Crusheen end Cratloe’s hopes and advance to last eight

Last year’s beaten finalists, Cratloe, were knocked out of the Clare SHC on Saturday when their final group game against Crusheen finished in a 0-16 apiece draw.

Crusheen qualified for this evening’s quarter-final draw, where they will be joined from Group 2 by Inagh-Kilnamona. They defeated St Joseph’s Doora-Barefield 2-18 to 1-10 to record their second group win. Inagh-Kilnamona had to hope Cratloe didn’t win to progress to the last eight.

Cratloe, who were forced to replace injured Clare senior centre-back Conor Ryan in the second half, were pegged back by a late Pat Vaughan free for the 2010 and 2011 champions. Cratloe led 0-11 to 0-9 at half-time and 0-15 to 0-12, ten minutes from time.

Most of the Cratloe team will be in action again next weekend when they play Cooraclare in round two of the SFC while the club is also down to play an U21 football quarter-final against a west Clare amalgamation tonight.

Inspired by full-forward and free-taker Niall Arthur, Inagh-Kilnamona dominated most of their game against St Joseph’s. Arthur scored 1-8 while Clare U21 centre-back Alan O’Neill was St Joseph’s main threat at full-forward.

Although they lost 1-18 to 3-10 to Sixmilebridge in Group 3, Clonara joined their opponents in reaching the knockout stages, with centre-forward Shane Golden hitting seven points from play.

The winners led 1-11 to 1-6 at half-time, with full forward Niall Gilligan speeding away from Domhnall O’Donovan to net the Bridge goal.

Cormac O’Donovan scored Clonara’s first half goal, while David Begley finished both of the south-east Clare team’s second half goals.

An ongoing quad injury kept Darach Honan on the sideline for Clonara.

In the same group, Clooney-Quin defeated Clarecastle 5-8 to 2-11.

The winners featured five goalscorers, including recently retired Clare senior Fergal Lynch.

Clarecastle finished bottom of the group and are now in a relegation play-off to avoid demotion to senior B.

In Group 1, Tubber joined champions Newmarket in the quarter-finals despite losing 0-17 to 1-11 to the 2012 champions at Cusack Park yesterday.

Kilmaley were expected to beat Tulla in the same group, but, inspired by Andrew Quinn, the 2007 champions won 5-12 to 0-20.

That result knocked out Kilmaley and allowed Tubber to progress on scoring difference. Despite winning, Tulla finished bottom of the group and are in the relegation playoffs.

Ballyea and O’Callagahan’s Mills will be the senior B representatives in the quarter-finals. They will also meet in the senior B final.

In Group 1 of the senior B, the ’Mills beat Éire óg 2-24 to 2-11 in what was a knockout final group tie. The winners led 2-13 to 0-8 at the interval. Jamie Lynch scored both goals while former Éire Og hurler Adrian Flaherty scored 0-11 for O’Callaghan’s Mills.

In Group 2, Ballyea secured their third group win, defeating Scariff 1-22 to 0-11. Scariff are now fighting to avoid relegation to intermediate along with Smith O’Briens.

Meanwhile, in the Clare senior camogie county final, Newmarket-on-Fergus defeated Clooney-Quin 1-11 to 0-9. Jenny Kelly scored the goal for Newmarket.

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