Mulready goal sets up 'Bridge clash with Newmarket
CLARE SHC SEMI-FINAL ROUND-UP
Next Sunday's decider will pit holders Newmarket-on-Fergus against neighbours and fierce rivals Sixmilebridge.
At Clarecastle yesterday, Newmarket overcame Ballyea, while at Cusack Park on Saturday Sixmilebridge defeated Clonlara. 'The Bridge' – who are seeking a first title since 2002 – came through on a final scoreline of 1-11 to 0-11.
The game's only goal came on the half-hour mark when a Seadna Morey shot was stopped by Clonlara 'keeper Ger O'Connell, only for Alan Mulready to net on the rebound.
Clonlara had led by 0-6 to 0-2 but Mulready's goal and an injury-time point from Jamie Shanahan turned the tide and saw Sixmilebridge go in 1-4 to 0-6 ahead at the break. While Clonlara regained the lead soon after the break through scores by Conor O'Donovan, Darach Honan and Nicky O'Connell, 'The Bridge' dug deep to eke out the win.
Veteran Niall Gilligan was in fine form and contributed eight points to help his club reach their second final in three years.
Meanwhile Newmarket put in a fine second-half performance to see off Ballyea by 0-15 to 1-7.
The teams were level on 1-3 to 0-6 at the break, with Gary Brennan grabbing the game's only goal in the 21st minute.
Newmarket were leading by 0-5 to 0-2 when Paul Flanagan's delivery was flicked to the net by Banner Gaelic football captain Brennan. Colin Ryan, who contributed eight points to his side's final tally, hit a Newmarket point on the half-hour, while Ballyea's Tony Kelly equalised from a free in injury-time.
Ryan and Martin O'Hanlon had early second-half scores for the winners and they upped their game. Ballyea trailed 0-11 to 1-5 by the 50th but a hat-trick of points from Newmarket centre-forward Shane O'Brien ensured that his club are still on course for a second title in a row.