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Dublin: 7 °C Saturday 15 December, 2018

Hat-trick for McGrath, 1-3 for Podge as Cratloe hurlers keep Clare double dream alive

Cratloe ran out five-point winners to set a county final date with Crusheen.

Conor McGrath was in superb form, accounting for nearly half of Cratloe's 4-15 total (file photo).
Conor McGrath was in superb form, accounting for nearly half of Cratloe's 4-15 total (file photo).
Image: Donall Farmer/INPHO

Cratloe 4-15
Clarecastle 1-19

A CONOR MCGRATH hat-trick ensured Cratloe are still on track for a historic senior hurling and football double after setting up a final meeting with Crusheen in a fortnight’s time.

That superior eye for goal was the difference as Cratloe had to fend off the spirited challenge of Clarecastle who had the deficit back to two entering the final quarter mainly thanks to the scoring prowess of Bobby Duggan.

Clare U21 top scorer Duggan accounted for 10 of the Magpies total but just as it seemed they might claw their way back into the contest, ruthless Cratloe floored their plucky opponents with successive goals from Podge Collins and McGrath to cement victory.

The game also opened in goalscoring fashion with McGrath and Stephen Ward swapping goals by the sixth minute, an seesaw pattern that would be maintained into the second quarter.

A brace of Collins points eased Cratloe 1-10 to 1-7 clear approaching the break before the turning point of the game saw Clarecastle pass up a goal at one end only for McGrath to clinically billow the net at the other, a six-point swing that would secure a 2-11 to 1-8 half-time advantage for the 2009 champions.

Four unanswered points saw the Magpies storm back into the contest on the restart but try as they might, they were simply unable to make a full recovery over the next ten minutes as Cratloe matched them point for point.

That late brace of goals settled matters however as it essentially quashed Clarecastle’s revolt and ensured a fourth county final appearance in six years for the south east Clare club.

Scorers for Cratloe: Conor McGrath 3-4 (1f); Padraic Collins 1-3; Sean Collins 0-3; Cathal McInerney 0-2; Shane Gleeson, Martin Oige Murphy, David Collins 0-1 each.

Scorers for Clarecastle: Bobby Duggan 0-10 (5f, 1 65); Stephen Ward 1-1; Stephen O’Halloran, Eamon Callinan 0-2; Jonathan Clancy, Derek Quinn, Seanie Moloney, Pakie Healy 0-1 each.

Cratloe: Gearoid Ryan; Shane O’Leary, Michael Hawes, David Ryan; Sean Chaplin, Conor Ryan, Enda Boyce; Martin ‘Oige’ Murphy, Liam Markham; Padraic Collins, Shane Gleeson, Sean Collins; Cathal McInerney, Gearoid Considine, Conor McGrath

Subs: David Collins for Considine (35), Damien Browne for Gleeson (55), Philip Gleeson for Markham (61)

Clarecastle: Jamie Coughlan; Seanie Moloney, Patrick Kelly, Kevin Clohessy; Jamie O’Connor, Conor Plunkett, Gearoid Ryan; Jonathan Clancy, Stephen O’Halloran; Conor Galvin, Stephen Ward, Bobby Duggan; Derek Quinn, Eric Flynn, Pakie Healy.

Subs: Mark McGuane for Flynn (HT), Adam Healy for O’Connor (HT), Eamon Callinan for Galvin (44)

14-man Crusheen hold off Clonlara to book Clare final return

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About the author:

Eoin Brennan

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