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*Shane O’Donnell. Photograph: Gerard O’Neill

Éire Óg resurrected their Canon Hamilton bid when holding the whip hand over a stubborn Scariff in O’Garney Park, Sixmilebridge.

Éire Óg 4-16
Scariff 2-16
Venue: O’Garney Park, Sixmilebridge

With Clooney-Quin’s emphatic victory over Kilmaley blowing the group wide open, it was the Ennis side that gave themselves a major platform for victory when raiding for three goals in a devastating ten minute spell midway through the opening half.

The outstanding Shane O’Donnell was instrumental in the first two as he was first hauled down on his way to goal for David Reidy to convert a 14th minute penalty to the net. The Clare star was then taken down again before the water break for Danny Russell to point while also pivotal to their second goal in the 19th minute when playing a one-two with the lively Gavin Cooney who duly picked out Mikey Moloney to find the net at 2-5 to 0-3.

A third goal through Danny Russell following excellent vision from David Reidy handed the Townies an eleven point cushion by the 24th minute. However, credit Scariff for not dropping their heads as led by the ever-threatening Mark Rodgers, the East Clare side settled themselves with five of the last six points to lower the half-time arrears to seven at 3-7 to 0-9.

Another superb Shane O’Donnell burst on the restart yielded 1-1 inside 90 seconds to restore that eleven point chasm. However, in what was a compelling attacking duel at either end of the field, Mark Rodgers slalomed through for an equally precious goal in the next passage of play.

A fortuitous second major though a Sean Minogue deflection from a Rodgers defensive free entering the final quarter provided Scariff with renewed hope though. And with Rodgers unerring from placed balls, the deficit was duly slashed to three by the 53rd minute at 4-11 to 2-14.

Inevitably it was O’Donnell that alleviated any further Éire Óg anxiety as he scored two and set up another for Danny Russell for the Town to finish with aplomb and tee up a tantalising final round showdown with table-toppers Clooney-Quin.

Scorers for Éire Óg: Danny Russell (1-6, 3f); Shane O’Donnell (1-4); David Reidy (1-1); Mikey Moloney (1-0); Oran Cahill, David McNamara (0-2 each); Gavin Cooney (0-1)

Scorers for Scariff: Mark Rodgers (1-9, 8f); Patrick Crotty (0-3); Patrick Ryan (0-2); Sean Minogue, Fergus Madden (0-1 each)

Éire Óg:
1: Philly Walsh

2: Jarlath Collins
3: Ciaran Russell
9: Cian O’Dea

5: Niall McMahon
7: Liam Corry
10: David McNamara

8: David Reidy
19: Tom Downes

18: Kevin Brennan
13: Gavin Cooney
22: Mikey Moloney

14: Danny Russell
11: Shane O’Donnell
15: Darren O’Brien

23: Michael Heneghan for Brennan (HT)
12: Oran Cahill for McMahon (43)
20: Eoin Guilfoyle for Downes (46)
4: Aidan McGrath for Heneghan (53)

1: William Kavanagh

5: Martin Cunningham
6: Daniel Treacy
7: Diarmaid Nash

26: Scott Cairns
3: Michael Scanlan
15: Shane Kavanagh

8: Tomas McNamara
10: Keelan Hartigan

12: Patrick Crotty
11: Michael Barrett
23: Eanna O’Brien

14: Mark Rodgers
13: Patrick Ryan
22: Conor McNamara

17: Sean Minogue for McNamara (HT)
19: Diarmaid McNamara for Cunningham (HT)
20: Fergus Madden for Ryan (46, inj)

Referee: Kevin Corry (Sixmilebridge)

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