Emphatic win for Sixmilebridge

 

Sixmilebridge won their first senior Clare county hurling final since 1995 with an emphatic win over a lack lustre Eire Og at Cusack Park in Ennis yesterday.

Inspired by full-forward Niall Gilligan, who grabbed 1-07, the 1996 All-Ireland club winners put the match beyond the Ennis side with three goals in the first eight minutes of the second half to put a 10-point gap between the sides.

Any prospect of an Eire Og revival in the disappointing contest was dashed in the 42nd minute after 'Bridge goalie, Davie Fitgerald pulled off a wonderful save from a penalty struck by Eire Og centre back Fergus Flynn.

Davey Fitzgerald had earlier scored a penalty at the other end in the 15th minute after Martin Colon was fouled to give the Bridge a two-point lead.

Gilligan's beautifully executed goal in the 32nd minute rifling the sliotar to the top left hand corner after a run that took him away from the Eire Og backline started an onslaught on the Eire Og goal that was to continue for much of the second half.

Half-forwards, Brian Kennedy and Robert Conlon added goals in the 36th and 38th minutes to end the match as a contest.

Sixmilebridge: D Fitzgerald 1-0; K McInerney, J O'Connell, W Kennedy; A Mulready 0-1, P Hayes, D Murphy; J Reddan 0-1, C Chaplin; B Kennedy 1-0, M Conlon, R Conlon 1-0; B Culbert, N Gilligan 1-7 (5 frees), J Chaplin. Subs: A Chaplin for Mulready (68 mins), R Liddane for Culbert (62 mins).

Eire Og, Ennis: M Barry; D Barry, R O'Brien, B Piggott; M Fitzgerald, F Flynn 0-3 (frees), R Cooney; T McNamara, D Tobin; C Egan 0-2 (1 free), B Keating, B Nugent; M Kelly, S MacNamara 1-1, T Corbett 0-2. Sub: F Corey for Kelly (60 mins).

Referee: Kevin Walsh.