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Shane Meehan was to the fore for The Banner as they comfortably defeated Clooney-Quin

Round-up of weekend’s junior A hurling championship

Michael O’ Connor rounds up the action in the Junior A hurling championship first round.

Crusheen 0-14 Eire Óg 1-11
The start of the race for the John Daly cup for Junior A hurling commenced at the weekend. Corofin was the venue for the keenly fought out tie between Crusheen and Eire Óg.

The countryside team who were finalists in 2021 defeated Eire Óg by 13 points last year. It was a far different story on this occasion as Crusheen led (0-8) to (0-6) at half time with Ethan O’ Donnell and Niall Kearney to the fore for Crusheen in the scoring stakes. Both defences were on top in the second half. Barry Murphy put Crusheen four ahead entering injury time.

Eire Óg did not succumb and scored a goal from a free and added the equaliser. Rory Brennan and Colin Malone worked hard at midfield for the Ennis side as Niall O’Connor was efficient from placed balls.

Kevin Moynihan was capable at centre back as was Marc O Dwyer at centre forward. Michael Foley entered the fray and scored the (1-1) to force a draw.

Kilmaley 1-16 Cratloe 1-14
Cratloe Junior A hurlers may yet bemoan this loss. For the 60 minutes of normal time, they led the 2020 finalists Kilmaley.

Cratloe who plied their trade in Intermediate hurling are hoping to make a strong impression in this year’s division 3 adult hurling championship.

At the break Kilmaley trailed (1-7) to (0-8) as Jake Moylan’s Cratloe goal was the difference. The South Clare side held this lead and appeared to be on the way to a win until conceding (1-2) in the final moments to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

James Fitzpatrick who scored (1-6) led the way in the scoring stakes for the winners with David Lynch (0-3), Conor Neylon (0-2) who had a big influence on proceedings until retiring injured.

Eoin Keane, Stephen McNamara, Enda Haren and Sean Ryan were others to do well for Kilmaley. Jake Moylan (1-5), Barry Gleeson (0-5) were the key scorers for Cratloe who should still qualify for the knockout stages.

Patrick O’ Gorman, Barry Gleeson, Jake Moylan, Dominic Costigan, Sam Sheehy and Emmet Costigan led the way for Cratloe.

Broadford 3-12 Scariff 2-14
Last year’s Junior B champions faced off against Broadford and ran the more established junior A side to the minimum in a thrilling encounter in Whitegate on Saturday evening.

The big news was the introduction of former county player and now influential Limerick hurling coach Aonghus O’ Brien. The veteran Broadford hurler in the second half grabbed two goals. Another long serving hurler Padraig Hickey scored a goal as James Gunning was another to impress in this high scoring tie

Banner 3-16 Clooney/Quin 1-14
The Banner are intent on making a serious impact in this year’s Junior A title race based on a wealth of underage talent emerging and also winning Under 21C honours last season.

They proved too strong for Clooney/Quin in Ruan on Sunday morning with Shane Meehan to the fore alongside Danny O Halloran, Niall Walsh and Thomas Meenaghan.

The Banner led (0-12) to (0-7). Clooney/Quin depended on Gary Hogan for most of his sides scores including a penalty won by Aidan Daffy. Oisin Egan, Enda Harrison and Alan Culligan were amongst others to hold their own

Ennistymon 1-17 St Joseph’s 1-10
Ennistymon faced St Josephs Doora Barefield. Ennistymon gave Crusheen a lot to think about in 2021 as St Josephs reached the semi-finals in 2021 only to be well defeated by Crusheen.

A second half of some quality by Ennistymon helped them to overcome a battling Barefield squad in Inagh GAA grounds on Sunday morning.

St Josephs aided by the stiff breeze in the first half led (1-7) to (0-6). The introduction of Ennistymon’s Cathal Frawley improved his sides efforts in the second half as they outscored their opponents (0-11) to (0-3) in the second half. Liam Devitt scored the all-important Ennistymon goal with further scores from MacDara O Keeffe and Chris Organ. Brian McNamara, Brian McDonagh, Joshua Vaughan and Ciaran McMahon were others to the fore.

Ballyea 3-15 Clarecastle 0-12
Ballyea faced off against Clarecastle in Gurteen and after an early battle from Clarecastle it was all Ballyea in the second half. Ballyea led 1-5 to 0-5 at the break.

Pa Casey in particular who had to retire injured as did Jamie O’ Connor were huge losses to the magpies. Casey and Scott Brack with two each and Lee Brack with a single effort were the Clarecastle first half scorers.

Noel Copley and Eamon Callinan who had a penalty saved, Jack Hayes and Lee Brack with scores were second half scorers. Conor Whelan stood out for Clarecastle as did Philip Weisinski.

Ballyea goal scorers were Cian Kirby, Fiachra Kirby and Eoghan Gavin. Damien Burke was a leader up front for Ballyea as the Kirbys, Oisin Griffin, man of the hour Barry Neylon and Diarmuid O’ Neill did well.

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