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Dublin: 7 °C Tuesday 19 November, 2019
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Davy Fitz's Sixmilebridge side celebrate Clare hurling glory with win over Cratloe

A fourth title in seven years for Sixmilebridge this afternoon.

Davy Fitzgerald celebrates Sixmilebridge's victory with Noel Pucell.
Davy Fitzgerald celebrates Sixmilebridge's victory with Noel Pucell.
Image: Lorraine O’Sullivan/INPHO

Sixmilebridge 0-21
Cratloe 0-15

Eoin Brennan reports from Cusack Park, Ennis

SIXMILEBRIDGE’S BIENNIAL GRIP on the Clare senior hurling championship was maintained this afternoon as they garnered a fourth title in seven years in Cusack Park in Ennis.

In truth, it wasn’t a classic but that won’t perturb the ‘Bridge who began their re-emergence to the summit after 11 years with a derby victory over Newmarket-on-Fergus in 2013 and finished the decade with another Canon Hamilton Cup over neighbours Cratloe.

In front of an attendance of 6,330, the Davy Fitzgerald trained side produced a nine point turnaround after Cratloe had made all the early running with the aid of the conditions.

However, once they hit the front in the 20th minute, Sixmilebridge were never headed thereafter and finished with ten of the last 14 points to ease up to their 13th ever title led by Cathal Malone, Alex Morey and Caimin Morey.

For Cratloe, it was a second successive final defeat but their hopes of a first championship triumph since 2014 were severely dented midway through the opening half following a leg injury to 2013 All-Star winning captain Conor McGrath who had been their driving force from midfield throughout their six match campaign.

While he played on at corner-forward, that blow was a turning point after Cratloe had hit the ground running, with early braces from Shane Gleeson and Rian Considine to move 0-6 to 0-2 clear by the tenth minute.

However, Sixmilebridge would settle with seven of the next eight points through Alex Morey (3), Cathal Malone (2), Jamie Shanahan and Shane Golden to nudge two in front, a margin that they would hold until the break at 0-11 to 0-9 despite a McGrath shot being saved by goalkeeper Derek Fahy.

Cratloe did recover with a brace of Shane Gleeson frees to regain parity by the 33rd minute but as the half developed, Sixmilebridge grew incrementally in stature and assurance and by the turn of the final quarter, had established a 0-17 to 0-12 advantage.

Centre-back Diarmuid Ryan, who was one of Cratloe’s main leaders, did have a glorious opportunity to grab a lifeline entering the final ten minutes after his overlapping run was picked out by Podge Collins. However, the teenager would flash his powerful effort just wide of the left post.

Instead, Sixmilebridge matched anything their near opponents could throw at them for the remainder before Cathal Malone raided for his fourth point of the afternoon to seal a famous win following a perfect five match winning run.

Scorers for Sixmilebridge: Alex Morey (0-8, 7f); Cathal Malone (0-4); Brian Corry, Jamie Shanahan, Conor Deasy (0-2 each); Jason Loughnane, Shane Golden, Barry Fitzpatrick (0-1 each)

Scorers for Cratloe: Shane Gleeson (0-5, 3f); Diarmuid Ryan (0-3); Rian Considine, Cathal McInerney (0-2 each); Conor McGrath, Enda Boyce, Billy Connors (f) (0-1 each)

Sixmilebridge

1. Derek Fahy

2. Brian Carey
4. Noel Purcell
3. Barry Fitzpatrick

24. Pa Mulready
6. Caimin Morey
5. Seadna Morey

7. Evan McInerney
23. Paidí Fitzpatrick

9. Jason Loughnane
8. Shane Golden
10. Jamie Shanahan

14. Alex Morey
13. Cathal Malone
15. Brian Corry

Subs

11. Conor Deasy for Loughnane (HT)
34. Alan Mulready for Corry (59)
12. Kevin Lynch for A. Morey (60)
18. Niall Gilligan for Shanahan (62)
27. Cathal Lynch for McInerney (62)

Cratloe

1. Gearoid Ryan

2. Martin ‘Óige’ Murphy
3. Mikey Hayes
4. Shane O’Leary

5. Damien Browne
7. Diarmuid Ryan
6. Liam Markham

8. Conor McGrath
9. Enda Boyce

12. Shane Gleeson
13. Billy Connors
10. Sean Collins

15. Podge Collins
14. Cathal McInerney
11. Rian Considine

Subs

17. Sean Chaplin for Connors (HT)
18. David Collins for S. Collins (38)
21. Jack McInerney for McGrath (51)

Referee: Niall Malone (Éire Óg)

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About the author:

Eoin Brennan

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