Sixmilebridge and Newmarket in Fergus will meet in Cusack Park on Sunday at 4.00pm in the semi-final of this year’s senior championship after the Bridge ended Cratloe’s hopes with an easier than expected win.

Clare Senior Hurling Championship Quarter Final Sixmilebridge 3-18 Cratloe 1-14 by Michael O’Connor.

Cusack Park hosted this highly anticipated game that quickly petered out as a contest so that with 15 minutes remaining spectators were anxious for it to finish. Entering this quarter-final, Sixmilebridge knew they had to curb the dual threat posed by Conor McGrath and Cathal McInerney, and they did so with effect.  A major difference was the devastating impact of the Sixmilebridge bench with subs who would all start with most Clare club sides. A great performance by their intermediates in the

Alex Morey sends a terrific sideline cut over the bar for a point.

Alex Morey sends a terrific sideline cut over the bar for a point.

A major difference was the devastating impact of the Sixmilebridge bench with subs who would all start with most Clare club sides. A great performance by their intermediates in the quarter-final against Kilmaley shows the intense competition for places in the Sixmilebridge team.

Scores from Jamie Shanahan and Cathal McInerney within a minute got things started. With the breeze at his back, Shanahan added a second point before Brian Corry raised the first green flag with a 6th minute goal.  Sixmilebridge were more physically imposing as they assumed complete control across the field. Shanahan, Alan Mulready and veteran Niall Gilligan were on target to open up a 1-5 to 0-1 lead by the 14th minute. Shane Gleeson and the influential Cathal Malone swopped points ahead of Billy Connors, Jamie Shanahan (2) and Sean Collins whose fine score left seven between the sides entering the final moments of the first half. Any intensity expected from the game did not materialise due to the gulf in abilities on the day with the Sixmilebridge defence in absolute control of the famed Cratloe attacking force.

Shane Gleeson and the influential Cathal Malone swopped points ahead of Billy Connors, Jamie Shanahan (2) and Sean Collins whose fine score left seven between the sides entering the final moments of the first half. Any intensity expected from the game did not materialise due to the gulf in abilities on the day with the Sixmilebridge defence in absolute control of the famed Cratloe attacking force.

Billy Connors, who has been consistent this year in attack, had Cratloe’s final score of the half which Cathal Malone matched as Sixmilebridge went in 1-9 to 0-5 ahead at the interval. Cratloe needed goals and a plan to escape from the clutches of the Sixmilebridge but neither happened to any extent in the second half.  Conor McGrath and Billy Connors raised hopes with points after the throw-in but the game was over as a contest within five minutes.

Jamie Shanahan (2), Alex Morey, with a splendid sideline cut, stretched the Bridge lead to eight. Seadna Morey was closely marshalling any potential threat from Conor McGrath, but to their credit, Cratloe rallied with four scores coming from Cathal McInerney (2), Billy Connors and Shane Gleeson.  Indeed Cathal McInerney had two goal chances over the hour, had he succeeded it would have had a massive impact on proceedings.

Shane Golden controls the ball ahead of Shane O’Leary.

Shane Golden controls the ball ahead of Shane O’Leary.

The match-winning score that undone all the Cratloe effort fell to Alan Mulready who goaled in the 44th minute as Sixmilebridge began to empty their benches. Cathal McInerney was on target in the 46th minute to leave Cratloe adrift by 2-12 to 0-12.  Shanahan and Cathal Malone (2) added points before substitute Gavin Whyte ended a superb five-man movement with his sides third goal.  Sixmilebridge were now 12 clear and continued to turn the heat on Cratloe with Jamie Shanahan scoring at will.  Cathal McInerney concluded his side’s interest in this year’s championship with a consolation 1-1 to leave Sixmilebridge cruising to a 10 point victory and favourites for another Canon Hamilton Cup title.

Sixmilebridge were now 12 clear and continued to turn the heat on Cratloe with Jamie Shanahan scoring at will.  Cathal McInerney concluded his side’s interest in this year’s championship with a consolation 1-1 to leave Sixmilebridge cruising to a 10 point victory and favourites for another Canon Hamilton Cup title.

SIXMILEBRIDGE: Derek Fahy; Barry Fitzpatrick, Aidan Quilligan, Seadna Morey; Noel Purcell, Paidi Fitzpatrick, Caimin Morey; Conor Deasy, Alex Morey (0-1 s/l); Cathal Malone (0-4), Jamie Shanahan (0-10, 8f, 1’65), Shane Golden; Brian Corry (1-0), Alan Mulready (1-1), Niall Gilligan (0-1). Subs: Gavin Whyte (1-0) for Gilligan, Brian Carey for Mulready, Kevin Lynch for Golden, Cathal Lynch (0-1) for Corry.
CRATLOE: Gearoid Ryan; Martin Oige Murphy, Michael Hawes, David Ryan; Diarmuid Ryan, Shane O’Leary, Shane Gleeson (0-2f); Liam Markham, Damien Browne; Sean Collins (0-2), Padraic Collins, David Collins; Conor McGrath (0-1), Cathal McInerney (1-5), Billy Connors (0-4f)Subs: Barry Gleeson for Connors, Enda Boyce for D. Collins, Conor Earley for D. RyanReferee: Ambrose Heagney (Corofin).