Cratloe ease past Éire Óg to first decider

Cratloe made it through to their first Clare SFC final when they defeated Éire Óg, Ennis 2-8 to 0-9 in the semi-final at Clarecastle yesterday.

The South-East Clare club now face the winners of next weekend’s other semi-final between Doonbeg and Lissycasey.

In an entertaining contest the Blues put in a storming second-half display to book their place in the decider. Éire Óg, who had dominated for much of the opening half, found themselves a point adrift at half-time when they conceded a late penalty that Cathal McInerney slotted past Eoin Slattery.

Up to then, the Townies led 0-5 to 0-2, but when Slattery hauled down Sean Collins in front of goal, a penalty was awarded. Following McInerney’s spot-kick, Podge Collins edged Cratloe in front with a well taken point from the right-wing.

An early Graham Glynn free for Éire Óg levelled matters. But midway through the half McInerney grabbed a second goal to put Cratloe in the driving seat, giving them a 2-4 to 0-7 lead. This vital goal clinched it for Cratloe, who fielded seven players involved with Clare’s All-Ireland hurling winning panel.

On Saturday at Kilmihil, Doonbeg overcame neighbours Cooraclare in a re-fixed quarter-final, to set up a clash with Lissycasey. The Magpies finished 1-8 to 0-4 winners in a game that was played in extremely difficult conditions.

Cooraclare, who played with the wind in the first-half, failed to take the early initiative and trailed 0-3 to 0-2 at the interval.

Doonbeg sealed the victory in the 58th minute with a goal from Shane Ryan. He sent a speculative kick from a distance goal-ward. The shot took a diversion and left Declan Keane flat-footed in the Cooraclare goal, setting Doonbeg up in their quest for a 19th title.


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