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*Scariff senior hurling manager, Mark McKenna. Photograph: Gerard O’Neill

SECURING their senior status for another year has been a source of “relief” for Scariff.

A powerful display which included a personal tally of 4-12 from Mark Rodgers saw the 2020 intermediate champions relegate the 2021 intermediate champions Smith O’Briens on a scoreline of 4-22 0-09.

Scariff manager, Mark McKenna told The Clare Echo, “Relief is the key word. It was one sided but that’s because we put so much energy preparation and thinking into that game. It was our biggest winning margin over Killaloe in a very very long time, usually there’s nothing in it. We knew we had to bring our A game and thankfully we did”.

Retaining their place in the top tier was “about giving hope,” McKenna said while referencing the different setbacks endured by the year including the death of Sean Brogan, the serious injuries sustained in a traffic accident by midfielder Eoin O’Grady and a reshuffle of their coaching ticket midway through the campaign.

He said, “Mark Rodgers is an exceptional talent and to score 4-12 is unbelievable. It’s very special. I’m just relieved, we’ve had a tough year, we lost our Chairman (Sean Brogan), Tomas (McNamara) was injured today and Eoin (O’Grady) is battling for everything. Today was about giving hope”.

There was no hiding the disappointment within the Smith O’Briens set-up. “A rough day, we are obviously very disappointed. Credit to Scariff who brought the hunger, the desire, the fight and when you’ve Mark Rodgers in that form it’s very hard for any team,” selector Brendan Foley outlined.

Addition of new players is key for the Killaloe side to bounce back to the top tier, the former Smith O’Briens goalkeeper maintained. “Our lads gave a huge effort all year. We probably won a game nobody thought we would when beating Inagh/Kilnamona but we knew it was going to come down to today. We are bitterly disappointed but we will regroup. We are probably missing some fresh blood so it was always a tough ask to stay up. We will focus on next year and as always give our all”.

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