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Peter Duggan saves deserved draw for Clooney-Quin with last puck of Clare hurling final

Seadna Morey looked to have snatched the county title for Sixmilebridge with an injury-time point.

Duggan: Clooney-Quin star held his nerve.
Duggan: Clooney-Quin star held his nerve.
Image: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

Sixmilebridge 0-19

Clooney-Quin 1-16

FOR THE SECOND successive year, the Clare senior hurling championship will have to be decided by a replay after Sixmilebridge and Clooney-Quin couldn’t be separated in Cusack Park, Ennis this afternoon.

In a thrilling decider played in front of an attendance of 5,455, the sides were level on nine occasions, eight of which came in a tense blow-for-blow second period before ending in an inevitable stalemate.

An 11th different winner in 13 seasons certainly seemed likely when newcomers Clooney-Quin, playing in a first county senior final in 73 years, belied their inexperience to snatch the whip hand for the majority as they were never headed over the first hour and even held a five-point advantage entering the second quarter.

However, crucially Sixmilebridge, while failing to reach the heights of previous displays, never panicked at any stage and led by a commanding performance from county senior Jamie Shanahan who finished with nine points, they stayed with their plucky opponents before finally hitting the front for the first time with a Seadna Morey injury-time point.

It would have been a cruel twist for Clooney-Quin to stomach had they been beaten by such a late sucker-punch but the 2016 Senior B champions managed to dig deep enough for one last rally as a foul on captain Fergal Lynch offered Peter Duggan the opportunity to level up the tie with the last puck of a compelling decider.

Duggan, the championship’s top-scorer with 2-66, was Clooney-Quin’s guiding light from placed balls all afternoon and duly helped his side to a 0-6 to 0-4 first quarter advantage before Ronan O’Donnell struck for a 19th minute goal to boost his side five clear.

By that stage, Clooney-Quin goalkeeper Keith Hogan had pulled off two excellent saves from Shane Golden and Cathal Malone to keep the ‘Bridge at bay but with Shanahan picking off five first half points, the 2013 and ’15 champions did lower the arrears to just three by half-time at 1-9 to 0-9.

Clooney-Quin superbly halted a resurgent Sixmilebridge into the new half as the outstanding Hogan stopped a Jamie Shanahan penalty before also denying Brian Corry within three minutes of the restart.

Shanahan (two) and Corry did level up the tie by the 36th minute but they simply couldn’t nudge ahead, with Peter Duggan even cannoning a bullet off the ‘Bridge crossbar in the 39th minute.

The sides would go point for point another seven times for the final 20 minutes in an increasingly anxious duel between Shanahan and Duggan. However, in the end, another day out was the fairest outcome, with the replay date yet to be confirmed.

Scorers for Sixmilebridge: Jamie Shanahan 0-9 (3f, 2’65); Seadna Morey 0-3; Brian Corry, Alex Morey (2f) 0-2 each; Caimin Morey, Shane Golden, Niall Gilligan 0-1 each

Scorers for Clooney-Quin: Peter Duggan 0-10 (8f, 1’65); Ronan O’Donnell 1-1; Michael Corry, Ryan Taylor 0-2 each; Fergal Lynch 0-1

Sixmilebridge

1. Derek Fahy

2. Noel Purcell
7. Paidi Fitzpatrick (captain)
4. Barry Fitzpatrick

3. Aidan Quilligan
6. Seadna Morey
5. Caimin Morey

8. Brian Carey
17. Kevin Lynch

10. Cathal Malone
11. Jamie Shanahan
14. Alex Morey

13. Brian Corry
12. Shane Golden
15. Alan Mulready

Subs:

9. Conor Deasy for Lynch (HT)
18. Niall Gilligan for Mulready (HT)
19. Gavin Whyte for Carey (48)

Clooney-Quin

1. Keith Hogan

4. Ruaidhri McNamara
3. Shane McNamara
2. Bryan McInerney

5. Cillian Duggan
6. Conor Harrison
8. Donnchadh Murphy

7. Padraig Ward
9. Ryan Taylor

15. Jimmy Corry
11. Michael Corry
14. Fergal Lynch (captain)

13. Ronan O’Donnell
10. Peter Duggan
23. Daire Hannon

Sub:

18. Mike Daffy for Hannon (HT)

Referee: Ambrose Heagney (Corofin)

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