Battling Ballyea earn quarter-final place

Clare SHC

Battling Ballyea earn quarter-final place

Ballyea made the play-offs from Group 1 when they defeated Inagh-Kilnamona at Cusack Park on Saturday evening. Ballyea won 0-19 to 0-13 after trailing by 0-9 to 0-6 at the break.

Inagh-Kilnamona, with the wind, had the better of exchanges in the opening half, with the free-taking of Niall Arthur crucial in establishing a half-time lead.

Four unanswered Ballyea scores, inside seven minutes of the restart, turned the tide.

The sides were level on four occasions in the second period but a late flurry by Ballyea, with points by Damien Burke, Tony Kelly, Paul Flanagan and Gearoid O’Connell, saw them safely through.

In the same group, Clonlara, who had already qualified, consigned Clooney-Quin to a relegation battle, when they beat them by 1-21 to 1- 17 at Sixmilebridge yesterday.

Clooney-Quin led by 1-8 to 0-10 at the interval but an early second-half goal by John Conlon set Clonlara up for a merited win.

In Group 2, Tubber and Tulla faced off at Clarecastle on Saturday, in an attempt to avoid the relegation series.

Tubber came out on top by 1-14 to 0-13 having led by 1-5 to 0-4, at the break. Blaine Earley grabbed the game’s only goal in the 22nd minute.

Old rivals Newmarket-on-Fergus and Clarecastle met at Cusack Park yesterday in a group decider. 2012 champions Newmarket won the bragging rights, finishing 1-17 to 1-13 ahead.

Playing with a strong wind in the opening half, they led 1-9 to 0-5 at half-time.

An early goal by full-forward Stephen Kelly put the Blues in pole position.

Clarecastle pulled back a goal through Packie Healy early in the second half but it wasn’t enough to overcome their neighbours.

Last year’s champions Sixmilebridge, though out of the running this season, stayed clear of relegation trouble thanks to a 2-19 to 0-14 victory over Kilmaley at Clarecastle on Saturday.

In front by 0-11 to 0-7 after the opening 30 minutes, the Bridge killed off Kilmaley’s chances early in the second half, with an Alex Morey goal.

Alan Mulready grabbed another later in the half to see his side safely home.

Last evening’s Group 3 top-of-the-table clash between Cratloe and Crusheen at Cusack Park was a repeat of the 2010 decider. Back then, Crusheen emerged victorious but this time Cratloe took the spoils, winning 0-15 to 0-12.

Aided by a strong breeze in the first-half, Cratloe led by 0-9 to 0-4 at the break.

A superb display by Conor McGrath saw him score 10 points — six from play — and he was in close contention for the man-of-the-match award with Cratloe centre-back Conor Ryan who impressed throughout.

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