Sixmilebridge 1-20 Clooney-Quin 1-14
Sixmilebridge demonstrated clear lessons learned from the drawn decider seven days previously to power to their third Clare Senior Hurling title in five years in Ennis this afternoon.
Second best for long periods of their first meeting, this time Sixmilebridge were far sharper and more tactically astute as they turned the tables on newcomers Clooney-Quin to lead for the vast majority on their way to a 13th Clare crown.
Employing county senior Seadna Morey as a man-marker on championship top-scorer Peter Duggan, Sixmilebridge seized their second chance with both hands, with all but three points of their final tally of 1-20 coming from play.
Despite facing into the conditions, Sixmilebridge emphasised their greater options as seven different players pointed in the opening half to build up a 0-9 to 0-7 advantage, in contrast to Clooney-Quin, who depended on Duggan’s skill from placed balls to maintain their challenge.
With the wind at their backs, however, Sixmilebridge quickly put clear daylight between the sides as they raided for 1-2 inside six minutes of the new half.
Chief threats Jamie Shanahan and Shane Golden picked off points before Brian Corry raided for a goal to give his side a 1-11 to 0-07 cushion.
Clooney-Quin, thanks in the main to Duggan, did lower the arrears to five entering the final quarter but as the game opened up, Golden (2) Shanahan, Corry and substitute Cathal Lynch all tacked on points to extend their lead to nine before Clooney-Quin received an injury-time consolation goal through Michael Corry.
Not since St Joseph’s Doora/Barefield’s dominance at the turn of the millennium, has a club garnered three titles in such proximity in Clare, with Sixmilebridge now turning their attentions to Munster as they bid to replicate Ballyea’s achievements in 2016.
The 'Bridge enter the provincial series at the semi-final stage in a fortnight’s time against the winners of Ballygunner (Waterford) and Thurles Sarsfields (Tipperary) on away soil.
Sixmilebridge: Derek Fahy; Noel Purcell, Paidi Fitzpatrick (Captain), Barry Fitzpatrick; Aidan Quilligan (0-1), Caimin Morey, Seadna Morey; Conor Deasy (0-1), Jamie Shanahan (0-5 3f); Cathal Malone (0-1), Niall Gilligan (0-2), Shane Golden (0-5); Brian Corry (1-1), Alex Morey, Alan Mulready (0-3).
Subs: Cathal Lynch (0-1) for Gilligan (48), Gavin Whyte for A Morey (52), Brian Carey for Deasy (59), Kevin Lynch for C. Morey (60).
Clooney-Quin: Keith Hogan; Ruaidhri McNamara, Shane McNamara, Bryan McInerney; Cillian Duggan, Conor Harrison, Donnchadh Murphy; Padraig Ward, Peter Duggan (0-10, 6f, 2’65, 1s/l); Ryan Taylor (0-1), Michael Corry (1-1), Tadhg Shanahan; Ronan O’Donnell, Fergal Lynch (Captain) (0-1), Jimmy Corry (0-1).
Sub: Daire Hannon for Shanahan (37), David Kennedy for Murphy (60).
Referee: Rory Hickey (Éire Óg)