Páraic McMahon reports from Cusack Park, Ennis
SIXMILEBRIDGE HAVE sealed their spot in the Clare senior hurling championship final, blitzing Inagh/Kilnamona in the final quarter of Saturday’s semi-final.
Now chasing their 14th championship, Sixmilebridge have contested every final this decade in a year that ended in an odd number. Inagh/Kilnamona’s dreams of reaching a first-ever senior decider were dashed as they were outscored nine points to two in the last quarter of the game.
Inagh/Kilnamona paid the price for not showing their first-half dominance on the scoreboard. They led by just a single point despite being on top and spurned three scoreable frees. This failing, coupled with their inability to maximise the return on the supply of ball into their forwards in the second half, proved costly.
Although they struggled in certain sectors, Sixmilebridge’s experience and grit helped them nudge their way over the line. When scores were needed, the experienced players of Caimin Morey, Jamie Shanahan and Shane Golden stepped up, with Niall Gilligan making his first appearance of the championship in what is his 22nd successive club campaign.
Former Clare teammates Davy Fitzgerald and Fergal Hegarty were in opposing camps for the encounter. Hegarty had several of his match-ups correct with Keith White excelling on Cathal Malone, but it was the switch of Seadna Morey onto danger man Aidan McCarthy that derailed Inamona’s progression.
Hegarty’s side will be annoyed to have received only one free in the entire second half, but were fortunate not to have been reduced to 14 men in the first half following an off-the-ball incident between Niall Arthur and Caimin Morey.
It’s now two games in a row that The Bridge have been victors, although playing far from their potential, the result is all that matters and they are now 60 minutes from winning their fourth senior title this decade.
Scorers Sixmilebridge: A Morey (0-09 7f 1’65), J Shanahan (0-04), J Loughnane (0-01), B Corry (0-01), E McInerney (0-01), C Morey (0-01), S Golden (0-01).
Scorers Inagh/Kilnamona: N Arthur (0-04 2f), D Fitzgerald (0-03), A McCarthy (0-03), G Arthur (0-02), E McNamara (0-02), K Hehir (0-01 1f).
1: Derek Fahy
2: Brian Carey
3: Barry Fitzpatrick
4: Noel Purcell
24: Pa Mulready
6: Caimin Morey
5: Seadna Morey
8: Shane Golden
7: Evan McInerney
9: Jason Loughnane
10: Jamie Shanahan
11: Conor Deasy
13: Cathal Malone
14: Alex Morey
15: Brian Corry
34: Alan Mulready for Deasy (41)
23: Paidí Fitzpatrick for McInerney (48)
18: Niall Gilligan for Loughnane (52)
1: Pa Kelly
2: Damien Lafferty
3: Sean Mahony
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4: Keith White
5: Cian McInerney
6: Kevin Hehir
7: David Fitzgerald
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8: Jason McCarthy
9: Conor Tierney
12: Evan McNamara
13: Gerry Arthur
10: Aidan McCarthy
11: Niall Arthur
14: David Mescall
15: James O’Halloran
21: Tomás Kelly for Tierney (33)
22: Gerry Coote for Mescall (53)
17: Keelan Guyler for O’Halloran (58)
19: Darren Cullinan for G Arthur (61)
18: Brian Foudy for White (62)
Referee: Jarlath Donnellan (Wolfe Tones na Sionnna)
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