Clara players celebrating last year's Kilkenny county senior final win. Donall Farmer/INPHO
Avoid The Drop

Reigning Kilkenny senior champions banish relegation fears and reach quarter-finals

Clara, who have contested the last three finals, won their relegation semi-final yesterday.

REIGNING KILKENNY SENIOR hurling champions Clara banished their relegation fears yesterday and booked a quarter-final place in this year’s championship.

Clara have contested the last three senior deciders on Noreside, claiming titles in 2013 and 2015. But indifferent league form this year meant that their first round championship tie yesterday doubled up as a relegation semi-final.

However Clara put aside any concerns about dropping down a grade, by claiming a 1-17 to 2-9 win yesterday against Fenians. Kilkenny senior panellist Chris Bolger shot 1-8, a return that was central to a five-point success.

The other relegation semi-final will go to a replay after Richie Hogan rescued Danesfort with a late point to clinch a 0-13 to 1-10 draw against Rower-Inistioge.

Hogan hit 0-10 overall with his last point a critical score after Tom Murphy had netted for Rower-Inistioge moments before to put them on the verge of victory.

Today’s other first round games in Kilkenny see Erins Own facing James Stephens while Mullinavat take on Bennettsbridge.

The Kilkenny senior hurling league final will be contested today between Ballyhale Shamrocks and St Martin’s while the Kilkenny shield final will feature Dicksboro and O’Loughlin Gaels.

Those four clubs have already booked quarter-final places due to the link in the Kilkenny club system between league and championship.

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