The Under 15 Football Championship contenders were reduced by a third (21 to 14) on Monday evening after the group stages concluded in all three divisions.
In Division 1, four timely goals from Gearoid Barry, Neil Hegarty, Daniel Brody and Seanaí McMahon proved just enough for Ennistymon to edge a compelling away tie against St Joseph’s Doora/Barefield by 4-05 to 2-10 but not sufficient to halt their hosts from securing the coveted top spot in the table.
With Doora/Barefield (+38), Lissycasey (+31) and Ennistymon (+28) finishing on level points after taking points from each other, score difference dictated that St Joseph’s Doora/Barefield are paired with fourth placed Clondegad in the semi-finals on Wednesday week while in the other penultimate stage clash, Lissycasey and Ennistymon are set for yet another showdown following their Under 14 Division 1 Final encounter that the former edged last year.
In the Under 15 Division 2 Championship, high-flying Cooraclare protected their perfect start to clinch Group 1 and progress directly to the semi-final stage where they will be joined by Clooney-Quin who in contrast squeezed through on score difference after finishing joint-top with Wolfe Tones and Parteen. With Wolfe Tones storming to the finish line with sizeable wins over Éire Óg and Cratloe, Clooney-Quin had to overcome the Townies themselves by 5-9 to 3-9 on Monday to confirm their passage to the last four where they will meet the winners of next Wednesday’s quarter-finals.
Group 1 runners-up Corofin meet Parteen while Wolfe Tones face St Joseph’s Miltown who themselves only cemented their knock-out place thanks to a final round home win over Claecastle by 4-11 to 3-06.
Also set for early August are the Under 15 Division 3 Football Championship Semi-Finals comprising of a derby between an unblemished Kilmurry Ibrickane and Doonbeg while St Breckan’s and Naomh Eoin/O’Curry’s/Kilkee also face-off.
The inaugural Under 13 Hurling Championships are yet to reach the halfway stage of their group campaign but there are already patterns forming in all three grades.
Ballyea hold the only unbeaten record in the Under 13A race after proving too strong for Tulla while the remainder of the top four also secured wins to ensure they kept pace for those semi-final places. St Joseph’s Doora/Barefield held off Inagh-Kilnamona by 5-12 to 3-10, Sixmilebridge claimed the derby honours over Clonlara by 4-12 to 1-12 while 2-10 from Éire Óg’s Luke Vaughan was instrumental in holding off a home revival from Newmarket-on-Fergus by 3-13 to 4-08.
Broadford lead the way in the Under 13B Championship after final quarter goals from player-of-the-game Hughie Vaughan, Jonathan Banin Casey and James O’Donnell cemented a 5-16 to 2-07 win over fellow East Clare side O’Callaghan’s Mills/Bodyke who were denied three glorious goal chances in the same period, all from the inspirational centre-back Liam Murphy.
Finally, in the Under 13C Championship, Parteen sent out a clear statement of intent after prevailing against all four rivals Whitegate, Wolfe Tones, Ennistymon or Banner in the first half of their home and away round-robin group campaign.