Friday 27 January 2023 Dublin: 1°C
# laying down a marker
Gavin, Kelly and Deasy combine to send Ballyea into Clare senior final
Clare champions Ballyea have qualified for their fourth senior final in seven years after deservedly seeing off the challenge of Cratloe on Saturday afternoon.

Ballyea 0-24

Cratloe 1-17

Páraic McMahon reports from Cusack Park, Ennis

FOURTEEN POINTS WAS the margin when the sides met in round four of the Clare SHC but Ballyea produced their best display of this season’s campaign to significantly overturn the result and record a four point victory.

Even the seventeenth minute dismissal of former Clare senior hurler and All-Ireland U21 winner, Gearoid ‘Gudgy’ O’Connell, could not deter Ballyea who showed their innate work ethic that teams across the county have struggled to match.

Mossy Gavin gave his greatest senior display for the winners, finishing with 0-6 to his name while the display of Paul Flanagan was equally impressive, the Clare defender managing to curb the influence of Rian Considine who had 4-30 to his name in the entire campaign prior to the semi-final but was limited to a single point from play.

Further good news was on show for the winners with Gary Brennan returning to action.

philip-mahony-tackles-gary-brennan Ken Sutton / INPHO Garry Brennan returned to action. Ken Sutton / INPHO / INPHO

The former county football captain made his first appearance of the championship when introduced at half-time, he had previously focused on Clondegad’s run in the football championship until their exit at the hands of Éire Óg last week.

Level on two occasions inside the opening five minutes, Ballyea began to power ahead by the end of the opening quarter. Gearoid Ryan produced a fine save to push a Tony Kelly penalty over the cross bar on eight minutes but the All Star showed plenty of class at various stages in the contest, including a wonder solo effort on fourteen minutes.

Points from Morgan Garry, Kelly and Niall Deasy gave Ballyea a seven point cushion on twenty four minutes but Cratloe through Rian Considine, Shane Neville and Diarmuid Ryan lowered the deficit to four points by the sounding of the half time whistle.

Four points without reply plus a super save by Barry Coote to stop Conor McGrath from raising a green flag put Ballyea back in the driving seat on the restart.

A much needed glimmer of hope arrived for Cratloe when Sean Collins’ goal-line save from Niall Deasy kick started a move which resulted in Sean Gallagher raiding for his second goal in as many games to again bring the gap back to four points on thirty eight minutes.

Crucially for Cratloe, the closest they would get to was three points as Ballyea always maintained the edge.

They came close to a second goal when Diarmuid Ryan was denied by the crossbar and then Podge Collins’ rebound brought about cat-like reflexes from Coote.

For Robbie Hogan’s winners, they face either Éire Óg or Sixmilebridge in two weeks time, on this occasion Mossy Gavin, Paul Flanagan, Tony Kelly, Brandon O’Connell, Jack Browne and Morgan Garry impressed for them while Cratloe managed by Conor Earley had strong showings from Shane Neville and Sean Collins.

Scorers for Ballyea: Mossy Gavin (0-6); Tony Kelly (0-1 Pen, 1f); Niall Deasy (2f, 1’65, 1 s/l) (0-5 each); Pearse Lillis, Morgan Garry (0-3 each); Jack Browne, Stan Lineen (0-1 each)

Scorers for Cratloe: Rian Considine (0-6, 4f, 1’65); Shane Neville, Podge Collins (0-3 each); Sean Gallagher (1-1); Conor McGrath (0-2); Diarmuid Ryan, Liam Markham (0-1 each)


1: Barry Coote


2: Brandon O’Connell

3: Peter Casey

4: Paul Flanagan


5: Gearoid O’Connell

7: James Murphy

6: Jack Browne


9: Stan Lineen

12: Morgan Garry


14: Niall Deasy

11: Pearse Lillis

10: Cathal O’Connor


13: Mossy Gavin

8: Tony Kelly

15: Aaron Griffin


33: Gary Brennan for O’Connor (HT)

17: Cillian Brennan for Garry (49) (inj)

19: Martin O’Leary for Griffin (52)

22: Thomas Kelly for Lillis (63)


1: Gearoid Ryan


7: Sean Collins

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3: Liam Markham

4: Damien Browne


5: Shane Neville

6: Diarmuid Ryan

14: Micheál Hawes


8: Sam Sheedy

9: Daithí Collins


13: Shane Gleeson

12: Cathal McInerney

10: Conor McGrath


15: Rian Considine

22: Sean Gallagher

11: Podge Collins


19: Oige Murphy for Sheedy (39)

21: Jack McInerney for S Collins (44) (inj)

Referee: Rory McGann (Newmarket-on-Fergus)

Páraic McMahon


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