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Dublin: 6 °C Saturday 15 December, 2018

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

John Conlon’s late 20-metre free was blocked away as Crusheen held on for a two-point win.

Crusheen's Gearoid O’Donnell celebrates (file photo).
Crusheen's Gearoid O’Donnell celebrates (file photo).
Image: Donall Farmer/INPHO

Crusheen 0-10
Clonlara 0-8

14-MAN CRUSHEEN advanced to their third Clare senior hurling championship final in five years after a superb show of defiance in Cusack Park.

Despite playing over half the game with a player less, the 2010 and 2011 champions held Clonlara to only three points in the last 45 minutes of the game while digging deep to move three points clear by the turn of the final quarter thanks to successive points from Jamie Fitzgibbon, Gearoid O’Donnell and Gerry O’Grady.

Clonlara only scored their first point of the second period in the 54th minute with a John Conlon free and despite throwing everything at their opponents, their efforts would be in vein in a dramatic finale.

The game appeared to hinge on the dismissal of Crusheen talisman Paddy Vaughan just before half-time following an off-the-ball incident involving Oisin O’Brien that saw the former county senior captain receive a straight red.

Up to that point, Crusheen had recovered superbly from a 0-5 to 0-3 opening quarter deficit to gain parity by the 26th minute, with Vaughan central to that fightback with four of their five point tally.

However, despite breaking a 20 minute barren period just before the break through Cormac O’Donovan to go in level at 0-6 to 0-6 at the break, Clonlara were unable to build on their numerical superiority and the conditions as Crusheen used all their experience to grind out an advantage.

In the end, it came down to a 65th-minute John Conlon 20-metre free but with nine players on the line, Crusheen repelled the effort to maintain their bid for a third senior title this decade.

Scorers for Crusheen: Paddy Vaughan 0-4, 3 frees, Jamie Fitzgibbon 0-2 2 frees, Fergus Kennedy, Gearoid O’Donnell, Gerry O’Grady Ciaran O’Doherty (free) 0-1 each

Scorers for Clonlara: John Conlon 0-3, 3 frees, Darach Honan 0-2, Cathal O’Connell, Ian Galvin, Cormac O’Donovan 0-1 each


1. Donal Tuohy

2. Jason Greene
3. Cathal Dillon
4. Alan Brigdale

5. Ciaran O’Doherty (c)
6. Cian Dillon
7. Shaun Dillon

8. Paddy Vaughan
9. Fergus Kennedy

10. Gearoid O’Donnell
11. Gerry O’Grady
12. Alan Tuohy

13. Conor O’Donnell
14. Jamie Fitzgibbon
15. Paddy O’Grady

Subs: Colin Vaughan for P. O’Grady (HT), Conor O’Loughlin for Brigdale (50, inj), Darragh O’Doherty for Fitzgibbon (57, inj).


1. Ger O’Connell

2. Pat O’Hare
3. Shane O’Brien
4. Cillian Fennessy

5. Nicky O’Connell
6. Oisin O’Brien
7. Domhnall O’Donovan

8. Colm Galvin
9. Tommy Lynch

10. Seamus Downey
11. Darach Honan
12. Cormac O’Donovan

13. Ian Galvin
14. John Conlon
15. Cathal O’Connell

Subs: Micheál O’Loughlin for N. O’Connell (47, inj), James Hastings for I. Galvin (53).

Referee: Ambrose Heagney (Corofin)

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About the author:

Eoin Brennan

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