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Noel Purcell of Sixmilebridge in action against Michael Daffy of Clooney-Quin during their senior county final at Cusack Park. Photograph by John Kelly.

Lively Clare hurling final ends all square

Sixmilebridge 0-19 Clooney-Quin 1-16

For the second year in a row, the Clare senior hurling final has ended in a draw. Before an attendance of 5,455 patrons at Cusack Park this afternoon, Sixmilebridge and Clooney-Quin shared the spoils having been level on nine occasions during the hour.

At the end of a most entertaining contest, a draw was probably a fair result but both sides will point to chances at crucial times,

In the lead up to this final many had wondered if the occasion would prove too much for Clooney-Quin. The last time the blue riband of Clare hurling rested in their parish was back in 1942, all of seventy five years ago while Clooney last contested the senior final in 1944.

They made the better start today and were never headed until the final minute and then they showed great composute in battling back for a merited equaliser.

Its another day out and its great to be playing hurling at this time of the year. It was a great game which could have gone anyway”, commented Clooney-Quin mentor Dave Barry

Sixmilebridge selector Brian Culbert felt that a lot of decisions went against Sixmilebridge on the day. “We got two goals which we feel should have been given but look we are here for another day. They are a good team and we knew it was going to be a battle. This will come down to the last puck of the game again the next day”,

When Seadna Morey gave Sixmilebridge the lead for the only time as the game went into ‘injury time’ it looked like they were about to be crowned champions for the thirteenth time in their history

Clooney-Quin weren’t to be denied, however and Peter Duggan landed his tenth in the second minute of added time after team captain Fergal Lynch had been hauled down.

Duggan landed the first score of the day in the third minute and while the ‘Bridge levelled through Caimin Morey in the fifth, the challengers enjoyed the better of matters for much of the first half.

They had edged two clear when, in the nineteenth minute, they got through for the only goal, Ronan O’Donnell firing home after good work by Jimmy Corry. This goal separated the sides at half time when the score was 1-9 to 0-9.

On six occasions in the second half Sixmilebridge drew level but each time Clooney-Quin responded with a lead point. After Niall Gilligan has levelled with a minute of normal time left, it looked like it was going to be heartbreak for Clooney-Quin when Seadna Morey put the ‘Bridge into the lead but full credit to Clooney-Quin whose top scorer Peter Duggan fired over the equaliser.

A date for the replay is expected to be confirmed on Monday night

Sixmilebridge; Derek Fahy; Noel Purcell, Paidi Fitzpatrick, Barry Fitzpatrick; Aidan Quilligan, Seadna Morey (0-3), Caimin Morey (0-1); Brian Carey, Shane Golden (0-1); Cathal Malone, Kevin Lynch, Jamie Shanahan (0-9, 5f); Brian Corry (0-2,) Alex Morey (0-2,f) Alan Mulready;

Subs; Niall Gilligan (0-1) for Mulready; Conor Deasy for Lynch; Gavin Whyte for Carey;

Clooney-Quin; Keith Hogan; Ruaidhri McNamara, Shane McNamara, Bryan McInerney; Cillian Duggan, Conor Harrisson, Donnacda Murphy; Padraig Ward, Ryan Taylor (0-2); Fergal Lynch (0-1), Michael Corry (0-2), Daire Hannon; Ronan O’Donnell (1-1), Peter Duggan (0-10, 9f) Jimmy Corry;

Sub; Mike Daffy for Hannon

Referee; Ambrose Heagney, Corofin

By Seamus Hayes

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