Champion Chatter Podcast
Home » Breaking News » Trapdoors and podium places in question as Clare Cup continues
Crusheen will be keen to take the points against Cratloe, to keep themselves in the semi-final spots. Photograph by John Kelly

Trapdoors and podium places in question as Clare Cup continues

Champion Chatter Podcast

Clare Cup Division 1A Round 7
Sixmilebridge v Broadford at O’Garney Park Sixmilebridge, Friday 7.30pm

A keen derby that would be a juicy prospect come championship time but realistically there’s merely only pride to play for in Sixmilebridge this evening.

Of course the sides did clash in the 2020 Senior Championship that the then county champions Sixmilebridge prevailed in with a degree of ease on their way to retaining their Canon Hamilton title.

However, that was Broadford’s first year back in the top flight and they’ve been growing in stature in the intervening period. While Sixmilebridge are stuck in a mid-table limbo, Broadford do require the points to steer clear of safety.

Inagh-Kilnamona v Feakle at Inagh, Friday 7.30pm
It’s safe to say that Inagh-Kilnamona have had the Indian sign over Feakle in recent seasons. Indeed, the East Clare side’s last senior win against their hosts was in 2015 and in the seven years since, Inagh-Kilnamona have recorded five consecutive victories, four of which have been in the Clare Cup along with that epic championship quarter-final in 2019 that went all the way to extra-time.

Even in Feakle’s triumphant Clare Cup campaign in 2021, Inagh-Kilnamona were the only ones to beat them.

However, with Feakle determined to retain their crown, stopping the rot this evening would also put the home side perilously close to dropping to Division 1B for 2023.

However, it also means that last year’s county finalists won’t lack for motivation either in what could well be the game of the weekend.

Kilmaley v Clooney-Quin at Kilmaley, Sunday 1pm
The only tie out of all ten Clare Cup matches that is a warm-up for their second round championship clash at the backend of the summer.

This definitely won’t offer much of a form guide as Clooney-Quin without Peter Duggan and Ryan Taylor would be the equivalent of actually Clare without them as both have lit up the Munster Championship so far.

Kilmaley have been blazing a similar trail through the Clare Cup so far as the only team still unbeaten in 1A and 1B after six matches.

With only two semi-final places from four legitimate candidates remaining, they will expect to maintain that determined push but much like Inagh-Kilnamona, Clooney-Quin require the points just as much to keep afloat in the top tier.

Clonlara v Ballyea at Clonlara, Sunday 1pm
A repeat of the 2016 county final that extended to a mini-drama series before Ballyea edged through for a historic breakthrough and haven’t look back since as they are currently back at the helm with their third Canon Hamilton crown.

On the flip side, Clonlara haven’t contested a final since but following a brief relegation scare in 2018 and back-to-back Senior B crowns, they appear to be finally heading back in the right direction once more.

Ballyea meanwhile have surprisingly coped quite well without their dual inter-county contingent which will give Robbie Hogan plenty of encouragement in a crucial title retention year. Their resolve will certainly be tested on Sunday as Clonlara have been adept at digging out wins thus far.

Crusheen v Cratloe at Crusheen, Sunday 1pm
Another trip down county final memory lane when Crusheen’s dethroned Cratloe in 2010, only to exact full revenge four years later in a rather bloodless decider.

Considering Crusheen’s Clare Cup ambitions and Cratloe’s increasing desperation to keep their heads above the choppy waters of relegation, this tie should have plenty of bite as the hosts require the points to remain in the semi-final spots whereas Cratloe are currently propping up the table.

Crusheen have only lost once, albeit a real poor outing against Sixmilebridge, whereas Cratloe have only picked up a solitary win against holders Feakle but that was a full nine weeks ago.

Clare Cup Division 1B Round 7
Éire Óg v Newmarket-on-Fergus at Éire Óg, Friday 7.30pm

Again a derby that backed by their full artilleries would be a mouth-watering prospect. However, despite this outing being hosted in Clonroadmore, it’s Blues that are flying high at the summit of the Division 1B table.

Promotion back to the top tier for the first time since 2019 would provide a huge jolt of confidence to to last year’s overachieving championship semi-final finish.

Éire Óg also contested the penultimate stage of the championship last year but haven’t had anywhere approaching a full pick so far but still need to pick up points fast in order to avoid the drop.

Whitegate v Scariff at Whitegate, Sunday 12.30pm
A Lough Derg-by that could be a very timely barometer as both have been on a rich vein of form recently.

Whitegate were edged out in their opening tie to Clarecastle but have been unbeaten in their four matches since while it’s a similar story for newcomers Scariff who are coming off back-to-back victories which were sparked by a battling draw with Wolfe Tones in the previous round.

Whitegate still have a genuine shot at promotion but will require a perfect finish, starting against their neighbours.

O’Callaghan’s Mills v Wolfe Tones at Hamilton Park Kilkishen, Sunday 1pm
It’s predominantly a weekend of top versus bottom ties as while Wolfe Tones will be buoyed after securing their first victory of the campaign last time out against Éire Óg, the Shannon side will need to be at their best to replicate that result here which would almost consolidate their Division 1B status for another year.

The Mills have only lost once in six matches however and being the hosts won’t want to let their momentum slip at this stage.

Clarecastle v St Joseph’s Doora/Barefield at Clarecastle, Sunday 6pm
A local rivalry that hasn’t been as vehement over the past decade as aside from bragging rights neither have had too much to brag about really.

The Magpies have been relatively consistent so far with a new-look side while the Parish began like a train with three successive victories but have run out of steam a little with disappointing finishes against the top two Newmarket and O’Callaghan’s Mills.

It’s a last chance for both to make a burst for the podium places in what is the final action of the weekend.

About Eoin Brennan

Check Also

Wesley serving smiles to lighten load for refugees in camps

A KILLALOE tennis coach is continuing his drive to bring a smile to the faces …