Following the hurlers’ loss to Sixmilebridge a week earlier at the same stage, it capped a grim week for the 2014 double-winners. Yesterday’s game was played in dreadful conditions and the sides were level at 0-7 apiece at the break.
The reigning champions began well and lead by 0-6 to 0-3 by the 17th minute. But four unanswered Clondegad points by the 27th left them one ahead. As the half entered injury-time, Sean Collins levelled for Cratloe.
Points by Eoin Griffin and Eoghan Donnellan put Clondegad ahead early in the second half, before Podge McMahon grabbed the all-important goal on 37. In the closing stages, Cratole converted three points to put just a goal between the sides. Then up popped 2013 hurler-of-the-year Tony Kelly to score an insurance point for the underdogs in injury time.
In the semi-final, Clondegad will face Cooraclare, who defeating O’Curry’s by 1-11 to 1-10 at Doonbeg on Saturday. Thomas Downes goaled in the opening half, leaving Cooraclare 1-5 to 0-6 in front at the interval. With five minutes remaining it was 1-10 apiece but Thomas Donnellan fisted to the net to put Cooraclare into the semi-final for the second year in a row.
St Breckan’s are also through after they beat Kilrush Shamrocks by 2-9 to 1-7 yesterday in Miltown Malbay. A Conor Cormican goal just 15 seconds in set the North Clare club on the way. They lead by 1-4 to 0-5 at half-time.
In the fourth quarter, a David Downes goal and a pointed free by Liam Madigan brought Kilrush level. Breckan’s late goal through Alan Sweeney and points by Liam Tierney and Sean Howley saw them through.
St Breckans will square up to St Joseph’s Miltown Malbay in the other semi-final. In a closely contested game at Doonbeg on Saturday, St Josephs overcame Ennistymon by 1-13 to 0-13. A goal by Eoin Cleary was the difference.
Shannon Gaels were consigned to intermediate ranks for next season as they were beaten by Wolfe Tones na Sionna by 5-2 to 0-5 in a relegation play-off at Lissycasey.