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Veteran Gilligan helps Sixmilebridge book Clare senior hurling final place

Gilligan hits seven points as Sixmilebridge get back into the final.

Image: Donall Farmer/INPHO

Sixmilebridge 3-21

Crusheen 3-13

A STRONG SECOND-HALF fightback was not enough for last year’s finalists Crusheen to halt 2013 champions Sixmilebridge’s return to the Clare Senior Hurling decider in rain-soaked Ennis this afternoon.

14 points in arrears approaching half-time, Crusheen had to use all their experience to fire a goal either side of the break and eventually cut the deficit to just two by the end of the third quarter.

However, a more determined Sixmilebridge finally steadied themselves with a Shane Golden goal before powering to an eight point winning margin.

It was all so different in the opening half as Sixmilebridge hit the ground sprinting and never let up. The game was only 30 seconds old when the returning Jamie Shanahan used his strength to find the net while a second through Shane Golden in the 17th minute bolstered Sixmilebridge’s challenge to eventually hold a 2-12 to 0-04 advantage by the 29th minute.

Crusheen craved a spark and they duly got it with a Conor O’Donnell bullet to the net followed by a Colin Vaughan ’65 to reduce the arrears to ten by the midway point at 2-12 to 1-05.

The 2010/11 champions would maintain their comeback trail on the restart, starting with a Fergus Kennedy goal inside the opening minute and hammered home by the experience and scoring prowess of Cathal Dillon, Cian Dillon and Gearoid O’Donnell as a second Kennedy goal slashed the deficit to just two at 2-16 to 3-11 by the turn of the final quarter.

Crucially however, Sixmilebridge’s response was immediate as county senior Shane Golden cut in from the right corner to billow the net and effectively suck the life out of Crusheen’s recovery. With that, Niall Gilligan and the hugely impressive Cathal Malone tacked on further points as a relieved Sixmilebridge eased up to their third final in five years.

Scorers for Sixmilebridge:
Niall Gilligan 0-7 (7f); Shane Golden 2-0; Cathal Malone 0-5; Conor Deasy 0-4; Jamie Shanahan 1-0; Alex Morey 0-2; Brian Carey, Seadna Morey, Pa Sheehan 0-1 each

Scorers for Crusheen:
Fergus Kennedy 2-0; Conor O’Donnell 1-1; Cathal Dillon 0-3; Colin Vaughan (1f, 1’65), Alan Tuohy 0-2 each; Darragh O’Doherty, Ciaran O’Doherty, Gearoid O’Donnell, Paddy Vaughan, Cian Dillon 0-1 each

Sixmilebridge:

1. Derek Fahy
2. Barry Fitzpatrick
3. Aidan Quilligan
4. Tadgh Keogh
20. Noel Purcell
6. Caimin Morey
7. Paidi Fitzpatrick
5. Seadna Morey
9. Shane Golden
10. Cathal Malone
11. Niall Gilligan
12. Conor Deasy
22. Jamie Shanahan
17. Brian Carey
15. Alex Morey

Subs:

13. Brian Corry for A. Morey (40 mins)
8. Pa Sheehan for Keogh (47 mins)
24. Gavin Whyte for Carey (56 mins)
29. Pa Mulready for Gilligan (60 mins)

Crusheen:

1. Donal Tuohy
2. Mark Perrill
3. Gerry O’Grady
4. Alan Brigdale
5. Shaun Dillon
6. Cian Dillon
7. Cathal Dillon
8. Ciaran O’Doherty
9. Darragh O’Doherty
10. Alan Tuohy
11. Fergus Kennedy
12. Gearoid O’Donnell
13. Conor O’Donnell
17. Paddy Vaughan
15. Colin Vaughan

Subs: 

14. Paddy O’Grady for P. Vaughan (57 mins)
21. Cillian Mullins for A. Tuohy (61 mins)
18. Sean Weir for S. Dillon (61 mins)
19. Rory Halpin for D. O’Doherty (61 mins)

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