*Sixmilebridge joint captain, Jamie Shanahan. Photograph: Gerard O’Neill
A powerful second half from Sixmilebridge saw them carve out a fifteen point win over neighbours Wolfe Tones to seal their spot in the quarter-finals of the Clare SHC.
Wolfe Tones 0-13
In what was a tale of two halves, Wolfe Tones were unable to match the county champions when they found another gear while the turning point of the game was without question Brian Corry’s goal on thirty six minutes.
Having been on level terms eight times in the opening half, Wolfe Tones were unlucky to trail by a point at the interval however their return of a single score in the third quarter and the concession of 1-05 was the deciding factor.
Sixmilebridge then limited the Shannon side to three points in the final quarter while tacking on two goals via Alex Morey and three points of their own.
Home advantage was awarded to Wolfe Tones when they accepted Sixmilebridge’s request to play the game midweek so that the reigning champions would have Caimin Morey available for selection ahead of his wedding.
Without question, the hosts matched The Bridge for the opening half, they exuded a confidence and were smart in putting together passages of play. All of this dissipated when Corry stuck the sliotar past Pa Freeman early in the second half, he bounced on an error in the Tones defence and from here it sucked the life out of their challenge.
When they were at their best, Ray Diviney’s side were feeding off momentum and the lifts from booming long-range scores from Ben O’Gorman, Aaron Cunningham and Jack Cunningham while the early attacks from Cian O’Rourke and tigerish defending from Darragh Lohan drove up their confidence levels. Crucially for them, inspiring moments were few and far between in the second half while their discipline fell and this was punished with Alex Morey converting six frees over the hour.
Questions were asked of Sixmilebridge but they duly answered them, few sides in the county are able to lift through the gears like they did in this contest, their difficult first half did not deter them as they powered on for a finish to effectively blow away their opponents.
They have racked up six goals in two championship outings to date and are showing a composure but more impressively a ruthless streak that can put any opposition to the pin of their collar within a matter of moments. For now Tim Crowe’s side deservedly hold the favourites tag to retain their title and win three championships in a row with Evan McInerney, Cathal Malone and Alex Morey to the fore on this occasion.
Scorers Sixmilebridge: Alex Morey (2-08 6f 1’65), Cathal Malone (0-04), Brian Corry (1-00), Shane Golden (0-02), Jamie Shanahan (0-02), Pa Mulready (0-01), Alan Mulready (0-01), S Morey (0-01).
Scorers Wolfe Tones: Cian O’Rourke (0-05 3f), Aron Shanagher (0-04), Ben O’Gorman (0-01), Jack Cunningham (0-01), Aaron Cunningham (0-01), Sean Costelloe (0-01).
1: Derek Fahy
2: Brian Carey
3: Barry Fitzpatrick
4: Noel Purcell
6: Caimin Morey
7: Seadna Morey
9: Evan McInerney
5: Pa Mulready
11: Jamie Shanahan
12: Cathal Malone
14: Alex Morey
15: Shane Golden
10: Alan Mulready
13: Brian Corry
8: Jason Loughnane
19: Christy Carey for Fitzpatrick (60)
18: Conor Deasy for A Mulready (62)
1: Pa Freeman
2: Liam Murphy
5: Rory Hayes
19: Daithí Lohan
9: Daithí O’Connell
4: Darragh Lohan
21: Barry Loughnane
6: Ben O’Gorman
11: Jack Cunningham
10: Dylan Frawley
14: Aaron Cunningham
8: Stephen Donnellan
13: Cian O’Rourke
12: Aron Shanagher
15: Dean Devanney
25: Kevin McCafferty for Frawley (11) (Inj)
17: Sean Costelloe for McCafferty (39)
3: Jamie Roughan for O’Rourke (53)
7: Conor Carrig for Loughnane (57)
Referee: Rory McGann (Newmarket-on-Fergus)