CLARE U-15s were victorious in the rescheduled Munster Hurling Championship at the weekend.
The U-15 competition that is traditionally fixed for Carrigdoun in the South-East Cork division was cancelled late on Thursday night. A decision was made by Clare to offer Clarecastle as a host venue for the event and when this was accepted it was scheduled for Saturday morning with Clare, Limerick, Cork and Tipperary present for action.
Clare played Limerick, Cork and Tipperary in that order and in all games, they were the better side with many players on the Clare side playing to a high standard, which bodes well for the future and next season’s divisional and county U-16 sides.
Ken Ralph, Christy O’Connor and Peter Casey were in charge of the side.
Clare 1-9 Limerick 0-8
CLARE started off the blitz hosting neighbours, Limerick and were the better side, dominating without showing this on the scoreboard. Clare started brightly with a Shane Liddy goal in the first minute. Jamie Shanahan hit a number of frees with Jamie Malone on target with one of the best scores of the day. Crusheen’s Seánie Weir was also on target as Clare led 1-4 to 0-5 at the break and outscored Limerick four points to three in the second half to get the blitz off to a winning start. Brian Carey, Shane O’Donnell and Gearóid Ryan stood out with Shane Liddy and Seán Weir leading the way up front.
Clare: Eibhear Quilligan (Feakle/Killanena), Shane Kelleher (Newmarket), Brian Carey (Sixmilebridge), Shane O’Donnell (Éire Óg), Mark Hehir (Sixmilebridge), Gearóid Ryan (Clarecastle), Conor Clancy (Clarecastle), Colin McNamara (Feakle/Killanena), Jamie Shanahan (Sixmilebridge), Seán Weir (Crusheen), Jamie Malone (Corofin), Allyn Dalton (Kilmihil), Shane Liddy (Newmarket), Niall Deasy (Ballyea), Craig Shanahan (Broadford).
Subs: Mike Casey (Clarecastle) for McNamara, Martin O’Leary (Kilmihil) for Deasy, Noel Bridgeman (Parteen) for Clancy, Conor Cleary for O’Donnell.
Clare 4-8 Cork 3-6
IN the highest scoring game of the three involving Clare, great forward play won the day for the home side. A number of fine saves by the impressive Eibhear Quilligan was added to by strong defensive play from Mark Hehir, Brian Carey and Gearóid Ryan. Clare led 2-4 to 0-5 at the break with the goals coming from Shane Liddy, who was the banner side’s top scorer over the blitz and Craig Shanahan. Jamie Shanahan added three first-half points as Clare were clearly the better side in the first half. The banner boys doubled their tally and were 4-7 to 1-6 ahead entering the final five minutes,as Jamie Shanahan (1-1), Craig Shanahan (0-2), Nial Deasy (1-0) and Shane Liddy were on the scoresheet. Cork struck for two consolation goals near the end but a late score by Liddy rounded off a capable Clare performance. Mike Casey, Martin O’Leary, Jamie Malone, Shane Kelleher and Shane Liddy were key players in this win.
Clare 2-9 Tipperary 0-10
THE final game of the three for Clare saw them face the premier county with the honour of winning the blitz at stake. Shane Liddy opened the scoring with Tipperary matching this a minute later. Jamie Malone, Liddy and Niall Deasy added to the Clare tally as Tipperary were keeping in contact score by score. By the 15th minute, the sides were level on 0-5 each but it was due more to Clare’s inaccuracy and over playing the ball that Tipperary’s efforts had the sides deadlocked. Eventually, the Clare half-back line and midfield sectors took over and played in fast ball that saw Liddy strike for a brace of goals. Jamie Shanahan, Martin O’Leary and Malone stretched the lead to nine points, as Eibhear Quiligan ensured the Clare win with a tremendous save from close range. The last five minutes saw Tipperary score four points in-a-row but it was not enough. Conor Clancy and Gearóid Ryan stood out in the wing-back positions with Allyn Dalton, Shanahan, Liddy and Mike Casey also doing well.
Clare: Eibhear Quilligan (Feakle/Killanena), Shane Kelleher (Newmarket), Brian Carey (Sixmilebridge), Shane O’Donnell (Éire Óg), Mark Hehir (Sixmilebridge), Gearóid Ryan (Clarecastle), Conor Clancy (Clarecastle), Mike Casey (Clarecastle) (0-1) Jamie Shanahan (Sixmilebridge) (0-1), Martin O Leary (Kilmihil) (0-1), Jamie Malone (Corofin) (0-2), Noel Bridgeman (Parteen), Shane Liddy (Newmarket) (2-3), Allyn Dalton (Kilmihil), Niall Deasy (Ballyea)(0-1).
Subs: Craig Shanahan for Bridgeman, Seán Weir for O’Leary.