CRATLOE’S STUNNING WEEKEND continued today as the Clare club qualified for the AIB Munster senior football final, just 24 hours after winning their first ever county senior football title.
Yesterday in Cusack Park in Ennis, Cratloe fashioned a 0-10 to 0-7 win over Doonbeg to win the Clare senior crown.
And they returned to the venue today to get the better of Waterford champions Ballinacourty in the provincial semi-final. Their memorable season will continue when they face Dr Crokes in the Munster decider on December 1st.
With eight Clare All-Ireland senior winning hurlers in their squad, Cratloe had plenty big names and it was two of those inter-county figures, Liam Markham and Conor McGrath, who notched the vital late points to fashion victory after an exciting contest.
Cratloe faced a demanding schedule as they played their second game in two days but they were competitive from the off. Ballinacourty lead by 0-6 to 0-5 at half-time with Patrick and John Hurney, and Mark Ferncombe amongst their point-scorers.
But Cathal McInerney and Sean Collins were amongst those who kept Cratloe in touch. They struck for the only goal of the game after half-time when Conor McGrath netted but Abbeyside responded to go in front by 0-9 to 1-5.
Cratloe edged back ahead through McInerney and Podge Collins but Ballinacourty drew level at 1-8 to 0-11 with six minutes left. Yet Markham and McGrath ensured there would be glory for Cratloe as they registered those vital late scores.
CRATLOE: Pierce de Loughrey; Sean Chaplin, Barry Duggan, David Ryan; Martin Óg Murphy, Michael Hawes, Enda Boyce; Conor Ryan, Cillian Duggan; Liam Markham, Podge Collins, Sean Collins; Cathal McInerney, Fergal Lynch, Conor McGrath.
BALLINACOURTY: Stephen Enright; Brian Looby, Shane Briggs, David Collins; Richie Foley, Sean O’Hare, Conor Maloney; John Hurney, Gary Hurney; James O’Mahony, Mark Fives, Mark Ferncombe; Michael O’Halloran, Jason O’Brien, Patrick Hurney.
Podge Collins was in action for Cratloe today.
Pic INPHO/Donall Farmer