*Ronan Monahan gets away from Shane Vaughan. Photograph: Burren Eye Photography
It’s the view of many Clare GAA followers that the intermediate hurling championship is a particularly difficult competition to win.
When the draw for the 2020 competition was made, St Josephs Doora/Barefield, last year’s beaten finalists and Tubber were shortlisted by most for honours. Both have made it through to the last eight but they had to fight hard to get there
Doora/Barefield needed a strong finish to get past Newmarket-on-Fergus at Sixmilebridge on Saturday. A point separated the teams at half time with Seanie McMahon St Josephs ahead, 0-9 to 1-5. Niall Enright was the Newmarket goalscorer. The Blues were still a point to the good midway through the second half with goalkeeper Paudie Guilfoyle pulling off three fine saves to keep the underdogs in contention.
St Josephs finished strongly and a Tom Hannan goal proved crucial in sending them on the way to a quarter final place while his twin brother Jack excelled in defence.
Tubber got a fright at Corofin on Saturday evening when they faced Inagh-Kilnamona. The North Claremen eventually got through by the minimum margin, 0-19 to 2-12 with Blaine Earley again emerging as their top scorer. Brian Foudy and Jamesy McConigley were the goalscorers for the Inagh-Kilnamona men
Relegated from the top flight last year, Tulla took a step closer to a return to senior ranks when they qualified for the quarter finals with a comprehensive win over Killanena at Bodyke on Friday evening.
A blistering start which yielded three goals in the early minutes sent them on their way to this victory on an evening when Niall Bolton top scored with 4-6 to his credit. Conor Murphy and Colm McInerney were the other goalscorers while inter county man David McInerney chipped in with three points.
Sixmilebridge justified favouritism when they secured their place in the last eight with a 1-17 to 1-8 victory over Clonlara. Midfielder Ciaran Hassett was the winner’s goalscorer while Clonlara’s goal came from the stick of Brian McLeish.
Four goals in the opening half sent Bodyke on their way to a comfortable victory over Clarecastle in a rather one sided tie at Tulla on Sunday afternoon. Three goals came inside the opening quarter for the winners who led 4-8 to 0-7 at the interval, Paddy Fitzgerald scored a hat trick of goals while Liam O’Donnell was the East Clare club’s other goalscorer. The final score was 4-23 to 1-12
Bodyke’s neighbours Scariff also progressed to the last eight when they proved too strong for Parteen and, again, a strong start played a big part in the outcome. They had three goals in the opening quarter with two coming from Mark Rodgers, one from a penalty. He had missed their opening round clash with Tulla. The winners’ other goalscorer was Conor Hayes on a day when they emerged with a 3-20 to 1-12 victory.
Smith O’Briens secured their quarter final spot when they proved too strong for Ruan at Shannon on Sunday evening where the final score was 0-22 to 0-16. Tommy Reddan top scored for the Killaloe outfit for whom Patrick Ahern did well when he was introduced in the closing quarter, contributing two points while central defenders Cathal Stritch and Cian Nolan also did well.
Corofin’s meeting with Cratloe was postponed.