SIXMILEBRIDGE and Kilmaley will contest the minor A hurling championship final following their victories over Clarecastle and Newmarket respectively last Saturday.
Beaten finalists last year when they lost out to Inagh-Kilnamona, the ’Bridge have battled back impressively and will go into the final as favourites.
The sides clashed in the early rounds of the championship, when a draw resulted, so another close contest is expected.
Sixmilebridge 1-18 Clarecastle 1-8
A STRONG opening, which saw them open a five-point advantage, laid the foundations for this Sixmilebridge victory at Clareabbey on Saturday evening.
The Magpies had the opening point of the game but the winners quickly hit back and, helped by a goal from Jamie Shanahan, they went 1-3 to 0-1 in front and from here on, the Magpies were always chasing the game.
A goal from senior player Aaron Considine gave Magpie followers hope but when the halftime whistle sounded, the favourites, Sixmilebridge, were ahead by six, 1-10 to 1-4. Their lead should have been greater but missed chances had seen them fail to avail of some good scoring opportunities.
The winners extended their lead during the third quarter, with impressive scores from Alan Mulready, Trevor Purcell, Jamie O’Gorman and Timmy Crowe.
The Magpies tried for a goal from a 20m free but Jeff Coughlan’s effort was saved and that proved to be their final chance of getting back into contention.
Sixmilebridge: Stephen Fleming; Eanna Burns, Noel Purcell, Barry Donlon; Seadna Morey, Kevin Lynch, Shane Golden; Patrick Sheehan, Cathal O’Connor; Jamie O’Gorman, Alan Mulready, Seán Lynch; Jamie Shanahan, Trevor Purcell, Timmy Crowe.
Subs: Ray McNamara, Brian Garry.
Clarecastle: Jeff Coughlan; Conor Clancy, Gary Casey, Gearóid Ryan; Austin McGuckian, Stephen O’Halloran, Patrick Galbraith; Conor O’Gorman, Cormac Donnellan; Patrick Casey, Niall Quinn, Shane Callinan; Shane Galvin, Aaron Considine, Mikey Casey.
Subs: Paraic Callinan, James Mc Allister.
Referee: Ger Lyons Ruan.
Kilmaley 1-6 Newmarket 0-8
IN a low-scoring contest at Clarecastle on Saturday evening, Kilmaley edged out Newmarket in this minor A championship semi-final.
The standard wasn’t as good as the other semi-final, which had just ended in nearby Clareabbey. Kilmaley were a little fortunate to come out on top, as a draw would have been a fairer result on the day.
The sides were level at the end of normal time and Kilmaley had a number of misses before John Cabey struck the winner from a free.
Newmarket led by two points to one when Kilmaley full-forward Daniel Clohessy had his effort for a goal saved but Paul Kennedy was following up and he crashed the ball to the net. The goal helped the winners to lead at half time on a score of 1-3 to 0-3.
Newmarket narrowed the gap further at the start of the second half before a brace from Dara Keane put the winners four clear by the three-quarter stage.
Newmarket had the better of matters for the next while and with points from Shane Liddy, Shane McDermot and Sean O’Connor, they levelled the game at 1-5 to 0-8, only for the Kilmaley men to snatch victory when Cabey landed what proved to be the winning point.
Kilmaley: Brian O’Loughlin; Niall McGuane, Martin O’Connor, Stephen Griffey; Michael Pyne, Colin McGuane, Eoin Fitzgerald; Eoin Enright, John Cabey; Dara Keane, Conor Lynch, Killian McNamara; Michael O’Neill, Danny Clohessy, Paul Kennedy.
Subs: Enda Finnucane, Shane Culligan, Seán Hayes.
Newmarket: Thomas Griffin; Seán Quinlivan, Eanna McInerney, Paudi Hayes; Niall O’Connor, Seán O’Connor, Frank Melody; Alan McInerney, David Liddy; Liam Clancy, Darren O’Connor, Colin McCaul; Niall Garry, Shane
McDermott, Donagh Keogh.
Subs: Shane Liddy for N O’Connor; Liam Glenny for Mc Dermott; Niall O’Connor for Keogh.
Referee: Fergal Gray, Feakle