rocket past the helpless Mark McInerney to extend their lead to ten points.

The first goal though incensed the Smith O’Briens management team who were subsequently booked for their protests. Eanna O’Brien cut in on the end line before being dispossessed with Rodgers picking up possession before bearing down on goal. Rodgers took at least seven steps before nonchalantly flicking the sliotar one handed over the head of Mark McInerney.

To the credit of the Killaloe men they kept plugging away and hit the last two scores of the half to reduce the arrears to eight on an interval scoreline of 2-7 to 0-5.

The second half was one way traffic as Scariff were first to every ball winning all the fifty fifty battles with consummate ease. Mark Rodgers who would finish throw day with an incredible personal haul of 4-12 lit up the contest with a goal worthy of any occasion. Picking up possession around the middle of the field Rodgers played a slick swift one two with Keelan Hartigan before turning on the after burners blazing past several defenders and firing an unstoppable rocket into the top corner.

Smith O’Briens were a pale shadow of the side that earlier in the season defeated Inagh/Kilnamona and Scariff kept extending their lead. Rodgers scored his fourth goal in injury time with another devastating piece of finishing firing low to the right on the run from just inside the 21.

A memorable day for Rodgers, a memorable day for Scariff and a day to forget for Smith O’Briens as they return to the intermediate ranks less than a year after securing promotion.

Scorers for Scariff: Mark Rodgers 4-12, Patrick Crotty 0-3,Keelan Hartigan 0-2,Fergus Madden,Eanna O’Brien,Ross Horan,Conor McNamara,Patrick Ryan 0-1 each

Scorers for Smith O’Briens: Tommy Reddan 0-3(3f)Mikey O’Shea 0-2,David O’Shea,Jason Monaghan,Michael Gough,Cathal Stritch 0-1 each

1: William Kavanagh

2: Diarmuid Nash
3: Michael Scanlon
4: Seamus McCaul

5: Scott Cairns
6: Daniel Treacy
7: Shane Kavanagh

24: Conor Downes
19: Keelan Hartigan

10: Michael Barrett
11: Mark Rodgers
12: Patrick Crotty

13: Patrick Ryan
20: Fergus Madden
15: Eanna O’Brien

Conor McNamara for O’Brien inj 20 mins,
Cathal Madden for Seamus McCaul 48 mins,
Sean Minogue for Scott Cairns 50 mins,
Diarmuid McNamara for Michael Barrett 52 mins,
Ross Horan for Patrick Ryan 53 mins

Smith O’Briens:
1: Mark McInerney

23: Stephen Geraghty
5: Cian Nolan
4: Mark Stritch

6: Eddie Bourke
3: David Gough
7: Dwane Sheedy

25: Cathal Stritch
9: Tommy Reddan

10: Marc O’Halloran
11: Keith Stritch
12: Patrick Aherne

14: Mikey O’Shea
8: Mìcheàl Ryan
15: David O’Shea

Jason Monaghan for Dwayne Sheedy 42 mins
Paddy Gough for David O’Shea 47 mins
Evan Connolly for Reddan 49 mins

Referee: Jim Hickey (Cratloe)

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