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Dublin: 7°C Thursday 25 February 2021

1997 Clare All-Ireland winner helps Sixmilebridge to victory, while Cratloe fall to shock defeat

Munster champions Ballyea opened their title defence in style.

Image: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

BEATEN ALL-IRELAND finalists Ballyea enjoyed a 1-16 to 0-12 win over Wolfe Tones Shannon in their Clare SHC opener today.

Tony Kelly scored 1-4 from play for the reigning champions, while Niall Deasy finished with seven points, including six frees.

It was a good win for Ballyea, considering the presence of Clare forwards Aaron Cunningham and Aaron Shannagher in the Wolfe Tones attack. Jack Browne did a good job to stifle Shanagher, while Gearoid O’Connell proved an effective sweeper for the winners.

Ballyea lead by 0-6 to 0-5 at the break, before Kelly’s 51st minute goal sent them on their way.

Elsewhere in the competition this weekend, 40-year-old Niall Gilligan scored a point as Sixmilebridge hammered Clarecastle by 3-25 to 0-11. Whitegate enjoyed a surprising 4-9 to 0-20 win over Cratloe, Clonlara defeated Feakle by 2-16 to 0-16, and 1-9 from Colin Ryan helped Newmarket beat Clooney-Quin by 1-16 to 1-13.

Finally, Crusheen fell to a 2-12 to 2-10 defeat to Inagh-Kilnamona.

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Kevin O'Brien

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