The way is clear for the quarter finals of the Clare senior hurling championship and the pairings will be decided on Monday evening at GAA headquarters in Clareabbey.
Ahead of this weekend’s round 3 games four clubs, Sixmilebridge, Newmarket, Clonlara and Eire Og had booked their places in the last eight. When the draw is made on Monday they will be in one pot with the other pot holding the names Ballyea, Cratloe, Tulla and Clooney-Quin.
Despite lining out without the injured Sean Collins and Cathal McInerney, Cratloe proved too strong for St. Josephs and ran out with a sixteen point winning margin. The first half was well contested but Cratloe’s experience saw them pull away in the last quarter on a day when teenager Billy Connors was their top scorer, finishing with 0-10 to his credit. Clare minor Diarmuid Ryan landed 0-4 as did Clare senior player Conor McGrath.
Meanwhile defending champions Ballyea had to battle all the way to overcome O’Callaghans Mills. When the final whistle sounded just a point separated the teams with the champions ahead on a 0-19 to 0-18 scoreline having led by three at half time when the score was 0-10 to 0-7.
Despite being without their county star David McInerney due to injury, Tulla overcame the Inagh-Kilnamona challenge winning on a final scoreline of 2-10 to 1-11. A Darragh Corry goal in the fifth minute of the second half sent the East Clare side on their way.
Clooney-Quin complete the quarter final line up following their six point win over Whitegate. The winners were three points ahead at half time when the score was 0-9 to 0-6 and they went on to double this lead when winning on a scoreline of 0-17 to 0-11.#
Meanwhile Feakle and Clarecastle will meet in two weeks time as they battle to hold on to their senior status. Crusheen and Wolfe Tones confirmed their senior status for next season when they won their games this afternoon. Crusheen were 1-23 to 0-11 winners over Clarecastle while Wolfe Tones scored a 0-23 to 0-14 victory over Feakle.
In the intermediate championship Tubber, Smith O’Briens and Sixmilebridge are through to the last eight following their wins over Corofin, Cratloe and Ruan respectively this afternoon. They join Broadford, Kilmaley, Scariff and Parteen who had already secured their last eight places. The remaining spot will be filled this Sunday afternoon when Clarecastle and Newmarket clash at Tulla.
By Seamus Hayes