2017 Clare senior hurling champions and runners-up both crash out

CRATLOE PROVED SUPERIOR to reigning champions Sixmilebridge as they enjoyed 1-19 0-16 win over their neighbours in this afternoon’s quarter-final.

Riain Considine, a Dr Harty Cup winner with Ard Scoil Rís, fired home the all-important goal in the 37th minute. His initial shot was saved by Derek Fahy but Considine made no mistake with the rebound.

Jamie Shanahan was on the losing side today with Sixmilebridge (file pic).

Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Coached by Mike Deegan, Cratloe won the majority of battles all over the field and had a variety of players inflicting damage on their opponents, Billy Connors (0-7), Diarmuid Ryan (0-3), Enda Boyce and Padraic Collins (0-3) chief among them.

Sixmilebridge’s exit comes as no major surprise as their form heading into this game was far from their previous levels. They scored just nine points from play and struggled when ran at in defence.

Last year’s beaten finalists Clooney/Quin were also dumped out of the championship by a more cohesive O’Callaghan’s Mills outfit, who were still on a high from their Round Three victory over Wolfe Tones.

Level on six occasions, these two evenly-matched sides were only separated by the greater collective scoring threat of the O’Callaghan’s Mills attack as it finished 0-17 0-14 in their favour.

It was a very stop-start affair, with the free-takers — Peter Duggan and Jacob Loughnane — accounting for eight and nine points respectively. Duggan, who was the top scorer in this year’s All-Ireland championship, uncharacteristically missed five scoreable placed-balls for Clooney/Quin.

It was a disappointing afternoon for Peter Duggan and Clooney/Quin (file pic).

Source: Oisin Keniry/INPHO

Gary Cooney, a member of the Clare extended panel this year and a county minor in 2017, was lively throughout for the Mills, putting three points on the board.

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He was assisted by his brother Ciaran at centre-back and All-Ireland winning captain Patrick Donnellan in driving them into their first semi-final since 1997.

Inagh/Kilnamona, Ballyea, Kilmaley and Éire Óg will compete in the remaining two quarter-finals, with two precious semi-final spots on the line.

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