By Seamus Hayes
The all parish clash of Ballyea and Clarecastle in the quarter final of the Clare senior hurling championship is just one of a number of interesting pairings thrown up when a number of draws were made at Clare GAA headquarters in Clareabbey on this Monday evening.
Ballyea, runners up to Clonlara in their group, were first drawn from the three runners up (Clarecastle and Crusheen were the other two) to join the group winners, Cratloe, Newmarket and Clonlara in bowl 1.
This left Clarecastle, Eire Og, Crusheen, and O’Callaghans Mills in the other bowl.
In the case of Clonlara and O’Callaghans Mills, this will be the third year in a row that the teams will clash at the play off stage. Clonlara have won the past two clashes, narrowly on both occasions
The following quarter final pairings resulted; Cratloe v Eire Og; Ballyea v Clarecastle; Newmarket v Crusheen and Clonlara v O’Callaghans.
There was also huge interest in the draw for the relegation play offs. This year five teams will lost their senior status. Ruan and Scariff have already dropped to intermediate which leaves three places to be filled.
The three teams which finished bottom of their groups in the A championship, Clooney-Quin, Tulla and Kilmaley were in bowl 1 with Broadford, St. Josephs and Whitegate in bowl 2. Wolfe Tones received a bye in this round of games. The pairings are Broadford v Clooney-Quin; St. Josephs v Kilmaley and Whitegate v Tulla.
The winners of these games will remain as senior teams for 2015 while the three losers and Wolfe Tones will then play off with three of that four to lose their senior status at the end of the process. There will be two games with the two losers dropping down leaving the two winners to play off and the loser of that tie will also drop to intermediate level.
The quarter finals and the first three games in the relegation process will take place on Saturday/Sunday week, August 30/31