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Cooraclare shock favourites

Cooraclare caused a big shock when they defeated the hot favourites Clondegad in the second of the Clare senior football championship semi-finals, played at Kilmihil on Sunday.

First half goals from Rory Donnelly and Tadhg Lillis helped Cooraclare to a four point lead at half time when the score was 2-5 to 0-7. Points were exchanged on a number of occasions in the third quarter before Cooraclare  extended their lead with goals from Thomas Downes and substitute Jack Morrissey.

To their credit, Clondegad battled back and goals from Paudge  McMahon and Shane Brennan closed the gap but time wasn’t on their side and when the final whistle sounded, Cooraclare were deservingly ahead and through to play Miltown in the final. The final scoreline was 4-10 to 2-13

The senior hurling final pairing is also confirmed after the weekend when Clonlara sealed their place in the final with a 2-19 to 1-10 win over Kilmaley in their semi-final replay at Cusack Park.

Helped by a Diarmuid McMahon goal, Kilmaley led at half time on a score of 1-6 to 0-7. A blistering start to the second half by Clonlara when they scored 2-4 without reply in the opening ten minutes proved decisive, both goals coming from Micheal O’Loughlin. they went on to hit five unanswered points in the last five minutes of the game to seal their date with Sixmilebridge in the final.

Wolfe Tones will play Broadford in the final of the intermediate hurling championship after they had five points to spare over Smith O’Briens in this semi-final replay, also at Cusack Park on Sunday. In a somewhat heated contest which failed to reach the heights of the drawn tie, the Shannon men were deserving of their victory.

Meanwhile Sixmilebridge continued their winning form when they booked a place in the final of the Clare Champion cup (senior hurling league) with a 1-21 to 1-10 victory over Whitegate at Tulla. Crusheen and Kilmaley will clash in the second semi-final next weekend.

Beaten finalists last year, Coolmeen are back in the junior A football final thanks to a 1-12 to 1-9 win over Kilmurry-Ibrickane at Cooraclare on Sunday. They will  play neighbours Clondegad, winners over Ennistymon on Saturday, in the final.

Cratloe captured the division 2 football league title and the Garry cup when they had a 2-9 to 0-6 win over Ennistymon at Cooraclare .

By Seamus Hayes

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