By Seamus Hayes
C is for Cratloe, for Clonlara and for Crusheen and hurling followers in all three parishes are celebrating this evening after their quarter final wins in the Clare senior hurling championship at Cusack Park.
Crusheen went into their game with Newmarket as underdogs but a storming finish saw them emerge with a merited three point win. After playing with the aid of the breeze in the first half, Crusheen trailed by a goal at the half way point and when they found themselves five down ten minutes into the second half. they still trailed by three with six minutes remaining but a storming finish yielded 1-3 without reply to seal their passage to the semi-finals.
Newmarket had a chance to take the game to a replay with the final action but Colin Ryan’s penalty effort was saved by Cathal Dillon and the Blues were out of the 2014 title race. The final s core was 1-16 to 1-13.
The day got underway with Cratloe taking on Eire Og and a lively game ended with an eight point win for Cratloe, 2-21 to 2-13. They started well and were 1-1 up inside a minute, the goal coming from Cathal McInerney. Eire Og fought back and a brace of goals from David Reidy helped them to lead 2-7 to 1-5 with five minutes to go to half time. A Conor McGrath goal sparked a Cratloe fight back and they led by 2-10 to 2-8 at half time.
Eire Og levelled on the resumption but Cratloe were three points ahead by the three quarter stage and they went on to dominate the closing period for a merited win on a day when Conor McGrath contributed 1-9 of their tally on a day when the final scoreline was 2-21 for Cratloe to 2-13
John Conlon contributed 3-11 as Clonlara recorded a 3-20 to 2-11 win over O’Callaghans Mills in the second of the quarter finals. It was 1-9 to 1-7 for the winners at half time after they had played against the breeze. the third quarter was evenly contested but once Conlon struck for the second of his goals, midway through the second half, there was only one team in it and Clonlara finished strongly to seal their ticket to the semi-finals.
The remaining semi-final spot will be filled on Sunday when Ballyea and Clarecastle clash, also at Cusack Park.
Meanwhile, Clooney-Quin, Kilmaley and Tulla have secured their senior status for next season after their wins over Broadford, St. Josephs and Whitegate respectively. The latter three now join Wolfe Tones in a relegation play off with three of the four to be relegated to intermediate level for next season.
Beaten finalists last year, Feakle are back in the intermediate championship final after their one point win Sixmilebridge. Trailing by three points at half time, they put in a strong second half showing to win on a scoreline of 2-16 to 2-15.
Corofin booked a place in the semi-final of the intermediate football championship following a one point extra time win over Kildysart at Gurteen. Kildysart have one more chance to make it to the last four and they will play Kilmihil next week for the remaining spot.