By Seamus Hayes
Crusheen 0-10 Clonlara 0-8
Championship favourites Clonlara were dumped out of the Clare senior hurling title race at Cusack Park on Saturday evening when fourteen man Crusheen deservingly took the spoils.
In a dour struggle, the winners showed the greater hunger for victory and were full value for their win. They were dealt a massive blow just before half time when they had Pat Vaughan dismissed on a straight red card but throughout the second half, they were the ones that looked to have an extra man.
Clonlara got the opening two points of the game after which they exchanged points three times before Crusheen levelled at 0-5 each. They swapped points in injury time to leave the half time score at 0-6 each after Clonlara had shot seven wides, five more that the winners.
The third quarter produced just two points, both for Crusheen and they went three clear with ten minutes remaining.
Despite Clonlara’s best efforts, the Crusheen defence held firm for victory. In the fifth minute of injury time, Clonlara were awarded a 20m straight in front of goal but John Conlon’s effort was saved and Crusheen were in the final.
Cathal and Cian Dillon, Gerry O’Grady, Gearoid O’Donnell and Alan Tuohy were prominent for the winners while best for a disappointing Clonlara were Cillian Fennessy, Oisin O’Brien, Tommy Lynch and Cathal O’Connell.
Feakle return to senior
In the opening game at Cusack Park, Feakle captured the intermediate championship title with a 4-10 to 2-12 win over Parteen in a very entertaining contest.
Four first half goals proved vital for the winners who led 4-5 to 1-6 at the mid point. Parteen fought back strongly after the break but the new champions held firm and bridged a 41 year gap to their last success at this level.
It was a proud moment for Feakle president Jimmy Lynch when he presented the cup to the winning captain Killian Bane.
O’C. Mills and Eire Og must meet again to determine where the senior B hurling championship trophy will rest this winter after they played a 1-13 (Eire Og) to 0-16 draw at Clarecastle on Saturday afternoon. The town side led by a goal at the interval but the Mills came back strongly after the break on a day when Eire Og finished with fourteen men after Diarmuid Hehir, a former O’C. Mills player, was sent off
Tones and Broadford are relegated
Wolfe Tones and Broadford will play at intermediate level in 2015 after they lost out to St. Josephs and Whitegate respectively in the relegation play offs.
The concession of three second half goals by Wolfe Tones turned this tie in St. Josephs favour but the Doora-Barefield outfit still had to survive a strong finish from the Shannon side before emerging 3-13 to 1-18 winners.
Whitegate had three points to spare (1-17 to 1-14) over Broadford.
St. Josephs and Whitegate now play off with the losers filling the final relegation spot while the winners will retain their senior status.