The first round of the Clare senior hurling championship will feature eight games this weekend.
Derrick Lynch previews the action.
O’Callaghans Mills v Broadford
A mouthwatering East Clare derby with the men from Broadford finally at the promised land of senior
hurling. That will carry momentum with it, while the Mills are coming off the back of a disappointing 2019. Form goes out the window in these games, but the greater senior experience of the Mills should see them through.
Verdict: O’Callaghan’s Mills
Clonlara v Newmarket
Two sides who will see this game as one that is there to be won, and two sides who will desperately
want to hit the ground running. Clonlara are without John Conlon and his loss will be immense.
Newmarket may hold the edge in the physicality stakes, but a greater scoring threat for Clonlara might
just see them through.
Crusheen v Ballyea
This game provided one of the results of the year 12 months ago as Crusheen ended Ballyea’s reign as
champions. That result will be fresh in the minds on both sides, but as with most games it is hard to call
this one with no recent form guide to go on. Ballyea have most to learn from that defeat, and may just
Eire Og v Sixmilebridge
Another fixture with recent history and two sides who will be eager to get the year off on the right footing.
Eire Óg showed they are ready to make the next step by pushing the champions all the way last year
and may well have been even closer if Aaron Fitzgerald had not picked up that injury. Sixmilebridge will
be eager to add consistency to dominance and might just shade this once more.
Whitegate v Feakle
Arguably two sides here on different trajectories. Feakle will be looking to build on last year’s progress
while Whitegate are likely to be content in the knowledge that relegation is off the table. Feakle could
easily have ended up in a county semi-final last year and if any of that momentum carries through, they
should have enough to get over this one.
Kilmaley v Cratloe
It has the potential to be the tie of the weekend and is another of the grudge matches thrown up in the
opening round. It would be no great surprise to see either side putting the Canon Hamilton onto the team bus come the end of September, but that will be furthest from their minds right now. Kilmaley will want to consign the memories of 2019 firmly to the scrapheap and this could be their
chance to start that process.
Inagh-Kilnamona v Clooney-Quin
The loss of Peter Duggan for Clooney-Quin is likely to be far too great to deal with. His presence and
scoring prowess is critical for them and it is hard to see where the scores will come to compensate.
Inagh-Kilnamona reportedly have a full hand to choose from and are tipped to get the win.
Clarecastle v Wolfe Tones
The potential match ups of Cian Galvin v Aaron Cunningham and Darragh Healy v Aron Shanagher
make this a game well worth watching. The Shannon side can cause problems for most sides on their
day, while Clarecastle’s young Magpies are just starting to stretch their wings. A strong and youthful
defence should be the foundation for a win.