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Golden touch and a Corry cracker seals title for Bridge

Clare SHC final replay: Sixmilebridge 1-20 Clooney-Quin 1-14

Sixmilebridge manager John O'Meara. Photo: Sportsfile
Sixmilebridge manager John O'Meara. Photo: Sportsfile

Sixmilebridge claimed the crown for the 13th time - and the second time in three years - as they proved too strong for Clooney-Quin in this replay at Cusack Park yesterday.

Played in front of a crowd of 5,892, the game never reached the excitement levels of the drawn encounter a week earlier.

Nevertheless, it produced some good passages of play, with the Bridge turning the screw in the second-half, having lead by 0-9 to 0-7 at the break.

Centre-back Séadna Morey lead by example after half-time and though he didn't score, his forays up the field led to many a conversion by a colleague.

The opening half was sluggish at times, with Clooney-Quin relying on their ace marksman Peter Duggan for scores.

He grabbed all but one of their first-half tally, as Ryan Taylor was the only other player to register on the scoresheet in that period.

Clooney-Quin keeper Keith Hogan denied Niall Gilligan and later in the half he saved from Brian Corry, after the corner-forward was put through by the hard-working Shane Golden.

Crashed

Jamie Shanahan pushed out the lead to three points within a minute of the restart with a pointed free and moments later Corry crashed to Hogan's net for the game's opening goal.

This vital score put daylight between the teams, sending the favourites 1-10 to 0-7 ahead.

Another Shanahan point increased the lead to seven and at this stage there looked like no way back for the side seeking a first title in 75 years.

However, Clooney-Quin's fighting spirit never waned.

Duggan's free-taking kept them in sight, but the Bridge's experience was beginning to tell and forwards Shane Golden and Alan Mulready got some fine points to stay in front as the half progressed.

Bridge manager John O'Meara appeared confident enough when he called 41-year-old Niall Gilligan ashore after 48 minutes. Gilligan was to go on and win a sixth medal.

Clooney-Quin did manage a goal through Michael Corry late in the game, but it proved too little too late, on a day when Sixmilebridge deservedly prevailed.

Scorers - Sixmilebridge: S Golden 0-5, J Shanahan 0-5 (3f), B Corry 1-1, A Mulready 0-3, N Gilligan 0-2, A Quilligan, C Deasy, C Malone, C Lynch 0-1 each. Clooney-Quin: P Duggan 0-10 (5f, 2 '65', 1 sideline cut), M Corry 1-1, R Taylor, F Lynch, J Corry 0-1 each.

Sixmilebridge: D Fahy, N Purcell, P Fitzpatrick (Capt.), B Fitzpatrick, A Quilligan S Morey,C Morey, J Shanahan, C Deasy, C Malone, N Gilligan, S Golden, B Corry, A Morey, A Mulready. Subs: C Lynch for Gilligan (48), G Whyte for A Morey (52), B Carey for Deasy (59), K Lynch for C Morey (59).

Clooney-Quin: K Hogan, R McNamara, S McNamara, B McInerney, C Duggan C Harrison, P Ward, D Murphy, R Taylor, P Duggan, M Corry, T Shanahan, R O'Donnell, F Lynch (Capt.), J Corry. Subs: D Hannon for Shanahan (37), D Kennedy for Murphy (59).

Ref - R Hoey

Irish Independent

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