Experience wins out as Sixmilebridge return to Clare hurling final

They’ll face O’Callaghan’s Mills in the final after they caused an upset against Ballyea

Holders Sixmilebridge will face neighbours O'Callaghan's Mills in this year's Clare hurling final.

Sixmilebridge, managed by Tim Crowe and coached by Davy Fitzgerald, beat Ennis' Éire Óg by a single point (0-17 to 1-13) in the weekend's first semi-final played at Cusack Park on Saturday.

Underdogs Éire Óg began brightly and raced into a 0-3 to no score lead by the fifth minute of the match, after two points from Danny Russell and a David McNamara effort. Alex Morey, from a free, got Sixmilebridge on the scoreboard for the first time a minute later.

Éire Óg carried that good form with them to the break and lead by 1-9 to 0-8 having played with a strong breeze at their backs. Danny Russell flicked a David Reidy free to the net for the game's only goal in the 27th minute. Moments later, his penalty attempt was saved by Bridge keeper Derek Fahy. But in the second period Sixmilebridge upped the ante and experience won out in the end against a gallant Éire Óg outfit.


In the second semi-final played at the same venue on Sunday, O'Callaghan's Mills caused an upset by beating 2018 champions Ballyea by 2-17 to 1-17. Despite Ballyea marquee forwards Tony Kelly and Niall Deasy scoring 1-15 between them over the hour, full credit must be given to the Mills for coming from behind to claim victory.

They are just one game away now from claiming a title last won in 1937. The sides were level at half-time with The Mills on 1-7 and Ballyea on 0-10, after an early goal by Conor Henry had set his team on a course for victory.

However, going into injury time at the end, Ballyea lead by 1-17 to 1-16, thanks to a Tony Kelly goal. But in injury time O'Callaghan's Mills picked off 1-2 with Colin Crehan providing the matchwinning goal.