The remaining two semi-final places in the race for the county senior football title were filled this afternoon.
Cratloe justified favouritism when they proved too strong for Ennistymon at Cusack Park, repeating their first round victory over the North Clare side. This time the margin was greater as Cratloe progressed with twelve points to spare, 3-13 to1-10.
Goals from Podge Collins and Cathal McInerney inside the first ten minutes helped them to a ten point lead by the twentieth minutes. A third goal from Billy Connors saw them lead by twelve at half time when the score was 3-6 to 0-3 and by this stage they had replaced Podge Collins who was a doubtful started due to a leg muscle injury.
In an effort to improve matters Ennistymon resumed with Conor Dillon and Sean O’Driscoll in their line up in place of Michael O’Dwyer and Ciaran Devitt as they sought to improve their position. Cratloe kicked the first three points of the new half to stretch their lead before Ennistymon were given some hope with a goal from substitute Danny Rouine. They kicked four points in a row before the final quarter but that was as good as it got and Cratloe went on to seal a comfortable win on a day when Sean Collins, Liam Markham, Conor McGrath and Cathal McInerney were prominent.
In a quarter final replay in Kilmihil, Clondegad overcame the challenge of Doonbeg to complete the semi-final line up. The outcome of this one went right down to the wire with Clondegad sealing victory with a penalty goal from Clare captain Gary Brennan, deep in injury time. At the time they were level at 0-11 each, having been level on ten occasions during the tie, and everything pointed to extra time.
As Brennan stepped forward to take the penalty kick it was expected that he would tap the ball over the bar but his effort struck the body of Eamonn Tubridy who had advanced well off his goal line and ended up in the net. The final whistle followed the kick out leaving Clondegad through to the last four for the second time in three years.
In the final of the senior B competition, Lissycasey were comfortable 2-20 to 1-7 winners over St. Josephs Doora-Barefield at Corofin.
The winners led 0-10 to 1-5 at half time before dominating the second half when they had goals from Conor Talty and Francis Hayes.
The junior B final between Banner and Doonbeg ended on level terms in Doonbeg with the Ennis side scoring the equaliser at the death. The final score was 1-6 each and this is the second time that these teams have drawn in this campaign as they also ended level when they met in the group stage.
In the opening game of the day, Miltown St. Josephs sealed their place in the Clare Champion sponsored CusackCusack cup (senior league) final with a merited 2-13 to 0-12 win over their great rivals and competition title holders Kilmurry-Ibrickane. Kilmurry will now have home advantage against Doonbeg in the semi-final.
Smith O’Briens were crowned division 2 hurling league champions thanks to a 1-23 to 1-8 win over their neighbours Scariff. This was the third meeting of the sides in competition this season with the Killaloe side winning on all occasions.
Senior camogie champions Inagh-Kilnamona are one step away from retaining the title they won for the first time last year after a 4-10 to 2-5 win over Scariff-Ogonnelloe. In the final they will face Newmarket who overecame Truagh-Clonlara.
By Seamus Hayes