*Scariff’s Keelan Hartigan. Photograph: Gerard O’Neill

SCARIFF BECAME the first side to put points on the board in the Clare senior hurling championship accounting for St Joseph’s Doora/Barefield on Saturday afternoon.

Scariff 3-17
St Joseph’s Doora/Barefield 1-16
Venue: Dr Daly Park, Tulla

Experience counts at senior level and the Mark McKenna managed side certainly showed the benefit of previous campaigns when accounting for newly promoted Doora/Barefield in the opening fixture of this year’s race for Canon Hamilton.

Trailing by the bare minimum at the interval Scariff abandoned their first half short passing style and opted to go far more direct in the second period, a tactic that most certainly paid dividends. The Scariff full back line also showed their experience with three deliberate pull downs earning three yellows but crucially denying the opposition three goal chances late on.

The first half saw the East Clare side blaze into an early lead with wing forward Liam Crotty landing a series of superb scores. By the end of the opening quarter the Mark Rodgers captained outfit led by four on a 0-6 to 0-2 scoreline. Four unanswered points in quick succession had the teams level for the second time.

Shane O’Grady’s Doora/Barefield began to take control of proceedings when benefitting from direct running. This running approach was causing Scariff serious problems resulting in the concession of frees which Clare senior hurling panellist Davy Conroy was only too happy to punish. Two Conroy placed balls closed the opening half action and last year’s intermediate champions headed to the dressing rooms leading on a 0-10 to 0-9 scoreline.

On the resumption of play the teams traded points before a fine Patrick Crotty point levelled the tie for the third time. Moments later though a superb piece of hurling brilliance by Rodgers put Scariff in the driving seat when showing tremendous vision he found midfielder Hartigan who blasted home the opening major.

Only three minutes later a diagonal cross field delivery was plucked from the sky by Patrick Crotty who subsequently superbly off loaded to the on rushing Fergus Madden with the corner forward rifling home. Suddenly out of nowhere the East Clare side led by seven on a 2-14 to 0-13 scoreline.

To their credit Barefield kept battling landing the next couple of points before another piece of Rodgers artistry killed this game as a contest. This time the gifted Scariff star found wing forward Liam Crotty with a razor like precision pass and Crotty blasted home.

The impressive Cian Barron who battled manfully all day did get a late consolation goal when superbly pulling first time on a rebounded Alan O’Neill effort from a twenty one yard free but in truth it was too little too late as Scariff secure a huge victory in Tulla.

Scorers for Scariff: Mark Rodgers (0-6 5f), Liam Crotty (1-3), Fergus Madden (1-2), Keelan Hartigan (1-1), Conor Downes (0-2), Shane Kavanagh, Patrick Crotty, Michael Barrett (0-1 each)

Scorers for Doora/Barefield: Davy Conroy (0-10 8f), Cian Barron (1-1), Darragh Ó Sé, Eoin Lahiffe, Adam Mungovan, Frances Meaney, Darragh McMahon (0-1 each)

Scariff
1: William Kavanagh

2: Séamus McCaul
3: Michael Scanlon
4: Daniel Treacy

5: Scott Cairns
6: Diarmaid Nash
7: Shane Kavanagh

8: Conor Downes
9: Keelan Hartigan

10: Michael Barrett
11: Patrick Crotty
12: Liam Crotty

13: Mark Rodgers
14: Patrick Ryan
15: Fergus Madden

Subs:
20: Eanna O’Brien for F Madden (50)
17: Martin Cunningham for C Downes (53)
24: Sean Minogue for P Ryan (60)

DOORA BAREFIELD
1: Paul Madden

2: Brian Clancy
3: Darragh McMahon
4: Frances Meaney

5: Eoin McMahon
6: Darragh O’Shea
7: Adam Mungovan

8: Jack Hannan
9: Davy Conroy

10: Darragh Nagle
11: Brian Guilfoyle
12: Eoghan Thynne

13: Cian Barron
14: Conor Tierney
15: Eoin Lahiffe

Subs:
20: Alan O’Neill for C Tierney (43)
17: Cian Lahiffe for B Guilfoyle (50)
21: Cathal Ruane for D Nagle (53)

Referee: Joe Mullins (Clonlara)

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If you’re here, you care about County Clare. So do we. Did you rely on us for Covid-19 updates, follow our election coverage, or visit The Clare Echo every week for breaking news and sport? The Clare Echo invests in local journalism and we want to safeguard its future in our county. By becoming a subscriber you are supporting what we do, will receive access to all our premium articles and a better experience, while helping us improve our offering to you. Subscribe to clareecho.ie and get the first six months for just €3 a month (less than 75c per week), and thereafter €8 per month. Cancel anytime, limited time offer. T&Cs Apply. www.clareecho.ie.

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