FEAKLE and Clonlara have set the early pace in the Clare Cup following the completion of back-to-back victories over the weekend, reports Eoin Brennan. 2016 champions Clonlara, a week on from overcoming last finalists Inagh-Kilnamona, managed to add the scalp of their nearest neighbours and reigning champions Kilmaley on home soil on Sunday afternoon.
Leading from start to finish, a fortunate Dylan McMahon goal from distance provided the clear daylight that Clonlara needed to build up a nine point half-time advantage. And with Cian Moriarty excelling around the centre, that six point cushion would be maintained into the final quarter.
Kilmaley inevitably rallied predominantly through Daire Keane and Mikey O’Malley. However, three points was as close as the visitors would come to Clonlara who deservedly held on for a 1-16 to 0-15 win.
The previous evening, a strong finish to both halves saw Feakle lower home side Crusheen by 1-18 to 1-14 in another first round winners clash. Having been level on five occasions, the dynamic duo of Steven Conway and Shane McGrath, combined for a goal right on the stroke of half-time as the former won a penalty that McGrath inevitably buried to secure a 1-7 to 0-8 lead.
Crusheen responded in kind on the restart when Jamie Fitzgibbon flicked to the net, only to be outgunned in the last quarter as Feakle outscored them by 0-7 to 0-3 to bring McGrath’s tally to 1-11.
A Jason Loughnane third quarter goal also steered back-to-back Canon Hamilton winners Sixmilebridge to a first victory of the new campaign in O’Garney Park on Sunday evening when beating Clooney-Quin by 1-23 to 0-18.
Alex Morey’s standard unerring freetaking was accentuated by five point bursts from former county seniors Seadna Morey and Jamie Shanahan as Sixmilebridge held the whip hand throughout.
The battle of the newcomers was fittingly decided by rookies too as late goals from young substitutes Oisin Kavanagh and Shane Tuite cemented a first top flight success for Broadford over Ballyea by 2-16 to 1-13 after the sides had been level at the break.
Arguably the tie of the round however was saved for Cratloe on Sunday afternoon as a share of the spoils appeared the fairest result until Conor McGrath sniped a glorious winner for the home side over Inagh-Kilnamona by 1-21 to 2-17.
All that after Cratloe had soared eight points clear by the midway mark when a Rian Considine goal put them 1-11 to 0-06 in front. However, back stormed the defiant visitors who thanks to goals from David Mescall and substitute Eoghan Foudy actually edged in front nearing the finish before former All-Star McGrath’s winning brace.
While silverware is on the line in the top flight of the Clare Cup, there’s only pride to play for in Division 1B but nobody seems to have told O’Callaghan’s Mills who have now racked up nine goals in just two outings following a 5-14 to 0-22 victory over Clarecastle in Kilkishen.
Teenager Colm Cleary’s brace of goals bookended timely strikes for Conor Cooney (of Elm Hill vintage), Sean Cotter and Colin Crehan to keep the menacing Magpies, led by Bobby Duggan (0-12), at bay.
Derby spoils were also earned by Newmarket-on-Fergus who overcame Sixmilebridge’s second string by 0-19 to 0-09 while St Joseph’s Doora/Barefield eventually warmed to their task by seeing off Éire Óg by 2-22 to 2-09.
Finally, Smith O’Brien’s bounced back from an opening defeat to Newmarket to dominate proceedings against Wolfe Tones on their way to a 0-23 to 0-13 victory.
The final 1B tie between Whitegate and Tulla takes place in Whitegate on Tuesday at 7.30pm.
Clare Cup Division 1A Round 2
Feakle 1-18 Crusheen 1-14
Cratloe 1-21 Inagh-Kilnamona 2-17
Broadford 2-16 Ballyea 1-13
Clonlara 1-16 Kilmaley 0-15
Sixmilebridge 1-23 Clooney-Quin 0-18
Clare Cup Division 1B Round 2
Newmarket-on-Fergus 0-19 Sixmilebridge (2) 0-09
O’Callaghan’s Mills 5-14 Clarecastle 0-22
Smith O’Brien’s 0-23 Wolfe Tones 0-13
St Joseph’s Doora/Barefield 2-22 Éire Óg 2-09
Whitegate v Tulla (Tuesday at 7.30pm)
Division 2 League Round 2
Parteen 1-15 Kilmaley (2) 1-12
Clooney-Quin (2) 3-11 Corofin 0-16
Scariff 4-14 Newmarket-on-Fergus (2) 0-12
Tubber 2-17 Cratloe (2) 0-10
Inagh-Kilnamona (2) 2-21 Ruan 1-15
Division 3 League Round 2
Ogonnelloe 4-11 Broadford (2) 1-10
Killanena 4-18 Clonlara (2) 2-15
Bodyke 1-23 Clarecastle (2) 0-12
Crusheen (2) 2-22 Éire Óg (2) 0-11
Division 4 League Round 2
Newmarket-on-Fergus (3) 3-12 Ennistymon 1-12
St St Joseph’s Doora/Barefield (2) 1-19 Banner 1-09
Meelick 2-13 Inagh-Kilnamona (3) 1-16
O’Callaghan’s Mills (2) 3-22 Ballyea (2) 0-19
Division 5A League Round 2
Kilmaley (3) 3-21 Feakle (2) 4-11
Smith O’Brien’s (2) 3-23 Clonlara (3) 1-15
Sixmilebridge (3) 7-19 Éire Óg (3) 1-04
Whitegate (2) v Scariff (2) (Wednesday)
Division 5B League Round 2
Tulla (2) 3-16 Wolfe Tones (3) 2-08
Tubber (2) 1-17 Corofin (2) 0-11
Killanena (2) v Ruan (2) (Tuesday)
Parteen (2) a bye
Division 5C League Round 2
Clooney-Quin (3) 3-11 Ogonnelloe (2) 3-06
Clonbony 3-10 Ennistymon (2) 1-06
Tulla (3) 2-13 O’Callaghan’s Mills (3) 1-16
Bodyke (2) 2-20 Broadford (3) 1-15